life skills for kids

72 Life Skills to Teach My Children (Before They Leave the House)

When my friend Rick’s oldest son finished sixth grade, he did some quick math and figured out he had six years (72 months) left with his son before he left their house for college. He realized the need to teach his kids basic life skills and the fact that he had limited time with his sons before they leave home. So he emailed about 40 friends and asked for their ideas on topics he should cover with his son over the 72 months. Each month he covers a basic life skill or a series of conversations.

My friend Rick is a Christian so many items on the list are faith-centered and as he only has boys, most are geared towards sons. However, you can certainly adapt the list to meet the needs of any of your children. Here is my friend Rick’s 72 Launch list of life skills.

72 Launch:

  1. Passport to Purity book study
  2. How to read and apply the Bible.
  3. How to study and apply biblical parables.
  4. How to play golf.
  5. How to play tennis.
  6. Know your family history. Involve both sets of grandparents.
  7. Go on a date night with mom. She shows him the basics of treating a girl on a date.
  8. How to tie a tie and bow tie.
  9. How to keep score for a baseball game.
  10. Why and how should we save money?
  11. Why is baptism a big deal?
  12. The 5 S’s of Manhood/Womanhood – (Step up, Speak out, Stand strong, Stay humble, Serve the King)
  13. How to use power tools (examples: lawnmower, saw, drill)
  14. Gun safety, operation, and maintenance
  15. How to set and reach goals.
  16. How to be a Godly brother.
  17. Cults and false religions of the world
  18. Why and how do you write a thank you note?
  19. Importance of connection to other believers in small group and corporate church
  20. Confronting the lure of pornography
  21. How to shoot a bow and arrow.
  22. Basic home plumbing
  23. How to kayak.
  24. Basic principles of investing in financial markets
  25. White water rafting
  26. Interior home demolition/construction
  27. The importance of abiding with God daily (John 15)
  28. How to drive a car.
  29. How to shave.
  30. Importance of looking back and remembering
  31. How to develop a prayer life.
  32. How to disagree with friends, authorities, and relatives.
  33. What can I do to make this the best year of my life?
  34. What to look for at a college visitation
  35. Deep sea fishing
  36. Identifying idols
  37. What do I say to my friend who keeps on sinning?
  38. Is it ok for a teenager to date?
  39. Importance of accountability
  40. Preparing and loving on a budget
  41. How to respond to foolish person?
  42. What does a true friend look like?
  43. What does courageous leadership look like? (Look for local/current examples)
  44. How should people who love God set their priorities?
  45. How should I choose a college?
  46. 5 Movies for a man to see – (Hacksaw Ridge, Passion of Christ, Braveheart, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan)
  47. Dating well as a Christian man
  48. What do in a wreck/changing tire/basic car stuff
  49. Voting. Why is voting a privilege and how do I decide who I will vote for?
  50. What does generosity with time and money look like?
  51. How do you share and talk about your faith?
  52. What does it mean to “turn the other cheek?”
  53. What does Sabbath or rest look like?
  54. How and why do we pray?
  55. What does it look like to apologize and ask for forgiveness?
  56. How to make a great steak and burger on the grill?
  57. How do I go food shopping?
  58. How to resolve conflict biblically.
  59. How to play poker/Black Jack/Texas Hold’Em.
  60. How to play chess.
  61. How to create a resume.
  62. How to interview for a job.
  63. How do I understand and use my gifts and passions?
  64. How to camp and hike.
  65. How do I know what to study in the Bible?
  66. How to take care of clothes – laundry, ironing, etc.
  67. How to paint a room.
  68. How to hang pictures on a wall and do basic house repairs.
  69. How to choose a good book to read.
  70. How to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  71. How do I book travel and navigate an airport?
  72. Last but certainly not least… how to brew a good pot of coffee!

Huddle up with your friends and come up with a list of topics that you want to cover with your kids.