8 Things Your Kids Should Know by the Time They Turn 18

There is no way to teach your kids everything they will possibly need to know by the time they set out on their own, but there are some basics that will take them a long way in life. Take a look at a few things you should teach your kids before they leave home below.

How to Cook

Allow your kids to come into the kitchen with you and create meals, and then give them the reins to plan a few meals of their own for the family. Talk to them about nutrition and healthy choices, and lead by example through your own healthy eating habits.

How to Budget

Talk to you kids as early as kindergarten about the basics of money—how it is earned, how it is spent, how it is saved, etc. Before they leave your house for the real world, make sure they know how to properly maintain a checking account, pay bills on time, and responsibly use a credit card.

How to Say “Thank You”

Whether they email it or send a hand-written note, be sure that your kids understand the importance of gratitude and how to properly express it.

How to Change a Tire

Don’t wait until they call you from the side of the highway to talk them through the basics of safely changing a tire. Spend an afternoon in your driveway practicing and then make sure they know to always keep the right tools in their vehicle.

How to Ask for Help When it’s Needed

Whether in a college course, on the job, or in the midst of an unhealthy relationship, be sure your kids aren’t embarrassed to ask for help when they really need it.

How to Maintain a Residence

Obviously there is a lot of ground to cover here, but make sure your kids understand the basics of living on their own, including setting up a cleaning schedule, putting security measures in place (as simple as locking the doors), and who to call in an emergency.

How to Travel Alone

Be sure that your kids know how to make travel arrangements and set out on their own when needed. Cover everything from booking the best air travel to researching the places they will visit before they arrive.

How to Give Back

They may not always have money to donate to causes that need it, but show your kids how their simple actions, like recycling or volunteering a few hours per month, make a difference in their worlds. Instilling gratefulness in your kids is a great way for them to learn to give back. Make it a point to plan at least a few family outreach projects together and encourage them to find the causes that interest them too. 

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