Handy life skills every 12-year-old should know

April 02, 2019
Handy life skills every 12-year-old should know

Prepare your pre-teen with capabilities that are sure to boost their confidence.

Getting your tween up to speed on practical know-how doesn’t have to be a chore. Even if they initially balk, they’ll ultimately take pride in knowing they can handle these everyday tasks. Below is a list of need-to-know knowledge just right for this age:

Getting organized

We’ve all spent precious minutes searching for that missing homework, cell phone or set of keys. Learning to be organized tames the chaos of our busy lives. Help your child understand the value of having a place for everything. Their room is a great place to start. Allow them to organize it in a way that works best for them.

Doing household chores

Now that everything is in its place, time to tackle cleaning. It’s easy once the clutter is cleared. Let your pre-teen pick the playlist and have fun along the way as you share the basics of sweeping, dusting and vacuuming. Bonus points for scrubbing a tub.

Planning and preparing a meal

Start your child out by helping them prepare one of their personal favorites. Emphasize kitchen safety and keep the task age appropriate. Work together on ways to make a healthier version of their favorite meal.

Getting up & going

Teach your 12-year-old savvy ways to start their day. Make sure that they know how to set an alarm and the importance of getting up once it goes off. They should also be able to handle their morning hygiene on their own.

Writing and mailing a letter

Demystify postage and more for your pre-teen. While we take knowing how to write and mail a letter for granted, there’s a lot to unpack for those unaccustomed to this task. Your child needs to understand things like how many stamps to add and even where they go on the envelope. Thank-you notes are a great starting point for mastering this skill set.

Doing laundry

At the rate many 12-year-olds go through outfits, this might be one of the most useful tasks to teach. Familiarize your child with the workings of the washer and dryer and show them how to separate laundry, treat stains, fold clean clothes and put them away neatly.

Basic first aid

It’s important for your child to know the age-appropriate essentials of basic first aid. Instruct them on how to clean and care for minor scrapes and cuts, what to do for not-so-serious burns and how to handle things like nosebleeds. Add to their knowledge with a right-for-their-age course that covers more advanced topics if available.

Mastering these age-appropriate milestones is an important step towards independence. After all, high school is just a year or two away and after that it’s off to college or a life of their own. Prepare them by passing along these practical skills.