Honing Kids Life Skills


Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.  –unknown


When I left to go to college, I thought I was prepared.

I knew how to pull all-nighters and cram for tests.  I can write papers and give presentations.  I can turn in assignments.  Surely, I was set for life, right?

Oh, how I was so wrong…

Growing up in an immigrant Asian family, academics always took precedence over everything else.  I know my parents wanted to give me educational opportunities that they didn’t have growing up.

But there was also a con to this: I was so behind in everything else in life!

I thought microwave dinners was a complete food group, and instant noodles made awesome lunches.  For every single day of the week.

I also thought that by organizing, it meant throwing things in the general direction of a closet.

Ohhhhhh, I had much to learn.

And after getting married, I remember wandering the aisles of the grocery store with not a clue of what to buy.  I mean, what was I supposed to do with raw chicken? Couldn’t my new husband and I just each have a microwave dinner for each day of the week? (Apparently, he didn’t like that idea.)

Cooking.  Eating.  Cleaning.  Organizing.  Budgeting.  Finances.  Managing relationships. How to talk to talk to others? How to deal with difficult people?

It was an uphill battle to learn it all!

And now that I have 4 kids of my own,  I sure hope that I can start teaching my own kiddos before they go off to college!

Here are some resources for different life skills that have been a great resource for our family.  Ready?

Here goes:

1. Teaching Kids How to Cook (for all ages)

The beauty of this is that you actually don’t have to teach anything.  All you are is a class facilitator.  You get parent-videos to watch, and your kids get kids-age-appropriate videos to watch.  Together, you have a class syllabus to follow through, all laid out with step by step instructions.  The first class talks about basic kitchen skills. And by the end?  Your kids can prepare an entire meal all on their own. And I love that the younger kids can make their own repertoire of “easier meals” while the older kids can make a repertoire more “complicated” meals.

If anything, click over to watch the free intro videos –>  Kid’s Cook Real Food E-Course

2.  Financial Management:  FAMZOO

To be honest, I’m on the fence about this one.  Simply because I don’t plan on getting my kids their own personal phones or devices for a loooong while.  So this doesn’t apply to our family in this season.  However, I’m putting it on this list as something I’ll continue to look into… especially once my kids are older.

The premise of this software/app is that each kid would need their own phones/devices or internet access.  So, with that said, if your kids ALREADY own their own phones, then proceed. 🙂

The premise is similar to paying kids for chores.  Instead of a glass jar or a piggy bank, all the finances are tracked by this app.  So if you pay your teens $5 to mow the lawn, then using this app, you can quickly move $5 to go into your teens FAMZOO account.  And then, he/she can use this money to either save, donate, or pay for whatever they want to pay for.  It’s like having a pre-paid card. Except you can move funds at your own whim.  And your kids can only use what’s there.

The flip side is, once they are older and have their own credit card (like college), they’ll need to learn to distinguish a credit card versus a pre-paid card.  And it’s important not to get confused!

3. The Etiquette Factory

In this day and age, has the word etiquette long gone with the wind? Fear not, the Etiquette Factory comes to the rescue!

From teaching young men how to pick and wear suits properly, to teaching little ladies how to plan, organize, and budget for a complete tea party… it’s trying to keep some traditions alive, especially in a culture of irreverence and instant-everything.

This is a complete curriculum with different levels for different ages.  You can work through it during school holidays, summertime, or over Christmas break!

Check it out –> The Etiquette Factory

4.  How To Win Friends and Influence People (by Dale Carnegie)

This one tiny little book.  You can probably get it at an old yard sale.  Or the library. It’s tiny in size, by mighty in power.

Outside of the Bible, I can attest that this book has literally transformed how I relate to other people.  I read it at the end of my high school years.  And for the first time, I realize what I had been doing wrong socially all these years.

Yes, it’s a business book.  Yes, it’s written for adults.  Yes, it’s “target audience” is probably business execs in big wig companies.

But as a high schooler, it still transformed my life.  It gave me the understanding of how to keep a conversation going, how to end a conversation (if it’s going too long), how to determine topics to talk about, the power of persuasion (and yet, to make it feel like it’s actually their idea)…

So yeah, I’m putting this book on my list of “life skills” every high schooler needs to learn.  🙂 And every adult should read it, too!

Hmmm… speaking of, maybe I need to go back and re-read it again as a refresher.  🙂

 {{Check back as I continue to work on adding to this list!}}


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