12 Essential Skills Every Child Should Learn

A smiling boy with brown hair and brown eyes.

Making sure your child is equipped with essential life skills is one of the best things you can do for them. (Image: Philippe Put via Flickr)

Children’s grades at school will never be as important as learning such essential skills as how to be grateful and how to behave themselves.

A Chinese proverb says: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”

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So it’s better to teach children the following lessons as opposed to leaving them billions of dollars.

12 essential skills children need to learn

1. Children must learn how to cook

This has nothing to do with serving others. It’s so that when they find themselves on their own, they can take good care of themselves. This teaches independence.

Children in a cooking class.
Children must learn to cook so they can take good care of themselves in the future. (Image: Coqui the Chef via Flickr)

2. Children must learn how to drive

This has nothing to do with one’s status. It’s because when they want to go anywhere, they can go anytime, without considering others’ availability. This teaches them freedom.

3. Children need to study at formal universities

This has nothing to do with academic credentials. It’s because they need to have a carefree few years of youth and immerse themselves in an academic atmosphere. Once they have completed their education and had some fun, they are ready to settle down and enter the job market.

4. Children need to learn to dream big

Children should not limit what they think they can achieve. Big dreams help to make everyone happy, and education is the key. Enriching knowledge will help to broaden horizons.

5. Children must know they only need two bowls of water

One bowl is for drinking and one is for washing. Self-esteem and good conduct do not depend on wealth.

6. Children must learn not to get upset or complain in the face of hardships

Complaining can make loved ones sad and give one’s enemies reason to rejoice. When facing up to hardships with a peaceful heart, one’s loved ones will be ready to help.

7. Children must learn good table manners

This is true even if it’s only a bowl of rice with soy sauce. One’s manners should never change no matter what the situation.

Good table manners are one of the essential skills.
Children must have good table manners. (Image: Kolotype via Dreamstime)

8. Children should take a pen and paper when traveling

The scenery will remain the same, but first impressions will never be repeated. The popularity of The Travels of Xu Xiake is not because of the places the author visited, but because he captured his impressions of each place.

9. Children need to have a space to relax in

This is true even if it’s only a few square meters. This allows them to have a place to calm down during conflicts with others. This helps to develop an independent personality.

10. Children need to accumulate knowledge during childhood

They also need to learn from working experiences in adulthood in order to have a balanced life. It’s fine to read about others’ experiences; just make sure that you find your own.

11. Children need to be taught the value of having compassion at all times

Having compassion makes you the luckiest person in the world. Compassion is not wealth or power that cannot follow when one leaves this world; rather it is the knowledge that doing good brings more good into one’s life, while doing evil deeds only leads to more evil.

12. Children must always remember their greatest spiritual wealth

The greatest spiritual wealth consists of a smile, elegance, and confidence. If you have these three qualities, you’ll have the whole world at your feet. This is the mark of a noble spirit.

Translated research by Monica Song and Billy Shyu

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