22 Important Skills Every Parent Should Teach Their Kids

There are many important skills that every parent should teach their kids. That’s why we’ve put together this list for you!

by Kimberly Pangaro | Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @atomic_mommy.

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Growing up, I was privileged to have a father who knew how to work on his own car, who could knock down walls and rebuild them, who could fix appliances, and do the plumbing. From him, I learned how to do everything he could. In his words, he wanted me to never need a man to help me, he wanted me to be independent.

And then, many years later, I got married. Unfortunately, my husband didn’t learn the same things from his parents as I learned from my dad. Now, I see why my dad said what he said all those years ago. It’s not so much that my husband doesn’t know how to do other things, it’s just that he doesn’t know how to be handy in our home or on other important areas of our life.

So, that stuff he leaves to me. But his lack of skills has me wondering if maybe my dad was right, that the skills he taught were and still are very important. So as an ode to my father for making me the strong and independent woman I am today, I want to share what important skills every parent should teach their kids.

This list is pretty self-explanatory, but I will describe why they’re important to learn. So, without further adieu, let’s look at all the skills every parent should teach their kids!

#1 How to change a tire

This one is definitely self-explanatory in that everyone should know how to do this if they intend on driving a vehicle. Ya never know if and when you’ll hit a pothole the size of Mars and your tire will explode from under neath you. So, be sure to teach this one to your kids so they’re never stuck on the side of the road.

#2 How to plug a tire

Not everyone has Triple AAA, so it’s safe to say that teaching this particular skill is not only a money saver, but also a time saver. Be sure to teach your kid how to do this in the driveway and to always have a plug kit handy.

#3 How to check for worn down brakes

Squealing doesn’t always mean worn down. Whistling doesn’t either. But when you start to hear grinding of metal, that’s a sure sign it’s time to change the brakes. Another way to know is by mileage. Aim to check and replace brake pads every 10,000 to 20,000 miles. Rotors last a bit longer, so check on them around the 50,000 mile mark.

#4 How to fill a tire with air

Okay, this one is really simple, but still necessary as the air in tires diminishes during the cold weather. Lower air in tires means the possibility of getting a flat. So, it’s really important to take note of your tires. Most people today have sensors in their tires that tell them on the dashboard of their cars when it’s time to fill it with air. But in case your sensors are busted or malfunctioning, the next best thing is using a gauge and at-home electronic pump kit.

#5 How to use a saw

You’re probably thinking, “What the heck do I need to teach that?”. Well, the first time my husband used a saw without a lesson (he was being stubborn and refused my guidance), he ended up dropping it! No, he’s not a clumsy person, but he was extremely nervous. And while it has a safety feature that turns the blade off and covers the blade up, that’s no reason not to teach how to properly use a saw. Your kids in their adult lives, will need to use one at some point. Better to teach them how to use it properly and safely.

#6 How to use other power tools

I’m not just talking about a power drill to screw nails into the walls. I’m talking about pneumatic air nailer, a hammer drill that breaks concrete, a masonry cutter, and other larger and more powerful power tools. When you own a home, which I assume most people do or will, having knowledge on how to use these tools is immensely beneficial. They save time and big money when used properly. You could literally fix anything in a home or apartment with a few good power tools in your supply closet.

#7 How to fix a water leak in your house

Water is the devil when it comes to your home! It hides and drips and flow in the most unexpected places and is hard to repair the damage from it, if left unchecked for too long. But if you teach your kid to know how to spot a water leak, how to smell moisture in the air, what water stains look like, they’ll be in a much better position to fix their own home in the future. Don’t forget to teach them what putty, tape, and tools helps fix water leaks.

#8 How to spackle and sand and paint

Hang a picture, put a hole in the wall. Throw a ball in the house, put a dent in the walls. Get angry and throw stuff, put bigger holes in the walls. Have water stains? How about crayon on the walls? Or finger prints? Or decoration stains? I’ve seen it all and I’ve fixed it all. How? By knowing how to spackle, sand, and paint. Doesn’t matter if your kid grows up to live in an apartment, a condo, a house, or a hut, knowing how to spackle and sand and paint will ensure proper repair of walls.

#9 How to do some basic electric work

I once was a child, and then I grew up and decided a house was an adult thing to do. Boy, did I not expect to have to replace every single light in my home! Thank goodness for my father’s lessons because I was able to take down every chandelier, lamp, light switch, and outlet, and replace them. It’s really not hard, but it’s a lesson every person should learn so that as adults, home ownership is easier. I’m not saying kids need to know how to rewire a whole house or what to do with frayed wires or what to do if they find old uncapped wiring in a home, because all of those situations require a licensed electrician. But switching out a broken light switch should be something any person can do.

#10 How to unclog a vacuum when it stops working for no reason at all

yellow and black vacuum cleaner
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Another important skill that every parent should teach their kids is how to fix a clogged vacuum. Vacuums have independent mindsets, if you ask me. They are very temperamental when it comes to vacuuming up play dough, hair ties, food, and more! Occasionally, they stop working on me. But instead of thinking they were broken, I simply pulled them apart, piece by piece to divulge the culprit. Eventually, they would be put back to working order. So, teaching this skill is also a huge money saver.

#11 How to fix holes or dents in cabinetry

I have been lucky enough to never have done this type of damage myself, but my kids have! Yup, they have literally found ways to chip my cabinets and even dent them. So, knowing what wood putty to buy and which can be sanded and painted, was a life and big money saver! I kid you not… my husband once called a cabinet repair company and they wanted thousands for one cabinet to be repaired.

#13 Where to shop for cheap materials

I’m not saying to teach kids to buy shotty material or lower quality. I am telling you to teach them to buy supplies from wholesale stores rather than corporate brands. The reason is because wholesale stores often have materials in bulk for much cheaper than if these items were bought at the local Home Depot or Lowes.

#14 How to unclog a toilet

This is a no-brainer as to why this skill should be taught. But believe it or not, I have met many adults who don’t know how to do this. So, teach this skill thoroughly, or your kids will grow up to have a poop of a time.

#15 How to remove water after a flood

Unfortunately, flooding is occurring more frequently in areas that have never gotten water before. Therefore, it only makes sense to teach how to pump out high levels of water from your basement or other areas. Leaving water in the basement for days or weeks until the emergency people can come do it for you, leaves you at risk for bacteria growth and other issues.

#16 What to do when the power goes out

Whether it’s a storm, high winds, icicles, or too much voltage to any one breaker, eventually the power will go out in a home. So, it’s best to teach your kids how to check the breakers and how to turn them back on if they’ve been forced off. It’s also important to teach them how to call in a power outage to your energy provider. You wouldn’t want your kids home alone with no idea on how to remedy the situation.

#17 What tools and items to always have in the house no matter what

My father taught me there should be some tools to have always have on hand in the house no matter what. Tools like: duct tape, electrical tape, flat head and Philips head screwdrivers, nails, hammer, measuring tape, magnet, flash light, face masks, AW-40, ratchet, wrench, and a saw. These are the basics to always have.

#18 What an oil leak from your car looks like

As cars age, so do their parts. At some point, a car may begin to leak oil. This can be bad for the engine and your driveway. This is why it’s important to teach what an oil leak looks like and what to do about it.

#19 What an anti-freeze leak looks and smells like

Anti-freeze smells like rotting fish! If you smell it coming from your car, you definitely have a leak somewhere. Finding it though, is much harder. In any event, teach this lesson so that a determination can be made on whether the car needs to go into the shop.

#20 What different colors of smoke from your car mean

Every car, at some point or another, billows out smoke. There’s white smoke, grey smoke, and black smoke. They all mean different things, so do your best to teach this and perhaps, your new driver will learn when it’s time for a repair.

#21 How to change the battery in your car

When your kid is ready for driving, they’ll need this skill as well. It doesn’t matter if a vehicle is old or new, because a dead battery is a dead battery, and you won’t always know if you’ve been stuck with one. To be sure, you can teach your new driver to keep a battery tester in the car at all times. You can also teach them to keep a battery charger in the car. This way if they’re ever in a car where the battery dies, they’ll know exactly what to do.

#22 How to use a lawn mower and hedge cutter

Recently, my friend’s wife cut her entire finger off while trying to cut her hedges. Not to diminish her loss or pain, but she was not equipped with the knowledge to properly handle the heavy machinery or didn’t know the safety precautions to take while using it. This is an important skill to teach because at some point, regardless of the type of home you or child is in, this knowledge will be needed.

The Takeaway

Every skill we listed above is extremely vital and important for your kid to learn. Why? Because eventually your kid will grow up and live on their own. By being the parent that teaches their kid these important skills, you are literally saving them from future expenses and teaching them how to survive living on their own without unnecessary help.

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