Middle School: 10 Things Your Kids Can and Should Do

It will make your life easier!


It’s tough to be in middle school: too young to do everything you want to do, yet feeling too old for the things you used to do. It’s the perfect age to start developing some real adult-level life skills. Not only are these worthwhile things to know, but children on the verge of growing into young adults crave important knowledge and real responsibilities.

Our family’s list of life skills for this age group builds on what they learned in grade school, but with more responsibilities. Often this is the age when children are beginning to babysit as well as spending time at home alone. Safety, their own and that of others, is most important.

So what’s on our top 10 list of life skills for this age?

1. Internet safety is not a one-time conversation, but one that must be reinforced often.

2. Basic emergency procedures including knowing what to do or where to go in a fire, tornado, or power outage.

3. Location of circuit breakers and water main valves and their use.

4.Baby basics like how to change a diaper, what to feed or not feed a young child, how to hold a baby, and how to interact and play with young children.

5. How to sort laundry and use a washing machine.

6. Basic clothing repairs like hemming, sewing on a button, and repairing small tears.

7. How to iron.

8. Plan and prepare a complete meal. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but anyone this age can begin to develop a repertoire of meals they know how to cook. A basic knowledge of nutrition and what are healthy choices would also fall under this category.

9. Becoming responsible for one’s own money. Babysitting, mowing lawns and shoveling show are great ways for this age group to earn money and then have the responsibility for how they use it. As our children grow, we purchase fewer and fewer extras for them, expecting them to take that over as they earn more of their own spending money.

10. Ability to run simple errands. This encourages independence and responsibility while practicing skills of interacting with others and decision making and problem solving. It also calls for discussion on personal safety – being aware of one’s surroundings and how to get help if needed.