It’s our job as parents (whether we like it or not) to prepare our children for the real world. We are the ones who teach them the skills that they need to survive once they leave the nest. (I don’t want my babies to ever leave me!) The sooner our children learn about the ways of the world, the better.

To help you get started on prepping your kids, here are 12 life skills you want to make sure they learn.

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1. Cooking

I admit, I’m not the best person to teach my children how to cook. If my children learned their cooking skills from me, they’d leave the house having mastered the art of making mac ‘n cheese and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. However, there are other ways for them to learn. Daddy can teach them, they can take a cooking class, or we can sign up for a kid’s cooking subscription box and learn together! No matter what level chef you are, make sure your kids learn at least some cooking skills while they’re young.

2. Wilderness Survival

I’ve never been a big fan of camping. I’m just not very outdoorsy, and I enjoy having the comforts of home nearby. However, I do think it’s important for kids to learn survival skills, and camping is a great way for them to learn. Organizations like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts provide opportunities for children to explore the wilderness. Summer camps also give kids a chance to work on their survival skills. If none of those are options, a family camping trip over the weekend is a good place to start.

3. Swimming

My children started taking infant survival swimming classes before they were even one year old. Now, they are more advanced swimmers than most other kids their age. The Centers For Disease Control estimates that 1 in 5 drowning deaths are that of children under the age of 14.

It’s so important that children learn basic swimming skills as young as possible, so they not only overcome their fears of being in water, but are taught how to survive in the event of an emergency.

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