The time to think about teaching your kids urban survival skills is before they’re out on their own.

Basic cooking skills

Your kids should know their way around a kitchen.  They don’t need to be chefs, but they should know some basic skills.

These include being able to:

  • Properly wash their hands before cooking
  • Properly handle kitchen utensils, such as knives
  • Prevent cross contamination of food
  • Properly clean cooking surfaces before/after cooking
  • Follow cooking directions
  • Measure ingredients
  • Boil water
  • Grill a sandwich
  • Mix batter
  • Cook pancakes or waffles
  • Cook pasta
  • Cook an egg
  • Make toast
  • Bake a potato
  • Cook a frozen dinner
  • Reheat food

Laundry skills

To help your clothes stay clean, they need to be washed.  An important skill is knowing how to separate whites and darks from colors into separate loads.  Another skill is having the ability to read the label for special instructions.  It is also essential to know what temperature to use for washing and drying clothes.  Finally, it is useful to know how to fold and put away clothes.

Cleaning skills

Every person should know how to wash dishes and sweep and mop floors.  They should also learn how to keep a toilet and tub clean.  A particularly important skill is knowing how to read the directions for proper use of cleaning agents.

Effective communication skills

Say what you mean and make sure your audience understands you.  Verbal and written communication are very important skills that will help you survive in the real world.

Time management

The ability to get to appointments on time is key to success.  This  includes the ability to go to bed at a reasonable time and wake up on your own.

Proper hygiene

Nobody wants to be around someone who has a hygiene problem.  Hygiene falls into several categories.

  • Oral – brush & floss daily, visit the dentist regularly
  • Hair – keep hair clean and brushed
  • Body – shower or take baths frequently
  • Clothing – make sure your clothes are properly washed and cared for and not showing excessive wear.

Financial management

While the ability to earn money is a great skill, there is an even greater skill that will help you get ahead in this world.  It’s the ability to hold on to a portion of what you earn for future needs.

Personal responsibility

This is probably the trickiest one.  Sometimes, while growing up, young ones have not been held accountable for their actions.  This is probably the hardest one to undo.  Every action or inaction a person takes has consequences.  The sooner this is learned the better chances of survival they have.  Blaming your past actions on someone else will not solve the problems you have today.  Taking responsibility for where you are, good or bad, is the right thing to do.