Things You Should Know Before You’re 18.

Are you teaching your kids to be independent?  Can you do everything on this list?


Keeps them from drowning.  Add floating on your back and drown proofing.

Write a check.

A mundane act that will allow you to do everything in life.

Balance a checkbook

With writing a check. You can’t do one without the other.

Scramble eggs

Learn to cook one simple thing and in that avoid being addicted to fast food and restaurants.

Wash a car

Aside from getting a clean car, a child should learn to do a difficult task well.

Sharpen a knife

You would be amazed how many people go through Life not knowing how to sharpen a knife.  They’re usually the one with all the scars.

Sew a button

The lack of this skill has made the t shirt a universal uniform.

Change car tire

Many folks come to the realization that they are totally clueless about the procedure.  Usually beside the road.

Paint a house inside and out

Another task that demands precision, attention to detail and perseverance. Three traits that should be instilled in every child.

Use a sewing machine

Don’t buy new clothes. Fix the ones you have.  In fact. Get good at it and make your own clothes.

Light a water heater

Everyone likes hot water and complains when they don’t have it. Few know where it comes from.

Cursive handwriting

Not that you’ll ever use it but once again teaches precision and attention to detail.

Write a letter

After learning to write cursive. Learn to write a proper letter and mail it.

Pump gas into a car

An easy skill often overlooked in child rearing.

Tie six different knots

This simple skill will serve you all your life.


What? No phone, lights or running water?  Makes you appreciate civilization and the wilderness at the same time.

Build a fire

We’re not talking about arson.  Build a fire without gasoline or lighter fluid.  For Bonus Points, don’t use matches.

Reset or replace a blown house fuse

A simple household skill that fosters independence and kills that fear of the dark.

Fix a leaky faucet

Learn to do it or put the plumber’s kids through college. Which is a better idea?

Unstop a toilet

You’d be amazed how many adults don’t have a clue.


Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Learn to wash your own shit.

Make coffee

Even if you don’t drink it, it will make you useful around the office.

Shoot a gun

Along with sound firearms safety it is a amazingly empowering.

Drive a car

A modern basic Life Skill that I feel should be taught as soon as they can reach the pedals.

Make change

Aside from forcing you to do math in your head, it keeps you from getting ripped off.

Mop a floor

You mess it up. You clean it up. Also fosters pride.

Saw a piece of wood

Without hurting yourself.  Bonus points for being able to use three power tools correctly.