It’s important to give our girls the right skills they need to grow up as independent and self-sufficient adults. Gone are the days when little girls only needed to know how to cook and clean. Today, we want to set our daughters off in the right direction before they become adults.
We wish we could be around our little girls their whole lives and always take care of them when they need us. But in reality, it’s our jobs as parents to raise them to be out on their own. These 15 Skills Your Daughter Should Know before she becomes an adult, are essential to learning before she goes out on her own one day.
My daughter, at the cute little age of 9 years old, tells me she never wants to get married and live with me forever. While this makes me smile to know that she loves me that much, it also makes me sad to think I’m not quite doing my job as a mom.
Because even though I never want to lose her, I also want to see her grow up and experience life. And in my mind, I laugh and think “let’s see if you think the same thing when you’re 18?”
Deep down I know she will grow up and be a super independent woman (because good lord she is a strong-willed girl already). One day she will be stubborn and want to do everything on her own. So as her mom, the best thing I can do is teach her the skills she needs in adulthood before she becomes an adult.
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15 skills your daughter should know before she becomes an adult
How to say please and thank you
Really, this is a skill everyone of every age should master. Politeness takes you far and with as much entitlement there is in the world lately, we need to remember this more than ever. And I’m not just talking about saying please and thank you to mom and dad. I mean to everyone. Your daughter should be able to say this to the CEO of a company, a janitor, the person who bags your groceries, waiters, anyone. Monkey see Monkey do. The best way to teach your kid this skill is to practice it yourself. Our little ones are always watching and they learn from us!
How money works
Student loans. Credit card debt. Flashy items social media tells us we HAVE to have. Kids are going to be set up for disaster if they don’t have some kind of grasp on how money works before they go off on their own. Schools should be teaching these skills but they don’t. Money and budgeting is one skill that’s never taught, yet something so essential to adulthood. By the time your kid turns 18, they should know how debt works, about bank accounts, and about budgeting. They also need to learn the importance of knowing who you should or should not trust with money.
How to take a compliment
Couldn’t we all use this piece of advice? Accepting a compliment isn’t just about being nice, it shows confidence. Your daughter should know how to say thank you if someone says she looks nice. But more importantly, she should know how to accept a compliment for any job well done. Whether it be school or work or handling a tough situation, she should be able to accept and acknowledge what she accomplished.
Home Economics skills
Sounds so old fashioned, doesn’t it? But really, girls should know basic skills that will ensure them that they can function living on their own one day. Cooking, cleaning, sewing on a button. It’s not considered a dig on feminism, it’s about teaching them skills to survive on their own and not be dependent on someone else to always do things for them. Or to pay for these basic skills, which brings us back to teaching them how money works.
How to fix any problem
Speaking of not being dependant on anyone else, girls should know how to fix things. Basic home and car maintenance. Or at the very least, know where to go to find a solution to any problem. They are growing up in a YouTube era… teach them to watch how-to videos (and I don’t mean how-to make slime).
How to defend themselves
This is twofold. The world is a scary place and at some point, you will need to let your little birds fly. Teach them some basic self-defense moves. But also teach them when to run and when to hide. With all these school shootings, my daughter and I have already had these discussions. She knows when to play dead (school shooting) when to hide (home alone) and when to run (someone following you). But as she gets older, she will definitely know some self-dense moves to get her out of any situation… including a bad date.
Girls should also know how to defend themselves with their words. It’s important to teach them not to let people walk all over them, whether it be in a work situation or a dating situation. Hell, even in a friend situation.
Any mother of a young kid knows this seems an impossible task. That’s why we yell at kids 10 times to get a pair of shoes on when we have to leave in 5 minutes. By the time young girls become adults, they should have a pretty good concept of time management. So that means how to get out the door on time and show up to places on time. But that also means how to prioritize things in their life such as social events, work, school, etc.
Knowing their bodies
Girls should have a really good concept on how bodies work. Especially theirs. Between reproductive issues and hormones, it’s important they learn how to handle these things as they come. But it’s also important for girls to know what their body is capable of. Do they need more sleep than average? Is exercise essential? Are there some foods they should stay away from?
How to say no
This is actually one of my favorites. I think the first thing that comes to mind is how to say no to a guy. Which is obviously very important. But it’s even more critical for girls to know how to say no to anything. They should be aware of being pressured to do something. Even if it’s something with their friends or an extra assignment at work. It’s all apart of learning how to stand up for yourself and not becoming a people-pleaser. Even as adults a lot of us struggle with that. Teach girls at a young age how to say no and not feel guilty about it.
How to be environmentally friendly
I watch my 9-year-old daughter get so pissed off at people who litter and I wonder, will she be this way all her life? Cause it seems like kids learn this skill in school but yet most of them forget it by the time they become adults. Why is that? All the way until they are adults, set a good example and teach them about the environment. About litter and recycling, and about respect for wildlife.
That words are powerful
Oh, the mean things middle school girls say to each other! It drives me crazy. Kids can get over things pretty quickly but adults do not. It’s important for girls to know how powerful their words are. They should be aware that their words can hurt people and cause irreparable damage to relationships. But they should also know words can be powerful in a great way. To stand up for rights, or stand up for themselves. They just need to be guided in the right way to use their words by the time they become adults.
To have the right kind of friends
In school, its all about how many friends you have, how big your group is and how popular you are. In the adult world, you learn it’s the exact opposite. Teach your girls early that the kind of friends they have are way more important than how many friends they have. Teach them also what they should expect from friendships and what they shouldn’t tolerate. Friends can be a great guidance when girls become adults, set them off with the right ones.
How to own up to your mistakes
As much as we want to teach our daughters to have powerful voices, we also want to teach them how to own up to their mistakes. Instead of lying, or accusing others, girls should know the power of owning up to what you did and correcting it. If they messed up at a job or betrayed a friend. Teach them to be honest.
Appearances do matter
Stay with me on this one. I’m not at all saying girls should be thin and beautiful and care about their looks. What I am saying is that girls should understand their appearance is important. They should know basic grooming skills, and how to dress for certain situations such as job interviews, weddings, funerals, etc… They should also understand that it is cool to express themselves with purple hair and tattoos (hell, I’ve had both of those myself) but when it’s appropriate to do so and how it could affect them in certain situations.
Don’t follow a pattern
The one thing I hope my daughter learns the most is how NOT to follow a pattern as an adult. I’ve seen too many people end up miserable because they thought they HAD to follow the rules of life. Four-year college, marriage, kids, 9-5 job, retire. It doesn’t have to be that way. Girls can make their own patterns and change them along the way. Be open to change along the way and teach them they are never too old to change their minds and change their paths in life.