13 Life Skills Every Child Should Have Before They Turn 13

There are a lot of essential life skills that a child needs to grow and be well balanced.


Have you ever given it a thought on  how independent your child actually is?

Will your child be able to look after themselves if left alone for a while?

Do you think your child is well-equipped with essential life skills to face the world?

It’s absolutely important for children to learn more than just academically, I am a strong advocate for a good academic background but these skills are more and more essential.


While we know that School, Afterschool programs and Classes can instill these skills, a Parents you also play a primary role in this too. Your Child is firs your responsibility. Life skill education is important and should be taught at home through responsibilities and training activities and not by assumptions.

1. MAKE YOUR CHILDREN DO THEIR OWN WORK:Sometime sooner or later,your Children will leave home for Work, Holiday or to pursue their Education,no matter how you shelter them at some point they will have to go. So this ability to perform chores will always come in handy.


What you need to teach your Child will include :
• Ability to do Home chores
• Ability to Wash their cloths
• Personal hygiene like caring for their hair and body
•Basic first aid
•Home Management skills( How to replace  light bulbs, how to iron, how to wash a car, change bicycle tire.


One of the worrisome things we see in 21st century parenting is that a lot of Parents do chores while their  teens and preteens get engrossed with their screens. To avoid this put out a structure, what are the things they should do then stay teaching them. If you assume that they will automatically know these skills all by themselves when they are of age, you are setting yourself up for struggles.

2. TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS:One of the things I have learnt in my parenting journey is that if you teach these skills , misbehaviour disappears. Most of the time, the reason why Parents resort to yelling and spanking is because this structures are not in place. We need to understand that Children don\’t deal well with unpredictability.


To teach these time management skills:
• Teach them How to follow timetables
•Get Alarm clock to help them understand the concept of allotted time
•Teach them to understand the Clock and time using seconds, minutes and hours
•Teach them to claim responsibilities for their own time.
•Teach them about the time quadrant( What is important and not)

The ability to manage time is an essential life skill and it can lead to productivity.

3. DECISION MAKING SKILLS:Before your Child turns 13, they should be able to make certain level of fundamental decisions for themselves. I have seen adults who still have issues with this skill.Decision making skills is something you deliberately teach your Children.


let them know how to:
•Let them know how to make choices
•Let them know how to say No!
•Let them know when to say Yes!
•Teach them consequences of decisions.

If you must allow your children learn this skill, then you must give them a voice at
home. As parents, we know that someday, they will have to make decisions
without us. How do we make sure they know how to make good decisions that
keep them safe in a dangerous world? We need to teach them how exactly to
make decisions for themselves starting from the early years.

4. MONEY MANAGEMENT AND BASIC BUDGETING:Create a. Structure that teaches your Child what Money is all about, Budget training teaches your Child not to waste money and to respect it\’s value.

5. LEARNING TO SAY NO: Do you know that the ability to say No is a skill and a lot of people actually lack this skill. Building this skill needs and has to start from the home.
If your Child cannot say No at home, then they will not learn it outside your home.
To teach this, you need to craft out a structure or a plan.


You can build the capacity to say no by:
1. Teaching what consent is all about. Educate them that they must respect the
consent of others as much as they want theirs respected also.

2. Teaching consent by role-play. Create short plays at home where you allow
the child to disagree with you by saying no to negative things.

6. COOKING SKILLS:A part of our family values at home is that cooking is a life (survival) skill not a gender role. I have come to realize that many parent don’t know the benefits of cooking maybe that’s why they don’t necessarily take out time to teach it.

These are Skills and healthy habits children learn by cooking and learning to help
in the kitchen.Your Child should be able to navigate their way in the kitchen domain

This skill brings us back to the initial question that I asked in the beginning of this post, \” Will your child be able to look after themselves you are unavailable for a while?
If you are not able to answer this question, you need to review your parenting structure.
Think through deeply

If you want to learn more about these skills, then you need to get the TIP Preteen Guide
where we have shared all the strategies that has helped Me imbibe these skills into my 10- year old twins.


Get the preteen guide here:

This blog post is part 1 of a full TIP live session, to watch the full session , please click on the embedded video below.

©️The Intentional Parent Academy ™

What skills do I Need to Raise a Child in The 21st Century


One of the errors Parents make today is to go about their parenting journey casually without developing needed skills.A lot of parents decide to wait before they start becoming intentional parents, but this is a problem because while they wait, the Child is growing.

So part of what we preach is that everyday matters as a parent.Two things happen when you are building a house, it\’s either you are building a mansion or a shanty, the same applies to parenting. It\’s either you are intentional or not, there are no sidelines.


Dear 21st century parent, to parent in this day and age you need to develop these skills that I will be listing out. Saying \”God forbid without a strategy\” is a failed plan. To raise the Gen Z\’s and Gen alpha\’s , these skills must be part and parcel of you. If you ready to go on this learning spree, let\’s dive Right in.


  1. Self leadership: Self leadership for parents is ability to lead yourself, and it is one of the things that adults struggle with. For you to raise a 21st century Child, you must be able to lead yourself. Being a leader is good but ability to show leadership is also important What is your self leadership quotient?

So ask yourself any skill I want to teach my child, so I have it?Before demanding from your Children ensure you also have it

  1. Ability to focus on your Child\’s positive behaviour not just their negative behaviour: Whatever you keep laying emphasis on will grow,if you keep emphasing on what they they are doing wrong it becomes a subconscious thought and then the Child begins to internalise it.

The more you focus on the positive behavior you child gets better, the more you focus on the bad behavior it grows worse.if you can do this right, your ability to work on things becomes better.

  1. Let your Children see you focusing on the needs of others: Part of my family values is the ability to help people, if your Child doesn\’t learn to help people they will not be fulfilled and fulfillment and happiness is one of basic needs of life. As they see you serve others, they will learn to serve.Parenting is in the works not just the words.
  2. Improve your connection skills: Many parents think they are connected with their Children but in the real sense of it they are just being present. It\’s important you realise that connection is not being present for 24/7 but the ability to connect with content and tools. Connection in parenting is always quality over quantity. You cannot connect without content, it\’s in what you have to give. As a 21st century parent your connection goal must be tight.
  3. Learn not to find yourself doing things for your Children: When you do things your Children should be able to do by themselves, it stops them from learning.I know that sometimes allowing children do tasks can be quite messy but you also need to realise that parenting is in the mess. If you are not ready to do the mess then you are not ready to parent. It is through the mess that you learn to teach.
  4. Help your Children develop social skills: One of the classes we teach in the level 1 of the TIP inner circle is \” creating a social roadmap for the genzer\” One of the things I have realised in raising children in the 21 century is that teaching social skills has become important. Couple years back, there was no need teaching social skills but the times have changed. If you are not delebrate about building or developing social skills in this time, your Child will be lost and struggle.

You need to understand that for you to raise a well rounded Child, developing Social skills includes sharing, giving feedback,seeing things from others perspective, making eye contact and managing negative emotions.

7.Give them a sense of security:When we say security it goes beyond protecting your Child from harm and insecurity. Giving your Child a sense of security in this context means showing affection.

In giving your Child a sense of security you will need to treat them with respect, acknowledge their feelings, and set consistent boundaries, be approachable, remind them that you love them unconditionally, keep your promises, be dependent and trustworthy.

  1. Develop resilience and perseverance: Angela Duckworth ,the author of Grit defines grit as perseverance and passion for long-term goals. It\’s been proven that, this is one of the most important traits that leads to success, research about success also indicates that grit is more important than IQ and a lot other factors.
  2. Develop discipline skills: In developing discipline skills, you need to be fair, firm and friendly.
  3. Develop your emotional intelligence skills:Emotional intelligence is a very vital skill and it is one skill that a lot of parents struggle with. But the truth is that all these other skills cannot work if you do not work on your emotions. Part of what will help you to embrace the messy part of parenting is to develop yourself emotionally.

There you have it, the 10 very important skills you need to develop to parent intentionally. If you notices through out this blog post, we didn\’t put much emphasis on your Child , the focus was solely on you the parent. Our mantra in the academy is that parenting is all about you and not your Child. So you will need to tell yourself that you are the one who needs work first and not your Children.


Perfection is not part of this parenting journey, you must be willing to be humble, humble to own up your process, humble to go through the mess.The journey becomes smoother when you tell yourself that you are the one that needs the work and not your child.

©The Intentional Parent Academy

If you found this blog post incredibly valuable, please check out more of our parenting guides and resources.


When should I Give my Child a Smart Phone?

Parenting in the digital age is a big deal , a lot of Parents have been bugged with the question of when they should give their children phones, as a parent Coach a lot of parents have also reached out to me to know when they should give their children a phone.

Before I give you any response, let me share some mind-blowing  statistics about Teenagers and their use of gadgets.
•62% of teenagers admit that they use their phones past bed time.
•77% admit to texting and chatting when they should be asleep.
•67% of teachers admit that today\’s teens are more distracted by smart phones all of the time.
•Only 15% of parents know their Child\’s online activities and habits.
•44% of teens have watched inappropriate things online and only 24%  of these Teena and aware of it.
•90% of Children aged 8- 16 have seen porn online
•70% of children who play games have accidentally seen porn online or doing their home work.
•The largest group.of porn consumers are children ages between 12- 17

No matter how bewildering these statistics are ,it\’s important that you still know that  , technology also has immense benefits for your child.

Whether you accept it or not technology is here to stay with us, so instead of living in denial, fear , anxiety that leads to a fire brigade approach when things go wrong as a result of handing over a phone to a Child who has not been prepared, go for knowledge.

Unfortunately I have seen parents gift their teens smart Phones for turning 13 or a certain age without any form of plan. It’s akin to giving your child a car to drive without teaching them how to drive.

Before you hand over a phone to your Child you must understand that there are two types of internet users.
1. Tech Social
2. Tech Savvy

Tech Social users are people who use the internet for the purpose of entertainment, they are solely consumers of the internet.

While Tech Savvy users are people who learn tech in order to create solutions and become productive.

So the question would be , what kind of internet users do you want to raise \”a tech savvy child or a tech Social Child\’.


The most important question should be  what will  your Child be doing with that phone or tech gadget.

If you handed a phone to your Child without considering all I will be listing out in this blog post you need to rethink and retrieve it.

The focus of this blog post is not telling you when to give your Child a smart phone but what you must consider.


1. What is my reason for handing this phone to my child? Before handing a phone to your Child , you must look at a lot of parameters. What does this Child need this phone for? Is it for communication, assignment, leisure, productivity. Remember that when the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable.


• How old is my child?
• What is Child\’s personality?
• Is my Child disciplined and self controlled?
• How independent is my Child?
• Do they respect limits set for them?
•What device is most appropriate for what your Child wants to do?
•How long will they use the phone?


Sometime ago I had a coaching session with a Parent on  Social road map for your \”Gen z child, and one of the things I needed her to do was to create a family Value system that her Child is aware of.

The first thing every home must have is a written document in form of Family values. A family value plan is a document that contains the traditional or cultural values according to a particular family\’s structure, function, roles, beliefs, attitudes and ideals.

It must have the vision and mission of your family.It is one thing to have a value system and another thing for your Children to know about it.Whenever you hand a phone over to your Child , it is like giving them full on access to the world wide web(www). Family value system guides your Children.


3. Family Media Plan: It is a written working document that helps families navigate the digital world. With this you can customize guidelines on screentime ensuring that media use is in line with family values ( this is why you need to create a family values system.

Setting guidelines around media use is important and key.With guidelines in place, you have a launching pad for open and honest conversations about media use which are vital to raising tech-savvy children.

Your family media plan should be a working document and reviewed on a regular basis to keep it relevant. Make sure you get your child’s input if they are of speaking age, so they feel included in the plan that is surely going to impact them.
This Guide will help you:
•Monitor how your children use any gadget
•Help you set guidelines for media use in your home
•Protect Your Children from negative media influence

This personalised plan also helps your Children establish a healthy relationship with media including television , smartphones, computers and tablets.With a media plan , you are able to parent your Child\’s online life .

Many children are daily handed a gadget without these necessary steps that have been stated above and unfortunately this has increased the number of children who stumble on porn or even get addicted to porn.

To help you craft your family Media Plan, I have created an easy guide that will help you produce a working document that will help you parent your Child\’s online life.


To get the guide, place your order at or send a chat to