10 Vital Life Skills We Wish Our Parents Would Have Taught Us

Growing up in an ever-changing world, young men and women rely on their parents and guardians for life advice and wisdom. Parents try their best to pass down morals and life lessons while youngsters navigate the world in their own ways. While many say they had the best parents, they still wish they had learned a few other lessons in life. In an online group, people gather to share life skills they wish they had been taught in their younger years.

1. How to Properly Apologize

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where someone apologizes to you, but it doesn’t seem genuine? Oftentimes, that apology could make the situation worse. Properly sympathizing with a person and delivering a heartfelt apology could be vital to a relationship. Loved ones will know you genuinely care about the situation and regret your actions with a strong, sincere apology.

2. Cooking Skills

Man cooking in the kitchen
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I remember my first week of being on my own in college and surviving off instant mac n cheese and peanut butter sandwiches. I knew I needed to teach myself how to cook right then and there. It wasn’t that my Mom didn’t cook; it was just that she never thought of teaching a boy how to cook when he would rather be out playing with his friends. Simple tips on how to cook cheap, healthy meals can go a long way for a youngster starting out on their own.

3. How To Manage Money

Woman with daughter saving money
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I firmly believe that solid money management skills are among the most essential skills a person can learn while growing up. Poor financial decisions can affect growth and development as a young adult. I wish my parents had explained to me that investing small amounts could drastically impact my financial stability later on in life. Whether you agree with the phrase “money doesn’t buy happiness” or not, financial security can definitely help with life’s little problems.

4. Proper Study Habits

Teen studying
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I could have been a better student. My mind would always wander, and I would become unfocused quickly. One person agrees with me, saying, “I’m pushing 60 now, and my failures as a student long ago are all on me. Still, I think I may have stood a better chance at succeeding scholastically if I just learned to look at homework as problem-solving rather than a chore to endure.” I think that making learning fun is a fantastic idea.

5. Self-reliance and Self-worth

Mother talking to daughter boosting confidence
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Having confidence in yourself is a trait most people would love to have but may struggle with. Instilling that confidence at a young age can be crucial to a person as they grow up and deal with problems in the real world. Parents may not know what obstacles their children might face, but giving them the strength and courage to battle what lies ahead can be the best thing they can do for them.

6. Speak a Second Language

Teaching daughter
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I’m not sure how my parents could have taught me this skill as they both speak only English, but I’ve had some friends regret that they were never taught the native language of their parents. To this day, I wish that the Spanish I took in high school stuck with me, as I am jealous of bilingual people.

7. Setting Boundaries

Woman ignoring the friend
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I’ve heard many friends and colleagues tell me they have a hard time telling someone no for fear of repercussions in their work and social life. While it’s perfectly fine to get out of your comfort zone occasionally, declining an invitation you do not feel comfortable with is fine. Knowing what you feel comfortable with can be vital to your mental and physical health.

8. Strong Mental Health

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Mental health has become increasingly important these days, and rightly so. Many people struggle with mental disorders that could be addressed if we were more open to discussing our emotions. This is trending in the right direction as we grow more sensitive to mental health. However, many people still do not have the outlets they need to seek the help they need.

9. Avoid Toxic Relationships

Couples arguing and fighting
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This can be traced back to a few other topics in this post. Knowing when your partner brings you down rather than uplifting you can be challenging. One lady shares, “I’ll never forget how many times my dad belittled, gaslit, and deliberately scared my mom. And would obviously do the same to my sister and me. But they wonder why we have had nothing but bad relationships or have been isolated. Even if you know logically what you want and deserve as an adult, the road to figuring out how to put that into action is insanely hard. It affected how we connect with people whether they meant to do it or not.”

10. Normalizing Emotions

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We all have emotions. It’s what makes us human. For so many years, we were told boys had to be tough and hide their emotions, while girls could be told they were too emotional. I’ve learned, as a man, in my adult life that it’s okay and healthy to cry when things bother me. Honestly, letting your emotions out could be my biggest life lesson.