Things we need to teach our kids – Help with list please

I am presently working on a list of things that we need to teach our kids for my new book. I want to give parents a large list of things we need to teach our kids. I am not going to do an age for each list item as different kids can do things at different ages. By the time your child is 18 they should be able to do all of these things. The list starts off with things for small toddlers and grows from there.

There are also only 4 options (in my opinion) for where we are in each category.

  1. Your child has successfully learned this item
  2. You are presently teaching your child how to do this
  3. You have not started teaching your child this item yet
  4. Your child knows how to do it but you do it for them – over-parenting

I would love to know what are some things I am missing. Please add in comments or send me a PM or an email.

Things that all children will need to learn at some point

  1. Put away your own clothes
  2. Use utensils properly
  3. Eat in a proper way. Mouth closed. Not talking while chewing etc
  4. Be able to blow their own nose
  5. Go to the bathroom on your own
  6. Put away their own toys
  7. Tie their own shoes
  8. Learn how to swim
  9. Brush their teeth
  10. Learn how to bath or shower themselves
  11. Put away towels after bath or shower
  12. Learn how to turn on and off the TV and other technology
  13. Learning the basics of money. Learning the difference between spending, saving, and giving
  14. Learn to say “Please” and “Thank-You”
  15. Learn how to ride a bicycle
  16. Learn how to vacuum, dust, sweep, clean windows, toilets etc
  17. Help clean up around the house
  18. Help set the table with cutlery, plates, glasses etc
  19. Learn how to cook
  20. Clear the table and do the dishes
  21. Take care of their pets
  22. Keep track of their school items.
  23. Wash a car
  24. Understand the basics of sex
  25. Change a flat/change snow tires
  26. Learn how to shovel the snow, put out salt
  27. Learn how to work in the garden, cut the lawn, trim trees, plant flowers
  28. Put air in a tire or their bike, basketball, soccer ball etc
  29. Be involved volunteering somewhere to better their community
  30. Get up in the morning without help from a parent
  31. Go to bed at a reasonable time without a parent
  32. Filling out paperwork for school or clubs. Parents should just be adding in information the kids don’t know or understand. Parents, of course, read it over when done before signing
  33. Doing the laundry. I did not say their laundry. If they are putting on laundry they can grab the family laundry basket and do a load or 2.
  34. Emailing adults like coaches or other adults with cancellations etc
  35. Do their own homework. If they need help from us as adults we are always there. This also does not mean we are talking to them about homework and seeing how they are doing. It is the idea that we are not going to hound them to get their homework done. But we will be involved in their education.
  36. Advocate for themselves at school and in society. If they get a grade that is incorrect they should be able to talk to the teacher in a respectful way and advocate for why they should get a better mark
  37. Understand proper respect for friends
  38. Learn proper use of technology. We often call this digital citizenship
  39. Learn how to drive
  40. Be involved with saving for post-secondary education
  41. Learning how to date properly. If dating is looking for a future spouse the end game is different than just looking for current companionship in life
  42. Take control of their own faith journey. They are not a Christian because their family is Christian. They should be a Christian because they believe it is true and decide to follow Christian faith for themselves.
  43. Take control of their own future. Choice of education, job etc
  44. Take control of the own extra curriculum activities.
  45. Learn how to take control of their personal fitness
  46. Learn about a proper diet
  47. Learn proper sleep hygiene (no screens before bed, cooler room etc)
  48. Directions in and around your town
  49. Learn how to address and use maps on a phone
  50. Learn how to ride bus, train, subway
  51. Go out for dinner on their own without parents and understand costs, taxes, tipping etc
  52. Learn how to control addictive tendencies of smartphones, video games etc. When do they have downtime from technology each day
  53. Learn how to deal with a cold, flu etc
  54. Learn how to travel without parents. Passports,
  55. Learn a good work ethic. Find a part-time job
  56. Learn how to talk to other adults.
  57. Learn how to talk to people in a dating relationship. Many men today are struggling with real-world relationships due to the extraordinary amount of time on video games
  58. Learn how to deal with teachers, bosses, other adults that they don’t like
  59. Learn how to deal with criticism
  60. Learn what to do if they do not know what to do

What am I missing?


#Navigating Everything


10 places we should not allow phones

We need to find a way to have a more balanced relationship with our phones. As parents, we must find a way to deal with our bad phone addictions so that we can properly model good technology use for our kids. Here are 10 places we should not allow phones in our lives.

Please check out my newest video. It would be great if you could subscribe to the YouTube channel. You will then know when new videos come out.

Leave a comment as to which of these 10 ideas you will try personally or with your family.


Parenting: Navigating Everything YouTube Channel is up

I am going to be doing weekly videos for parents under the Navigating Everything banner. Please take a look at the channel information video (below) and the first real vlog (also below) which is on how to have a Yearly Family Meeting.

Can I ask a favour from all of you? Could you go to my youtube channel ( and click the subscribe button.  If you think these videos might help parents you know please send it them as well.

Love to hear any topics you want me to cover in the videos.


Simon Sinek Q & A: How Do Cell Phones Impact Our Relationships

Such an important conversation for both students, parents, and leaders.

The most important thing to do is to get rid of the device when you’re engaging with another human being

They are afraid to talk to people

Human relationships is what makes people happy.

You don’t try and change peoples thinking to get the behavious, you change the behaviour to change their thinking.

Click here for the youtube clip if it does not load below.


New Talk is out! Parenting: Navigating Everything

My new Parenting: Navigating Everything talk is now completed. Love a chance to speak this to your parents at your church, school, conference, camp, or other events.

We all want the best for our kids but which parenting information do we choose? With over 75,000 parenting books produced in the past 21 years and the many voices, articles and online resources available, the task of figuring out where to turn for parenting advice is overwhelming. Some foundational parenting questions all parents must consider:

What are Parenting Styles and which ones should I be using in my parenting?
How can I gain better communication skills and use them with my children?
What does spending time with my kids look like?
How do I effectively discipline my children?
Various aspects of home life also need addressing, with each section being a sizeable discussion on their own. In this talk I will look at where parents can begin these discussions, (on-ramps) and give them practical tools so they can effectively talk with their kids about all of the following areas:

  • Family Discipleship (how to raise our kids in our Christian faith)
  • Health (mental, emotional, physical)
  • Sexuality (pornography, dating, marriage)
  • Media (TV, movies, music, social media)
  • Drug / Alcohol use & abuse
  • Education
  • Finances

Let’s look together at how we can best help our kids navigate the world they are growing up in.

They will not be with me forever, so I prepare them accordingly. – Trophy Child, Ted Cunningham

Click here for the link to my website.

New poster is below


Adults who went undercover at a high school found 7 things people don’t realize about life for teenagers today

I would agree with the findings from this TV show.

High school is nothing like it used to be.

That’s the message of “Undercover High,” a documentary series on A&E that follows seven adults who pose as students for a semester at Highland Park High School in Topeka, Kansas.

The undercover students, aged 21 to 26 when the show was filmed last year, took classes, joined clubs, and saw firsthand the struggles teenagers go through in their everyday lives. Even for the participants who graduated as recently as five years ago, their return to high school was completely different from their first time around.

Here are seven things the undercover students learned about high-schoolers that most adults don’t realize.

  1. Social media has changed the game.

  2. Teachers have less control than ever.

  3. Bullying doesn’t stop when the final bell rings.

  4. Girls are constantly pressured to share sexual images of themselves.

  5. They are struggling with depression in record numbers.

  6. Teen pregnancy isn’t what it used to be.

  7. And most of all, they just want someone to talk to.

Click here to read more on each of these 7 findings.

Parents, how are you addressing these things in your home to equip and empower your kids to be able to deal with them outside the home?