25 life skills a 12-year-old should know

25 life skills a 12-year-old should know


Much of parenting is passing on essential life skills at the right age to ensure your child has what they need to cope with life. With that in mind, here are 25 life skills to fine-tune in your 12-year-old.


Twelve is an age when kids become more independent and start to develop life skills that will serve as a foundation for their future. While these skills will grow over time, you can help nurture their growth through positive reinforcement and by giving your child opportunities to practise. Here’s what you need to know.




Money skills

Money is integral to daily life, and becoming financially literate is an essential life skill. Basic money life skills give children confidence and prepare them for the financial responsibilities they will face as adults.

Saving money

If your child still hasn’t caught the savings bug, now’s the time to remind them how to set aside some of their weekly pocket money for big-ticket items they really want.


Sticking to a budget is an important lesson in financial decision-making. Be clear about what their pocket money must cover each week and show them how to budget to make their money last.

Ads and scams

It’s never too early to talk about online ads and financial scams, especially if your child is on social media and loves gaming (don’t forget to discuss in-game purchases, too).

Protecting their money

Ensure your kids know how to keep their financial information and cards safe, from protecting their pin at ATMs to not giving their cards to anyone else to use.

Encourage them to earn

Your child won’t be able to get a regular part-time job until they’ve turned 13, but it’s still a good idea to allow them to earn some extra cash via chores to start understanding the value of money.




Household skills

Helping with cooking

Twelve-year-olds yearn to be more independent, so teach your child how to cook, a life skill that’s not only practical for daily living but also for their future,

Tidying their room

Tidying up teaches responsibility, as it involves taking care of your personal space and ensuring it’s clean and clutter-free.

Personal hygiene

With puberty comes a bigger need for personal hygiene. Help your child to understand what this means for them.

Washing up

This is an essential life skill they will need sooner than they think when they head off to university and live with friends.


Teens also generate a lot of laundry, so learning how to do their own laundry helps instil independence and an idea of what it takes to look after their clothes.


Personal growth skills

Personal growth skills help children understand themselves better, including their strengths, weaknesses, interests, and values. All of which are vital for success and happiness in life.


Help your child develop motivation by setting achievable goals. This will empower your child to take initiative in learning and maintain a positive mindset that can be applied throughout their lives. 


Encourage your 12-year-old to view challenges and failures as opportunities for growth, emphasising the importance of learning from setbacks.


Help your 12-year-old to be organised by creating a daily schedule to establish structure and organisation in their day. Teach them to use calendars, planners, or digital apps to keep track of assignments and deadlines. 

Time management

Teach your child to break tasks into smaller, manageable steps and prioritise based on deadlines and time. Encourage them to use an alarm to help them stay on track and manage their time effectively.


Self-awareness is crucial in a child as it lays the foundation for emotional intelligence, helping them understand and manage their emotions and those of others. Help them by discussing daily experiences.


Social skills

Social skills are crucial for children's overall development and play a significant role in their success and well-being in personal relationships and work.

Good communication

Ensuring your child can express themselves clearly, share ideas, and seek help when needed helps with emotional and cognitive development and relationships. Help them by engaging in regular conversations about their day.


This is crucial for emotional development. To teach a 12-year-old empathy, discuss different viewpoints, talk about emotions, and provide opportunities for them to practise kindness.

Conflict resolution

Showing your 12-year-old how to deal with conflict is crucial as it equips them with essential problem-solving skills, fosters healthy relationships and helps build resilience.

Building healthy relationships

The best way to build this life skill in your child is by modelling what healthy relationships look like and discussing what unhealthy relationships are


Fostering the ability to work collaboratively with others is another essential life skill. Help your child by encouraging participation in group activities and teaching them to appreciate diverse contributions they may not always agree with.


Work skills

Critical thinking

Critical thinking is important for 12-year-olds as it enables them to analyse information, make informed decisions, and solve problems effectively. It also prepares them to navigate challenges and make sound judgments in various aspects of life. Help them fine-tune this by giving them thought-provoking challenges.


Not all 12-year-olds are good at making decisions, but you can support them by involving them in age-appropriate choices and discussing the pros and cons of each option. Encourage them to consider potential outcomes, weigh consequences, and reflect on personal values when making decisions.


This is a much-needed life skill for teens as they transition slowly to adulthood. Encourage this by exposing them to new experiences and changes helps build resilience and the ability to navigate different situations.


Instilling self-discipline helps kids build routines, set goals, and develop the ability to stay focused on tasks. It also lays the groundwork for personal responsibility and long-term success. Help them by setting clear expectations for homework and chores.


A crucial life skill is knowing how to identify tasks based on urgency and importance and completing high-priority items before moving on to less critical ones. Help them by minimising distractions like phones when they have homework to do.


How can GoHenry help

GoHenry's mission is to make every kid smart with money. The card and app are packed with great features that help kids safely and securely learn about money, from saving to smart spending. In-app Money Missions make learning about money fun and engaging with videos and quizzes covering everything from saving to budgeting. Parents can set flexible parental controls in the GoHenry app and receive real-time spending alerts whenever their kids/teens use their GoHenry kids’ prepaid debit card. You can also create savings goals and recurring pocket money payments.





Written by Anita Naik Published Feb 5, 2024 ● 6 min. read