15 essential life skills for tweens (from interpersonal to financial)

15 essential life skills for tweens (from interpersonal to financial)

As tweens move into their teenage years and towards adulthood, they will need to be able to take care of themselves in several ways. This is why teaching them a range of essential life skills will help them to cope with the challenges they might face so they gain a sense of accomplishment and build resilience. Here’s what you need to know.

Related: Life skills for kids

Our favourite life skills for tweens

  1. Organisation skills

  2. Budgeting

  3. Cooking

  4. Money management

  5. Saving money

  6. Time management

  7. Social skills

  8. Decision-making

  9. Problem solving

  10. Critical thinking

  11. Resilience

  12. Self-care

  13. Online safety

  14. Emotional intelligence

  15. Responsibility


15 Essential life skills for tweens

Organisation skills

The tween years incorporate a jump from the nurturing environment of primary school to the hands-off approach of secondary school. With this comes a more complicated timetable and homework schedule. To cope tweens need to learn how to be organised, as this will help them to cope. This means teaching them how to create a system for managing their time, work and belongings.

Related: How to teach your child organisational skills


Between the ages of 10 and 13, teaching your child to budget is vital as soon they will be travelling to school and paying for lunch with money you give them. Money that needs to be allocated across the whole week. Help them learn to budget by identifying fixed daily costs and understanding needs versus wants.



Tweens should also learn how to cook simple meals and be able to make their own breakfast and lunch. Start small with your help and guidance, and build up to more detailed meals.

Money management

Tracking their money, saving for goals, and making wise financial decisions are all skills that will help tweens understand how to build a strong financial foundation for their future. Help them by giving them regular pocket money to manage.

Saving money

Another good skill to teach your tween is how to save and the benefits of saving. Do this by setting a savings goal and having them save a set amount each week towards this goal.

Time management

Tweens also need to learn how to manage their time effectively so that they can balance school, extracurricular activities, and personal time. This will help them stay organised and productive. Show them how to do this by getting them to consider how long it will take them to do homework, a chore, tidy their room etc.

Related: Time management for kids

Social skills

Show your tween how to interact with others in a positive and respectful way. These skills will help them make friends, build relationships, and resolve conflicts peacefully.


This involves weighing the pros and cons of different options. Instead of making decisions for them, let them decide. Do they want to do homework now or later, have a shower before bed or when they get up? These decisions will help them become more self-reliant.




Show your tweens how to identify and solve problems in a rational way. Ask them to identify the problem, then brainstorm possible solutions. And evaluate each one. Discuss the pros and cons of each solution to help your tween discover which solution is best.

Critical thinking

Tweens should learn how to think critically and evaluate information from different sources. To help them ask them questions that require them to think critically. For example, ask them to explain why they believe something, or to compare and contrast two different ideas. Encourage them to do their own research. This will help them learn how to find information and evaluate it. And show them not all sources of information are credible.


Tweens often need to learn how to bounce back from setbacks and challenges. Give them coping skills that they can use to deal with stress and difficult emotions such as deep breathing, relaxation techniques, or positive self-talk. At the same time encourage them to try new things, even if they're scared to help build their confidence.


Tweens need to learn how to take care of their physical and emotional health. This includes eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and managing their stress. Show them how to do it by being a good role model.

Online safety

As your tweens spend more time away alone or with new friends, help them understand the importance of responsible internet use, including online privacy, online scams, safe browsing habits, and being mindful of cyberbullying. 

Emotional intelligence

Foster empathy and emotional intelligence in tweens by teaching them to express their own emotions while considering the feelings of others. Encourage them to develop more empathy through volunteering or engaging in acts of kindness.

Related: Teaching gratitude to kids


Instil personal responsibility in tweens by teaching them to take ownership of their actions, accept consequences, and be accountable for their behaviour. Encourage them to contribute to household chores to develop a sense of responsibility towards their belongings and commitments.

Related: How to teach responsibility to a child


How can GoHenry help?


A GoHenry teen debit card can help cement the money lessons you teach your teens by showing them the benefits of pocket money, budgeting, saving and how to spend sensibly. The GoHenry app also features Money Missions, allowing teens to earn points while watching videos and taking interactive quizzes on topics including saving money and spending wisely. The app is designed to be used alongside our prepaid debit card.



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Written by Anita Naik Published Jul 14, 2023 ● 3 min. read