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The 8 Cs: What Your Kids Need to Know Before They Leave Home

(The following is a summary of the transcripts for the above podcasts. For a full transcript, email with your request.)

BR 62: Part 1

It’s Connie Sokol, and I’m so happy to have you back for more great stuff. And I am actually doing a three-part series with this topic, this topic of preparing your child to leave home. Are they prepared?

In this episode, I will introduce you to what the 8 C’s are, my Life Skills Checklist, and we will talk about the three things for the C’s that you need to know. In this podcast, we’ll focus on the three C’s: Communication, Cleaning, and Cash.

So, that’s why I have this “8 C’s: What They Need to Know Before They Leave Home,” so that you as a parent can relax and you’re not stressed out wondering, “Are they prepared to go out into the real world?” So, the 8 topics that I’m going to cover in this three-part series are the 8 C’s, and that includes to:









First, ask yourself, were they taught? It does not matter if they listened. It doesn’t matter if they slept through everything you shared. It doesn’t matter if they rolled their eyes or slam their door. Did you teach them? Because if you taught them, you did your job. All right. Now that doesn’t mean of course we force them. We made them sit there, you know, on one of those polygraph tests and asked them questions. We didn’t do that. No. We just said, “Hey, I’m teaching, I’m sharing. I’m letting you know this is the, these are things that you need to know to go out into the real world,” and they have their choice whether or not they want to listen. So, that’s not your deal.

That outcome is really not your problem or your concern in the sense that of course we want to produce wonderful, stellar contributing adults, right? Absolutely. But don’t keep yourself up at night by saying, “Oh, my gosh, they chose not to listen to what I taught them.” That’s their choice.

So you are focused on “What did I teach?”

So, number two is: yes, I do have little mini checklist of life skills that is available now. It’s just a guide. It is not a stick to beat you with, but a trampoline to help you soar, or some such beautiful cliche. It’s not for you to stress out. It’s really just to get a bead on, “Okay, nowadays, what are the life skills that a young child needs to know? What does a teenager need to know? What does a young adult need to know? What are some of those basic life skills that they need so that I can kind of go through that list and go, ‘Oh yeah, that’s right.'”

So, it’s a little checklist of life skills that would be really helpful for them to do. To get that, just go to and you can contact me there, or just do an email to

Number three: Do not complicate this, ‘kay? Do not feel, “All of a sudden now I’ve got to do a three-week summer camp on all these skills that I didn’t teach my child!” Please don’t–just don’t complicate it. Teach them in everyday ways. You can do this in daily life. It’s just about being intentional and actionable.

All right, so on this first one, we’re just going to touch on the three C’s of Communication, Cleaning, and Cash.

So, the first thing, let’s jump into the communication aspect. We always tend to just skip right to cook and clean and all of that stuff because we think, oh, life skills, that’s what they need, but let me tell you this: if your child cannot look someone in the eye and have a functional, meaningful conversation, they are going to struggle. And we’ve seen it. Kids dealing with anxiety, not being able to hold professional conversations, not being able to have personal conversations. This is a really important life skill.

So again, have a child in mind. Consider what they’re going to do with a roommate or a coworker, maybe a travel buddy, maybe a humanitarian or a church mission companion. Really think about that in terms of, “Okay, what do they need?” because here’s that last little tip: you will know in your gut and your soul of souls as a mother what your child needs, and what they haven’t yet been taught.

So, first is “Communication.” Let’s go through and with each of these three C’s, let’s go through type, skills, and approach.

So the first thing, communication is the type, and I’m talking about personal communication and professional communication because they’re gonna need to do both.

What are the skills that they’re going to need for that? Well, in both of those skills they are going to need to do a greeting. They’re going to need to make eye contact and then they’re going to need to be able to ask, listen, or respond. So really it’s an acronym. If you kind of loosely do it, it’s GEAR. So kind of GEAR up for that communication.

So, “G” is a greeting. So, a greeting: “Hi, how’re you doing?”

“E”: Eye contact, maintaining the eye contact.

And then, “Ask”; maybe they need to ask a question or make a request, then they need to listen. They don’t just keep interrupting.

The last piece is to “R”–respond, and that’s nonverbal and verbal.

But they have to have some kind of response, not just verbal but nonverbal. They have to have some kind of cue that they’re involved in what’s happening and then of course the verbal response of being able to say, “Yes, I understand what you’re saying,” or be able to clarify it. “So, I was understanding what you’re saying here as . . . Or, “I’m not understanding what you’re saying here . . .”

So, remember: GEAR–greeting, eye contact, ask-listen, and respond and then help them to understand how to use pronouns. So, if they’re dealing with a problem, they can go up to their boss and say, “You know, I understand that that project was supposed to be completed today, is that correct?” So good to get a clarifying question under your belt because then it doesn’t assign blame. It doesn’t make a factual statement when you don’t know what the facts are. It just shows that you’re interested in getting information and being able to show what you understand, and then being open to what more might be available.

This is really helpful between whether you’re doing a request or whether you’re just listening. “Oh, I understand what you’re saying. I understand that you’re needing this by Friday, is that right?”

Again, not accusatory, not negative, but being able to just seek for understanding. As Stephen Covey says, “use a calm, clear tongue”. Keep a calm, clear tone and approach.

So, what’s important for “Clean” is that they know some basics. I will just give you three basics.

They really do need to know, clean a bedroom, clean a bathroom, clean the kitchen.
So the type is: personal space and public space.

On a skill level, they need to know how to do just a quick tidy of the bedroom. So, give them three things that they know in their soul before they leave home. That’s what’s called a quick tidy. Quick tidy of the bedroom is make the bed, pick up the clothes, trash the trash. That’s a quick tidy.

Now, the last one is “Cash.” The first is again type, skills, approach.

The type is the difference between daily finances, which is your living daily life, and then future finances. So like investing and that kind of thing.

The second thing is, show them how to do bills.

Lastly, is to do a resume together. I start them out at about age seven–I really do. I have a little resume that I put up on their board. It’s really cute. They do yard work and they do chores and it’s really cute. But as they get older, they see this work-life experience and how this helps them be able to put that on their resume. Oh, you just learned a life skill. Put that on your resume. Hey, you just helped out the neighbor during that three day project. That counts as work experience. Put that on your resume, and this actually has helped out a lot.

On the approach as far as how to teach this, remember it, there’s some times to do the scheduled, like a family teaching night and then there’s impromptu.

So, listen to the next podcast for the next segment of the 8 C’s. As always, remember to make this a part of your purpose filled life!

BR 63: Part 2

Welcome back! I’m Connie Sokol and we are back for Part 2 of the 8 C’s: What Your Kids Need to Know Before They Leave Home. Today we’ll focus on three more C’s: Cook, Car, Christ. And again, if you have a different belief system, then you just put that right in there.

It’s not our job to teach every jot and tittle so that they have every single life skill they’ve ever needed. No, not at all. But it’s helping them know how to do some of those basics.

Another thing to remember is baby steps–line upon line. So, as I’m teaching my kids life skills, as I mentioned in the last one about the dishwasher, they started off with emptying the silverware, then emptying a tray, then loading a tray than emptying the whole dishwasher. Then loading the whole dishwasher. Step by step, that’s how we grow. That’s how we learn.

So, starting off with “Cooking”–how does cooking go in your life? Is it grabbing something through a drive-through and the variety is which place we’re stopping at? Is it foraging from the sideboard? Is it sitting down to a meal at the table? Is it a Martha Stuart’s experience or a Rachel Ray? What does that look like for you and your family?

So, I want to keep it simple. I want to keep it fun and I want to teach them how they can put this into their lives in a really doable way so that they’ll actually do it when they leave home. So the first thing is: make it simple.

So the second thing is: to make it fun and appealing.

And then, the last thing is: make it matter. I promise you, as you make mealtime matter, it will become a tradition and a beautiful thing for your family. Even if you feel like, okay, nothing good is happening here. They’re just fighting over the biscuits. It really is something fabulous.

So on the cooking, make it simple, make it fun and appealing, and make it matter. Make that time a time where you connect, you talk, you laugh, you, you disagree about stuff and it’s all over food. It’s very Italian feeling. Make it that kind of experience and they will continue that tradition as they move on. Even if it’s a little bit adjusted when they move to a different apartment or into a different place, they will keep that rhythm with them and I’ve seen that happen.

Now the third thing that we’re going to talk about is maybe a little bit delicate, like I said before, and it is about Christ, and as I’ve said before, whatever your belief system is, remember–just a spiritual approach (but it didn’t start with a “C”).

So, you just choose what works for you, whether it’s nature, whether it’s to find influence, whether it’s a higher power, whatever that is. I can tell you we need to give our kids that kind of base. They’ve got to have something solid that is more than them, something that is above and beyond them. They, when studies again show that when they know that there is a higher power or something that is more than them, they are more altruistic, they are more compassionate, they’re more kind, they’re more aware of others, they are more courteous, they’re more civil. Again, the blessings and the benefits just keep going on and on and on. So the couple of things that I just want to quickly share with you about this are establish spiritual rhythms and create sacred spaces.

I’m moving you forward with the cooking and the Christ and I just realized we did not go over the car. So we will do two today and because it’s hitting 30 minutes and I don’t want to have you be overloaded, so we will do car in the next one. So, stay tuned for the next part of the 8 C’s.

And remember, if you want more great stuff, go to

BR 64: Part 3

In this third podcast, we’re going to do the last 3 C’s: Connection, Car, and Contribute.

For more juicy tips, programs, podcasts, and other goodies, go to, and find some great tools to live your purpose filled life. Thank you for joining me!

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