Five-Minute Lessons on Life Skills
July 1998

“Five-Minute Lessons on Life Skills,” Ensign, July 1998, 71

Five-Minute Lessons on Life Skills

Each week before our family home evening lesson, we have a five-minute lesson called our “practical moment.” These lessons are designed to teach our children basic living skills. Here are some of the topics we have covered.

Social Skills

  • Telephone etiquette.

  • How to act when a parent is on the telephone.

  • How to make a friend.

  • How to greet people.

  • Mealtime manners.

  • How to be a good host or hostess when a friend comes to play.

  • How to resolve a dispute.

  • Concert behavior, which we discuss before attending a play, ballet, or concert.

  • Conquering peer pressure. We role-played the following situations:

    • How to respond when asked to watch an inappropriate movie.

    • What to do if offered tobacco, alcohol, or drugs.

    • What to say if someone wants to copy schoolwork.

    • How to be friends with someone who is not popular.

  • How to write a thank-you note.

Dating skills, including restaurant etiquette, making small talk, and ideas for getting home on time.


  • How to deal with strangers.

  • When to say “No!”

  • What to do in cases of abuse.

  • Agreeing on a family password to be used whenever someone says they are representing your parents.

  • Safety at the swimming pool.


  • Appropriate behavior when visiting the temple or temple grounds or our ward meetinghouse.

  • Sacrament meeting behavior.

  • How to make fasting more meaningful and more effective.

  • Words to use when praying.

Organizational Skills

  • Goal setting: what a goal is and how to achieve it.

  • Time management skills, such as doing homework more effectively or sticking to a task until it is done.

  • How to organize a drawer or closet.

  • Homemaking tasks, such as cleaning off a counter, sorting laundry, scrubbing the bathtub, or ironing a shirt.

  • How to budget and use a checkbook.

  • How to call a store or other professional place and ask for information.

  • Skills for living away from home.


  • Why we vote and how to do it.

  • Respect for our earth.

  • How to be a good neighbor.

  • Respect for others’ property.

  • Respect for law and others in authority.

We keep our moments simple and short, and we’ve seen our children grow in confidence as they’ve learned how to function in the world.—Alan and Tere Weir, Kaysville, Utah