Children need to adapt to a fast-changing world. It is the parents’ duty to prepare their kids to have a smooth transition and provide training of basic life skills to help them achieve this. It makes children ready for all new challenges in life.
10 Life Skills to Teach Your Kids
The present generation of parents tends to be too protective about their kids. This inhibits the child from learning skills that could come handy when they move out into the world. Listed here are some vital life skills activities that your kids must develop to become self-dependent.
1. Prepare a Meal
Most schools these days have some culinary skill classes as a part of the child’s learning. Most people wonder if this skill is needed. Well, the answer is that it is a very handy life skill. Today, the family system is moving to a nuclear set-up, and most have both parents working. It is essential for the child to learn some safe and quick meal preparation methods. Preschool kids can learn basic measuring techniques and how to add cheese, butter, or jam to toast, peeling a boiled egg and so on.
Older kids between the ages 6 to 8 years can use non-fire kitchen appliances to fix a meal for themselves. Appliances such as microwave ovens and toasters have made cooking easier and safer for children these days.
Basic knife skills such as cutting, chopping, grating and slicing can be taught in their pre-teen years.
2. Do Laundry
Kids above 10 years of age are ready to help you with household laundry routine. Some basic machine operations can be taught to them. Even younger kids can help you with laundry by doing some simple tasks such as collecting the laundry clothes in the hamper, separating the whites from the colours, or folding small towels and napkins. It is never too late to start with some laundry routines at home.
3. Wake-Up Independently
We are the alarm-clocks for our children. We are also their backup plans. Inadvertently, we are the ones to instil this hope in them that come-what-may we are there to watch their backs. Is this helping them grow, or is it hampering their growth? Sometimes stepping back and letting them figure their routines is a big step towards their independence. Allowing them to set their alarm clocks and wake up on time, without any help seems like a big task, but they will get there eventually. Driving them to school if they wake up late or finding excuses to justify their late mornings is a big NO. We must let them face reality, and allow them to experience the consequences of their choices. The sense of time and discipline is a fundamental requirement for a healthy and productive life.
4. Pack Their Things
Children from a very young age get used to parents packing their bags. Their school bags, sleepover bags and even their picnic bags. Everything that goes into it is decided by the parents and put-in by the parents. This habit is not very good as the child even after growing up is unaware of what to carry for what occasions. They become forgetful when they become adults and might need constant reminders or help to pack up. Things such as forgetting office files or essential documents on business trips can be quite inconvenient. The early cultivation of packing their bags can make them independent and responsible adults.
5. Commute on Their Own Using Public Transport
We are never ready to send our children alone on public transport like buses or the metro. We are too scared that they might lose their way. However, kids must learn to use public transport systems after a certain age, whether we like it or not. Parents must teach kids map reading, understanding signs boards, deciphering route maps, knowing landmarks or even safely talking to strangers, so they learn to navigate the road on their own.
6. Order At Restaurants
Restaurant etiquette should be taught to children as soon as they reach middle school. It is important that children learn to order food respectfully and politely. Words like ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ should be used while ordering. Their table etiquette too should involve eating without creating a mess or causing any public disturbances. When children grow older and dine-out with friends and colleagues, this is this skill that will speak volumes about their personality and upbringing.
7. Take Care of Another Living Being
Kids love pets but at what age are they ready to handle that responsibility? The best pets for toddlers are fish or birds. Only at the age of 7 years or above are children prepared to handle the responsibility of cats and dogs. The best way to start teaching them to be responsible with another living-thing is, to begin with, plants (gardening).
Babysitting or taking care of siblings without adult supervision should not be encouraged before the child is at least 12 years old.
8. Manage Money
Kids are never allowed to manage finances at home. It is a myth that they must learn it when they start earning their own money. This belief is often misplaced. They can always begin to learn to spend their pocket-money wisely. You can educate them about comparing prices before making a purchase. You can also explain how some simple banking works so that they can save as well.
9. Do Grocery Shopping
Parents do not allow their kids out of their sight at the grocery store as there is a considerable risk of them going missing. However, these days grocery stores are well arranged and labelled and are also monitored through CCTV cameras, and it is okay to allow children to explore and shop for themselves.
10. Plan An Outing
This is a huge task for teenagers as it involves taking into consideration unforeseen circumstances. Choosing a place, getting parents to do the pick-ups and drops, buying stuff, ensuring the safety of others are tasks that must be completed for a successful trip. They might not get a perfect 10 the first time, but they will learn as they progress. It is a joy to see a child working meticulously to plan an outing.
Parenting is not an easy task, but it is a journey that both children and parent take together. We have to allow children to make mistakes so that they learn from them. These life skills make them better human beings too!