Life skills are valuable lessons kids will use throughout their lifetime. But most kids don’t learn how to handle real-world situations until they’re in high school.
Get a jump start on teaching your children practical lessons. Start with decision-making and then build on each life skill lesson as your children grow.
- Decision-Making Skills
Making good decisions is a life skill every child should begin learning at a young age. Begin with basic choices like chocolate versus vanilla ice cream, blue socks or white socks, playing trains or playing cars. When kids reach elementary school age, they can begin learning about the rewards of good decisions and the consequences of bad decisions.1
- Health and Hygiene
Explain why health and hygiene are always going to be crucial parts of their routine. As your children begin learning about this life skill, set up a chart that allows them to check off each task as they complete it. When these healthy habits are established, you’ll be able to take away the chart and your kids will complete these tasks without you having to continually remind them.
- Time Management
Teaching younger children how to measure time, stay on task, and keep to a schedule helps make your days easier. Learning this life skill also helps them become masters of time so they can do everything from get up on schedule to someday getting to work on time.
- Meal Prep
Even the youngest children can learn how to prepare a meal. We’re not talking about a five-course dinner, of course, but you can teach preschoolers how to fix a sandwich and elementary school kids to use the microwave. And from tots to teens, your kids can be your sous chefs when it comes time for you to cook.
- Money Management
We teach our kids to count. We teach our kids basic math. We can take those lessons further and turn them into life skills they can begin using right now.
Teach your kids effective money management so they can learn how to save, spend wisely, and make change.
Sometimes it’s easier for parents to do all the housekeeping themselves. But that’s a missed opportunity for us to teach our kids how to keep the house clean, which they’ll eventually need to know when they leave your home and have their own space to take care of.
Start with age-appropriate chores that include learning how to make the bed, empty the dishwasher, and dust furniture. Also, think of the daily messes your kids make and how they can clean up after themselves.
Teaching your children how to wash, fold and put away their laundry is a life skill that will help them; it will also help you.
Toddlers can learn a lot by helping you with laundry, such as sorting clothes by color and understanding textures. As they grow, kids can start putting the clothes in the washer and transferring them to the dryer.
- Comparison Shopping
“I want it! I want it! I want it!” How many times have you heard this when your kids spot candy, a toy, a T-shirt, a fish, or just about anything else that they think they’ve got to have right now?.
Maybe the one in the store where you are is the best deal and top product after all. But teaching kids to be smart shoppers and taking the time to comparison shop will help them save money everywhere they go while also making smart decisions about the products they choose.
- Ordering at Restaurants
As parents, we tend to place our children’s orders at restaurants just to make things easier on the server. However, letting our kids order for themselves is fun for them and builds self-esteem and confidence.
- Getting Dressed and Ready
Kids can learn how to get ready on their own at an early age. Let them pick out the clothes they’ll wear the next day before they go to bed. Choose an alarm clock that’s easy for them to set. Layout their hairbrush and toothbrush. Use visuals to illustrate the entire process.
- Maintenance Around the House
Kids love to be your big helper and there’s always light maintenance around the house that they can pitch in to do. Simple tasks include showing them how to change the toilet paper roll or bag up the trash. Older children can learn how to change a light bulb, unclog a drain, and change the vacuum cleaner bag.
(This article/text/quote/image is shared in good spirit to strengthen the education system.)