It’s absolutely important for children to learn more than just academically.
Life skill education simply cannot stop with the exposure your child receives in school. To learn its importance, a child needs to be taught at home through experiences and training activities.
Let’s also look at how you can teach your child these skills.
Here are few life skills to equip your child with:
- Basic Self-defence:
Basic self-defence is a must — be it for your son or your daughter. Most schools these days invest in teaching basic self-defence to children. But if your child’s school does not, don’t hesitate to send them for classes outside.
- First-aid and the importance of health:
This is essentially something the child’s schooling should cover but I strongly encourage its reinforcement at home by teaching your child essential first aid steps.
And this you can do by showing them a first aid kit and its contents. Children are, after all, excellent learners!
Another important skill is teaching your child to take care of their health. Instead of forcing your child to eat vegetables, talk to them about health risks in eating junk food all the time and explain how the healthy food will benefit them in a way that they can apply to themselves.
- Make them do their own work:
Most parents run around doing everything for their children so much so that the child doesn’t get involved in anything. This shouldn’t be the case.
Be it putting their school bag together or taking the plate to the kitchen, ensure your child is ‘responsible’ for their work. Teach these skills now, before it’s too late!
- How to manage time:
You’re probably wondering how. Well, you can do this by getting your kid to claim responsibility for their own time.
Do this by getting them an alarm clock that they can use to wake up on time for school, instead of you waking them up.
Get them a planner to use to track their school work and other extra-curricular work and to keep track of what needs to be done by when.
When they do this, they will automatically begin to allow specific amounts of time for play and for work.
- Decision-making skills:
Education, career, life partners — there are so many important decisions we need to make in our lives.
Teach them in small and simple ways how to make wise decisions. Start by asking them to choose between 2 activities or games; 2 different types of clothes; 2 different food items, etc.
So guide your child through the process, help them weigh the advantages and disadvantages before they make their decision!
- Managing money & basic budgeting:
Give your children a certain amount of pocket money every week or every two weeks that they have to use for their expenses.
If they wish to buy something a little more expensive, ask them to save up their pocket money to buy it.
This will motivate them more. The concept of comparative shopping also comes under the concept of teaching your child about budgeting.
- How to shop:
Always take your child grocery shopping with you. Once your child knows where the different categories of items are shelved, give them a basket and ask them to get a few easy-to-find things for you.
- Involve them in simple cooking:
Teach your child how to make their own jam sandwiches, teach them how to butter a slice of bread, and how to make a salad.
Have them tear up greens, squeeze lemons, and put chopped vegetables together to make a salad.
- Importance of environmental preservation:
Instilling the importance of environment and sustainability at an early age will teach your child to be more loving towards the planet. Teach your kid why preserving the environment is essential by making small lifestyle changes at home. Get them to practise eco-friendly habits in everything they do.
- Finish tasks independently:
Let your children do their own tasks. Let them pack their own school bag, make their own bed, and even pack their own lunch!
- How to interact with people:
Teach your children to do exactly what adults do. Teach them to differentiate between good strangers and bad strangers. Teach them how to interact with good strangers.
Teach them how to make friends, how to be friendly to good adults, and just how they should go about interacting with these people.
- Cleaning and other household chores:
Start small by just asking them to keep their room clean, make their bed, and make sure everything they own is in its right place.
You can ask them to dust the tables one day and ask them to take the trash out on another; you can also ask them to set the table in whichever way they think looks the best and ask them to get creative with it
- Basic etiquettes & how to order at restaurants:
Teach your kid about how to behave at a restaurant and how to place an order. Ask them to place their own orders and decide on what they want to eat on their own.
Also teach them how to eat with a knife and fork, how to place the knife and fork on
- Basics of travelling:
From learning to ride a cycle to learning how to use public transport, make sure your child knows how to do these things along with routes.
Teach them how to buy metro or bus tickets, teach them the basics of which metro train or bus goes to your house from school.
These are important skills that your child will need for later as well as for emergencies.
- Looking at situations from others’ perspectives:
When your child comes to you about a problem that he or she had with their friend or a problem that they witnessed, encourage them to look at the situation that took place from the perspective of others.
Even explain the emotional reactions of people every chance you get. Explain why someone is sad or angry.
This increases their problem-solving abilities and their level of understanding of the people around them greatly.
- Resilience & Adaptability:
Another important skill would be to teach your child to be resilient. How you can do this is by ensuring you don’t feed your child with solutions all the time.
Empower your child to problem-solve by themselves so that they’re ready to face challenges as and when they come. They must learn resilience to adapt to different changes and different environments.
By the time a child is six or seven, they’ve developed the foundation of their personality and this kind of life skill development really enhances positive personality traits.
Developing life skills is important so our kids have a brief idea of what they want to do in life and essentially keep in mind the kind of person they want to be.
(This article/text/quote/image is shared in good spirit to strengthen the education system.)