From reading, writing to mathematics, your kid learns pretty much all of that knowledge at school. But, what about other important life skills they need to know. With so much for our children to learn in today’s world, it’s all too easy for them to miss out on practical life skills. Whether it’s just folding clothes, reading a map, or cooking a meal. Ensure your kids are prepared for whatever the world throws at them now with these 7 essential life skills.
Focus and Self-Control
Kids learn better on schedules, habits, and routines, which not only create a feeling of security but also help them learn self-control and focus. You can start by talking with your child about what to expect each day. Organize your home so your child knows where to put shoes, coats, and personal belongings. The world is full of distractions, so quiet activities like reading a book, playing chess, or just doing a puzzle can help your child slow down and increase their focus.
Sort Through Online News
Knowing how to avoid dangerous content and individuals online is becoming more and more important these days. Also, kids need to learn how to be sensible web consumers and creators, especially with the troubling rise of fake news. Recent studies found that most kids (from 10 to 18-year-old) can’t exactly tell fake news from the real deal. To help your kids on the right track, focus on reading comprehension, and critical thinking skills. One way to do this outside of actual reading together is to play “spot the mistakes” with online news by encouraging your kid to tell you what they just learned on the internet.
Children need personal interactions every day to build healthy social-emotional skills. While the pace at which they develop these skills may vary, children need to learn how to read social cues and be a good listener. They should consider what they want to communicate and the most effective way to share it. Just talking with adults can help build these skills. Spend time every day listening to and responding to your child without distractions.
We live in a complex world in which people are required to analyze information and make decisions about everything every day. One of the best ways to build critical thinking is through open-ended play. Make sure your child has time to play alone or with friends every day. This play might include taking on roles (pretending to be firefighters or superheroes), playing board games, or outdoor activities. Through play, your kid will try out their ideas, make mistakes, and come up with solutions. All of these are essential elements in building critical thinking.
Cooking Simple Meals
Invite your child to help you prepare a meal, assign them basic jobs to do like measuring the ingredients. Remember to stay calm when they make mistakes. While preschoolers can spoon yogurt into a bowl and add fruits, kids older than 5 years old can make sandwiches or make a simple salad. Focus on safety and let’s start cooking! Then you might just have a MasterChef Junior!
If you’ve ever gotten lost following a map or GPS, then you should know it isn’t that easy (even if you have a smartphone). Start by teaching your kids how to map familiar places like their neighborhood, school, or favorite playground in their mind. Next, you can teach them about directions or simple symbols on the map. Here are some activities that will build your child’s navigational skills:
Treasure Hunt. Reading maps might seem boring. But, using a map to find treasure is a totally different story. Hide the “treasure”, which can be toys or a gift, in your backyard or a park, and then draw a simple sketch to mark their location. Show your kids how to navigate, use a compass, or use objects to mark the trace.
Letting your kid lead the way. Zoos, museums, or theme parks have colorful, easy-to-read maps. Ask your preschooler to track her path, and challenge your kid to get you from point A to point B.
It’s a good idea to also have them learn to follow directions on phones when they are old enough.
Cleaning the Bathroom
Toilet duties don’t require too much skill. School-age kids can start by cleaning the toilet’s lid, seat, or base with a disinfecting wipe. Make sure they use rubber gloves and wash their hands thoroughly afterward. And, remember to use safe ingredients like baking soda and vinegar to clean if your kid are still young. Cleaning one of the dustiest places in your house will make them get familiar with the stage of cleanliness.
Life skills go hand in hand with development and it’s important for your child to succeed later in life. The sooner your kid master these life skills, the better they thrive. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments!