Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022
Have you ever wondered how independent your child actually is? Will your child be able to look after themselves if left alone for a while? Do you think your child is well-equipped with essential life skills to face the world?
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 regular experiences and activities that will equip them to be a fully functioning adult who is able to contribute purposefully to life.
Dr Amrita Basu Misra from the Health Bridge Link says, “When you want your child to grow up strong, you want to teach by example. It’s not easy being a parent. It’s even more difficult to work on self-improvement while raising a child.”
1. Decision Making Skills
Being able to make good decisions is a key life skill and children can and should be able to learn this at a young age. Even simple things like, blue or white socks, vanilla or strawberry yogurt are a great place to start with toddlers. Early years children can begin learning about the rewards of making good decisions and the potential consequences of a bad decision; if you don’t set your alarm or get up when it rings you will be late. Talk to your child regularly about the many steps of decision making and guide them through the process helping them weigh the advantages and disadvantages.
2. Health and Hygiene
Children are never too young to start learning about the importance of health and hygiene. We are always telling our children to take a bath, brush their teeth, wash their hands or change their clothes. However, we never tell them why. Explain why health and hygiene always going to be crucial parts of their routine. Instead of forcing your child to eat vegetables, talk to them about the 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.
3. Time Management
Every parent knows how important time management is to keeping your family on track but it’s also important for children to learn time management lessons when they are young.
4. Finish tasks independently and take responsibility
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. Provide them with opportunities for independence where they can be successful and gain confidence. Teach these skills now, before it’s too late!
5. How to interact appropriately with other people
If we want our children to grow up to be happy successful adults we have to give them the ability to do what adults do. Teach your children how to respectfully address people, use good manners especially (please and thank you), have patience with others, stop and hold a door, offer help and assistance when they see someone struggling, and hold themselves accountable. The saying of “treat others how you would want to be treated” is the perfect motto when it comes to appropriately interacting with other children and all people. Teach them how to make friends, how to be friendly and how they should go about interacting with the people they meet in daily life. If you think about it that is exactly what successful adults do and if we don’t each children at a young age they may well struggle to develop positive social skills.