Lockdown or Not – Teaching Life Skills is Important to Kids
Our life may have taken a different turn due to the COVID 19 pandemic and we are forced to stay indoors, but teaching has not stopped for our children. In this high-tech world of the internet, it’s all too easy for our children to miss out on practical life skills in life. We as parents tend to do everything for our kids instead of letting them figure out how to fend for themselves.
We should remember that life skills are valuable lessons which children are going to use them throughout their lifetime. This lockdown can be a change in parenting techniques we have been applying till now. Don’t wait until kids reaches teens. Genuine learning can go beyond core educational topics. Instead of trying to force academics, consider using this time to teach life skills to kids.
Teach these life skills to your kids at home during the lockdown and put them on the path towards independence.
Basic First Aid
Kids are like sponges and will learn faster at a tender age. Teach kids what each item in your first-aid box is for. Tell them what for they are used and how they are used. Educate them not to freak out on watching blood, or how to rinse any wound with water first. Then put some ointment and apply a bandage.
Health and Hygiene –
Explain to them why leading a healthy life is crucial. We always tell them to cut their nails, wash hands, change our clothes daily, brush twice a day, wash hair at alternate days, and so on. Children should learn these things while growing up to imbibe in their day to day routine. Prepare a checklist of the activities which they should do daily. Over time they will establish the habits and will perform without reminding them on a daily basis.
Simple meal preparation
– Keep your child beside you while preparing basic meals. You can assign small tasks that they can do it like peeling green peas, applying butter or jam to slices of bread, rolling rotis, or preparing sandwiches. By doing simple little things they will develop interest and will be able to manage basic things on their own with their growing years. While teaching these to kids keep telling about safety all the time. While children will be doing these kinds of stuff, parents supervision is important all these while. Little older kids can also try baking or toasting.
Decision Making Skills
Every child should begin learning to make decisions at an early age. It can begin by simple decisions of buying a dress, choosing junk food over healthy ones, watching TV or playing outdoors, sharing with kids at play, and so on.
These skills, when learned at an early age will bear good results in their upcoming years. Explain to them the consequences of decision making, by walking them through the steps. Help them weigh their options and evaluate the pros and cons of that decision and see how things shape up.
With kids at home, it is inevitable to have a mess of things all around. From the early years, children should be taught how to keep the house clean, which they will eventually practice in later years as well. It can begin by teaching how to clean the daily messes which kids make and how they can clean up themselves.
Keep a big basket along which kids can use to collect things in it at the end of the day. Make cleaning part of their routine by teaching them how to make beds, put wet towels in place, keep footwears in the shoe rack, and such daily activities. Setting a daily routine will help them make part of their lives. They can easily pitch in the small daily chores.
Parents who wish to engage in some productive work but are running short of ideas to begin with can definitely count on these useful ideas to stay busy during this lockdown period.
Basic sewing can be learned by little elder kids, which in turn builds their self-confidence, knowledge, independence who can contribute to the world. Basic sewing is easy to learn and is loved by most kids. It can be really helpful to them when stuck in any such situation.
Time management skills can take a while to be learned by kids but should always be encouraged from an early age. Teaching kids these from an early age will develop them to be responsible for managing their time wisely. Practicing it daily will help them master really fast. Actively help children design a daily schedule for managing their time actively.
Writing a letter –
Children should be encouraged to communicate what they are saying across. They should be taught to draft a letter and address it to either a family member, close relatives or friends. Teaching kids to make greeting cards with eye-catching drawings will keep them engaged and will create interest in them. Older kids can be taught to draft four parts of the letter: date, greeting body, closing, and personal thank you signature.
Plants are a kid’s best friend that teaches so many important lessons of life. Living in the company of greenery is so therapeutic and healing. The calming effects of green plants placed around help lead a life in a healthy environment. The basics of planting is a good way of bonding with kids and teaching them an important life skill. Teach them to dig a hole and plant a seedling or a tiny plant. Help them by watering the seed in the pot. Children love to do these things if done frequently at home under guidance.
Doing the laundry –
Kids who are of age 6 and above can be taught this skill to get them a hands-on doing laundry. Kids are smart enough to easily get through the process of putting laundry in the washing machine, add detergent, press the setting button, and start the process of washing. Don’t aim for perfection at this tender age but yes kids can help you out with these kinds of stuff as well. Soon they will able to learn to get the clothes out and put them to dry.
Handling Money –
Parents can get started with a piggy bank at home. Children love the concept of saving money in their toy piggy and are always excited by the idea of purchasing their favorite piece of a toy or their long time eyed garment. The school maths learning can be further utilized in making it a life skill. Imbibing the practice from the early years will make them effective money handlers in later years. It will help kids grasp the concept of saving, spending wisely, and making investment decisions in later years.
What are your views on making life skills an important part of the life of children? I would love to hear in comments. Also if you have any additions to add to the list, please share it in comments.
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