A child once asked me in church to help him buckle up his shoe and I couldn’t help but ask “How old are you”? because to me , I expected that a child of his age should be able to fix up his shoes conveniently even without his parent’s supervision. There are some basic life skills that our kids should have acquired or started acquiring as they journey through life. We don’t have to wait till they are teens to start equipping them with these skills.
Life skills are sum of the valuable lessons our kids will use throughout their lifetime and as parents, it is our responsibility to equip our children for the life ahead of them and there is no better time to start than now.
Here are nine practical life skills you should be teaching your child
- Prepare a meal
You don’t necessarily have to aim at raising a MasterChef, your kids should at least know how to sort themselves when you are unavoidably absent. The truth is that even the youngest kids can learn how to prepare a meal in the kitchen. For instance, your pre-schoolers can be taught how to make sandwich or apply butter on the bread. The ones in elementary school can be taught how to operate the microwave to warm their foods. As they develop more confidence in the kitchen then you can more task little by little till, they are able to plan their own meal.
- Take care of self
It is not enough to tell kids to take a bath, brush their teeth, wash their hands, and change their underwear. We need to let them know why they need to. Take time to explain the importance of hygiene. Get creative with this by setting up a chart in your house to enable to tick every task they complete each day. As time goes on, they will form a major routine from this even without the tab, they naturally get the inclination to carry out the task.
- Money Management
Most adults today are still struggling to balance their money management skills. There is no perfect time to start teaching kids about money than now. The truth is that there is no amount of money you can leave for your kids that can be sustained if they don’t have financial intelligence. Let them understand how to save money and delay gratification, how money is made, spent and multiplied. It is a basic life skill that every parent must earnestly build in their little ones so they will be better prepared when they start earning on their own.
- Take Public Transport
Are you kids’ street smart? Today, most of us raising ajebutter generation. We drive them to school and back home and they barely experience the day to day street realities. The truth is that this may not really continue for long and they can’t escape taking public transport especially in their tertiary education level. The question is how independent are your kids and how aware are they about basic safety rules? Have you taught them how to safely cross the street? Can they even locate the house should they need to find their way home alone? do they know the street name and important landmarks? These are basic and you have to start ensuring that they become conversant with these things.
While laundry may sound too hectic for kids, there are few things they can never be too small to do. For instance, washing their socks, folding towels, put their own clothes away, and learn not to litter their bedroom floors with dirty clothes. That’s a start, until they’re old enough to comfortably do their own laundry, or better yet, help with the household laundry.
- Filling forms
This is one thing you can be sure your kids would continue to do all their life. Teach them to fill forms accurately without your supervision. Make all the necessary information available to them, this is a way of preparing them for adulthood. This doesn’t only make them independent but also boost their confidence level.
- Pack a suit
Teaching your kids how to pack their suitcase can save you a lot of stress especially when travelling. Teach them how to make a packing list, packing and confirming if there are anything left. This is some good organisation skill that your child must learn from now.
- Asking for help
Let your kids understand it is okay to ask for help when they need to. When they are unclear about direction, price of a product in the mall and address, let them know it is okay to ask rather than assuming. This is an important life skill your child needs as they journey through life.
- Tidy up the house
Those little things count, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Teach them how to make the bed, empty the trash and clean the kitchen. Again, don’t forget to explain why these things are important.
The list is inexhaustible; however, these are basic, and you can decide to add other important things as they grow. Developing the whole child requires that we put all these things into consideration. It is not enough to focus on academics only. If you want your kid to be more independent and confident when they step out into the real world, teach them these skills.
Also, 9ijakids is your major go to resource, we have fun educational games designed to teach your kids some basic skills such financial literacy, courtesy and chores. Download 9ijakids app to get started .