Life skills are practical lessons that children can use as they grow up and become more independent. But some children only learn these essential skills when they reach high school. Since pandemic safety measures have allowed most Americans to stay home more often, now is a good time to teach young children some valuable abilities.
If you have little ones at home and are wondering how to prepare them for the future, here are some life skills they can learn during the quarantine.
House maintenance skills
The importance of teaching children how to do household chores at a young age cannot be emphasized enough. Thankfully, kids enjoy being your little helper as this brings a novel experience for them. Since there’s always something to maintain around the house, use this opportunity to let them pitch in and learn some practical lessons.
For young children, you can give them easy tasks such as changing the toilet paper roll or sorting out trash. For middle schoolers and teens, you can teach them how to unclog a drain or change a light bulb. Explain how these chores keep the house running, and how they make the house safer for everyone.
It’s also an opportunity for some show-and-tell regarding professionals who specialize in keeping household utilities in top shape. For instance, you can teach your kids how a plumber is responsible for maintaining pipes and fixtures around the house, thus avoiding health hazards and expensive repairs.
This also lets children learn about skilled workers that are masters of their field of service. By introducing various professions to children at a young age, they can think about what they want to be when they grow up. Better yet, they’ll be able to appreciate essential jobs. ;
Decision making skills
Making great decisions takes practice. It requires some careful problem solving and analytical and critical thinking. Although it is well-established that children don’t have a fully developed brain yet for excellent decision-making, it helps to get them started at a young age.
For preschoolers, you can begin with small decisions, such as picking an ice cream flavor or choosing a sock color they like. For middle school children, consider introducing them to comparison shopping, urgent purchases versus impulsive buying, and the like.
Guide them through the essential steps, such as weighing their options and evaluating the benefits and disadvantages. Then, let them form their own conclusion to finalize their decision.
Once they’re older, you can start showing them how good decisions lead to rewarding outcomes. Conversely, let them see how bad ones result in unpleasant consequences.
Another practical lesson you can add while on the subject of decision-making is taking responsibility for one’s actions. When your children make bad decisions, teach them how to resolve the resulting issues and move forward. This will help them build better relationships with friends, family, teachers, and future co-workers.
Cleaning and hygiene
Teaching your children the importance of hygiene at a very young age can make it easier for them to form good cleaning habits. The years of practicing proper hygiene will eventually pay off and make it second nature to them.
With the ongoing pandemic, it’s also critical for children to learn about health, cleanliness, and the spread of disease. Thus, don’t just teach them to wash their hands, brush their teeth, and take a bath; tell them why these practices are important.
As your kids learn the value of personal hygiene, it’s a good opportunity to tell them how cleanliness extends from themselves into their own home. This opens up the chance to learn about household chores that involve cleaning.
Housekeeping might be best left to the adults at home who know what they’re doing, but it’s a missed learning opportunity for children. Kids need to learn how to maintain a clean and tidy house. Eventually, they will leave for college or move out for a new job, and they will need these life skills so that they, too, can have a clean home.
Begin with age-appropriate chores that include the basics: making the bed, ; washing the dishes, getting rid of dust. Support your kids during the learning process by giving them tools that will help them clean up their messes. For instance, leave a towel for them to wipe spilled liquid on the counter, or a box for storing their toys.
Doing laundry is also another way to teach children about hygiene and cleanliness. If you have a kindergartner, you can have them handle some light washing and folding. They might even enjoy sorting clothes by type and color. For older kids, they can learn how to operate the washer and dryer.
Finally, set a daily schedule for housekeeping so that your children can make it part of their routine.
Bear in mind that it’s never too early to teach children the value of acquiring essential skills at home. Giving your kids a head start on these important life skills can help them when they face the real world in the future.