Whether you realise it or not, children need to know many life skills to set them on the right path in the future.
Whether you realise it or not, children need to know many life skills to set them on the right path in the future. The idea of doing “everything” for your child is a bad idea.
They need to learn how to look after themselves and be self-sufficient as they grow older, so they are prepared for college and adult life.
With that in mind, here are some things that younger kids need to know before they hit secondary school, and this gives them the life skills they require:
Cooking – Kids are well able to understand and help with the cooking at home by the time they are 12 years old. They should know how to prepare dinners and how to use the knives properly. They should understand the basics of food prep and understand food labels, cooking instructions and know how to follow recipes. They don’t have to be able to make meals unsupervised, but they should have some knowledge, so they can improve their skills as a teenager.
Gardening – While gardening may not be a “life skill” as such but understanding how plants grow and taking an interest means your child will respect the environment more. Encourage your child to pot plants, help with the gardening, learn how to paint fences and maintain a garden space. Don’t forget kids need to understand recycling and how to do it!
DIY – When you are changing lightbulbs, painting walls or fixing loose drawers, get your child involved and show them how to be careful when fixing items. Teach them about hammers, drills and saws etc. No one is suggesting you let your child put down timber flooring but show them the basics and let them learn so they can do these things for themselves in the future.
Cleaning and Chores – Your little cherubs are more able than you think to help with household chores. Young kids can clean their bedrooms, make their beds and tidy up after themselves in the home. Teach your kids how to clean the bathroom, sanitise kitchen tops and hoover or sweep the floors. If your child can use a smartphone or a tablet, they can use the washing machine too – just show them!
First Aid and Emergencies – You can’t be with your child every minute of every day so teaching them some basic first aid is a good way to ensure they know what to do in an emergency. Your child should know the phone numbers of their parents – off by heart. They should know how to dress a wound or how to stop bleeding. They should know what to do if they burn their skin on a kettle or how to make a call to emergency services.
Safety – Your child should understand how to be a responsible pedestrian and carefully cross roads at pedestrian lights but if there aren’t any, they should know how to cross without them. Kids should understand stranger danger and know what to do if they feel someone is following them. Your child should understand how to be safe on the internet and how to be mindful of others and their feelings.
Emma Hayes is a thirty-something mum of two girls aged 16 and 10, planting her right into the teenage and tween-age years! Follow her on Twitter at @EmmaHayes25.