As parents, one of the things on our priority list is to provide our children with good quality education. We do our best to send them to the best school and make sure they’re equipped with the skills and knowledge that will strengthen their foundation to succeed later in life.
But besides making sure our kids have everything they need to learn in terms of academics, parents should also make sure their little ones are equipped with basic life skills that will help them thrive and succeed as adults.
School closures and vacations are an excellent time for young kids to learn other important stuff beyond the usual subjects such as math, science and literacy. Read on and find out some essential life skills your child should learn at home.
Communication skills play an important role in building a child’s healthy social and emotional wellbeing. Young kids usually tend to focus more on making sure they’re able to express their thoughts and that they are understood. But since effective communication is a two-way process, it’s equally important that they also have the ability to understand others.
This will have to start by learning about active listening. Children should be taught that they should listen and never interrupt when others are talking. They should hear out what their peers have to say and respect their opinions even if they vary from theirs.
Getting along with others
A person’s ability to interact and work well with others is an important factor in their future success. Therefore, social skills are something that should be developed in young kids early on.
Hone your little one’s ability to get along with others by encouraging them to get involved in group activities. Set up playdates, enroll them in summer camps, encourage them to make friends, teach them good manners to get along with others, etc. By learning how to build connections and establish friendships, they can be better prepared for environments where these skills will be required.
Kids are naturally curious. They always wonder and think and ask about the world around them. And while this is healthy because it’s an indication of rapid brain development, there will come a point when they have to seek answers on their own. They need to find the solutions and the answers to their questions by themselves.
For example, if they ask you why it rains, instead of providing them the answer immediately, you may ask them back the same question. Let them find the answer to it by referring to a book perhaps or checking other resources. Not only is this an excellent way to develop problem-solving skills; it also offers a good opportunity to build their resourcefulness.
Ability to focus
Because children are almost always easily distracted, established routines and schedules work best for them. Not only do these things provide a sense of security; they also help young kids stay focused.
So, even if the school is out and your child is on a vacation, establishing routines at home is still important. Make sure they follow a set schedule each day so that they know what to expect. There should be a proper time for getting up in the morning, eating their breakfast, and dressing up. There should be a schedule for play, screen time and of course, learning activities.
Another important life skill children should learn at an early age is the art of managing their time. Teaching time management may seem a bit tricky but don’t worry, it’s not that hard.
Because you’re teaching your child how to be responsible with using their time, one of the things you can do is to stop being their alarm clock. While there should be a time set for when they have to get up in the morning, you don’t always have to go up to their room and wake them up. Get them their own alarm clock. Then, consider creating a chart or a calendar of activities so they can manage their activities even when they’re home.
School closures aren’t all about kids making the most of their time for free play. It’s also about learning lessons and life skills that will benefit them for the long term as they navigate through adulthood. Be sure to make use of this time to instill important life skills that could come in handy for the future.
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