Children need to learn more than just academically. Life skills go hand in hand with development and can help your child succeed later in life. These are essential life skills your child should know for full participation in everyday life.
Independence & Responsibility
If children aren’t taught responsibility and daily-living skills today, it would be a problem for them in the future. Teach these skills now, before it’s too late!
Some tasks they should learn to do on their own;
- Keeping themselves clean (brushing their teeth, washing their faces, bathing/ showering properly).
- How to tie their own shoelaces.
• Make their own bed.
• Set the dinner table.
• Help clear the table.
• Help with the washing up/ drying the dishes.
• Put their own dirty clothes in the laundry basket.
• Pack their own school bag.
• Pack their own lunch.
Make sure they know they can earn rewards if they do tasks well.
Health & First Aid Skills
• Empowering them with what to do in case of an emergency until they’re in the hands of an adult is vital.
• Essential first aid skills can start by showing them a first aid kit, its contents, when and how to use them.
• Remind your child about the importance of a healthy diet. This isn’t forcing them to eat vegetables, but discussing the health risks of eating too much junk food.
• Help them keep their fitness levels up. Join them for a little bit of exercise every day- Joe Wicks (or similar), cycling, at home circuits, Just Dance, trampolining etc.
- Teach them when and how to blow / wipe their own nose.
- Teach them how to eat with a knife and fork. The knife is in the hand they use to hold their pencil. The index fingers are used to push down on the knife and fork (see photo).
- Teach your child about how to behave when eating out; how to decide on what they want to eat and place their own orders.
Linked to independence and responsibility. Start small - keep their room clean, make their bed and putting their own things away.
Then expand to chores that support the household, such as dust the table one day and take the bins out on another. Ask them to set the dinner table in whichever way they think looks the best, make it fun by asking them to get creative with it.
People & Social Skills
It is important for your child to develop social and people skills.
• Model for them how to differentiate between good strangers and possible bad strangers.
• Teach them how to interact with good strangers.
• How to be friendly to others.
• Teach them how to make friends. What are the traits of being a good friend? What to do if someone is not a good friend to you.
Teach your child why looking after the environment is essential and how making small lifestyle changes at home helps.
Get them to practice eco-friendly habits in everything they do, such as-
• Not wasting water e.g. turning the tap off when brushing their teeth.
• Wearing a jumper instead of putting on the heating.
• Separating the rubbish for recycling.
• Collecting waste to throw in a bin.
• Gardening, in either a portion of the garden or potted plants. They can plant whatever they like and it is their responsibility to look after the plants.
You can do this by getting your child to claim responsibility for their own time.
• Having their own alarm clock that they can use to wake up on time for school, instead of waking them up.
• Using a planner to track their school work and other extra-curricular work or chores, to keep track of what needs to be done by when.
Money Management & Budgeting
This is quite a basic one among life skills. Give your child a certain amount of pocket money every week or every two weeks that they have to use for their expenses. If they wish to buy something a little more expensive, ask them to save up their pocket money to buy it. This will motivate them more.