Children are little sponges, which means that what you teach them when they’re young will stick with them for a long time. Life skills are priceless at any age, but they are so much easier to learn and sink in when you teach them to children. Many children don’t learn how to deal with real-life situations until much later in life, but by then, they’re unprepared for them to happen.
Waiting until your children are teenagers to teach them life skills is not a good idea, as you’re not going to help the lesson to stick. Things like swim classes and learning an instrument are excellent things to teach your kids, but it’s the life lessons that will stay with them forever! So, with that in mind, let’s look at five skills that you can teach your children young.
- Decision-Making Skills. Learning how to critically assess a situation and decide what to do is a big deal for a child. They can start with simple decisions; ice cream flavours, for example. Give them a choice to decide from a young age, and you’ll be able to teach them both the rewards and consequences of their decision-making.
- Good Hygiene. Teenagers are never all that great with their hygiene. Partly this is laziness and the other part of this is their inability to prioritize. However, if you teach your children at a very young age the importance of cleanliness, these habits will carry through life as a crucial part of their day. Start with sticker charts and once the habit is ingrained within them, take the charts away and rely on them a little.
- Time Management. Managing time is not easy for small children. However, getting your children into a time-managed routine from a young age is so important to help them to learn how to segment their morning and evening. This will enable them to manage their time when they are teenagers and adults, and they’ll be able to get up to a schedule every day.
- Preparing Meals. You wouldn’t think that teaching young children how to prepare meals is a good idea given how messy it is. However, you can teach them how to fix cereal or toast, and you can teach them the dangers of the kitchen. Once they learn these simple lessons, you can move onto more complicated things like full dinners. Giving them some input into the things that they eat can also help them to develop a healthy relationship with food, too.
Managing Money. We teach our children basic math and how to count. It doesn’t have to stop there for their numerical education. You can teach your children how to balance their chequebook, how to run up an income and outgoings sheet to track their money – even if it is just pocket money. Money management is important, and learning it young is going to help them to carry this lesson to adulthood. They won’t always learn this in school, so make it a part of their home education with you.