Teaching life skills to your kids

Teaching life skills to your kids

We are phenomenal mums. I have spoken to a few of you reading this newsletter, and exchanged emails with some as well. And from what I see, I know that you are phenomenal. We are finding our rhythm and making every day of life work as best as we can. You guys are the best.

I also see the many plans you have to train your kids; the many treasures and values you want them to imbibe from now so that they can be confident, independent and live a full life. Believe me, I have them too. However, we get carried away. Especially at the early stage, when our kids are young. While every mother thinks their children are geniuses, we hardly put those geniuses to use on practical life skills at the early stage. Instead, we limit them to school work.

Training our kids on life skills isvery important. They learn to be confident. They grow up not only being book smart, but also smart in all ramifications. They are not only independent, but life skills help them to adapt to any changing situations that they might face as they grow through life. And sometimes, those life skills even become the basis of the professions they undertake in future.

They need it.

But the road to teaching them these life skills is messy. It is going to be filled with lots of patience, tolerance, repetition, and patience. Did I already say patience?

We will need to stop in our tracks, interrupt our schedules, spill some water or even more. The house will get messy, it will not be done right and so many mishaps will happen. But progress will be made.

So, what life skills should you begin to teach your kids?

House chores – Start teaching them as early as possible. Your house is a small organisation where everyone including your kids must play their part. The home wouldn’t run smoothly if only you do the work while your kids and your partner stand by to watch. Integrate them in the cleaning of dishes, mopping the floor, laundry, cooking, running errands and many more. House chores encompasses so many skills in one. Do not skip that process for any of your kids, regardless of their gender. It’s important.

Time management – Your kids would need to learn how to manage time. Getting ready for school would have to be snappy because they do not want to be late. Teach them to plan ahead – to arrange their bags, put out their uniforms the night before and set an alarm to wake them in the morning so that they get to school in time (if you use alarms). Time is money, and more valuable than money. Teach your kids to respect time now so that they can respect their and other people’s time. And others can respect theirs too.

Decision making – Let your kids choose between two dresses, two shoes, what meal to order and many more. Give them options that are within a boundary that is comfortable for you, then have them choose. You are teaching them the importance of decision making and accepting responsibility for that decision.

Financial management – Start exposing your kids to money and how to manage them. Make them earn money from chores. Make them earn so that they can afford that beautiful gift they desire. As soon as they can understand, let them be aware of the family expenses and even revenue. Teach them about savings and investment. Suggest investment and savings opportunities to them and have them decide to do it or not. Don’t leave these things to schools to teach them.

The value of relationship – Instil in them the need for meaningful friendship and relationship. Show them your community. Let them forge their own relationship within your social circle and guide them on conflict resolution and everything else that comes with it.

Teach them about personal hygiene. Start from teaching them to watch their hands, throw their dirty clothes in the laundry hamper, wash their bum, brush their teeth, have their bath and so on. Let them know the importance of proper grooming – dressing well, looking good and smelling good.

Don’t brush through any ofthese skills.They are essential to their balanced growth.

When should you start? Well, I will leave that to you. A year old is not too early and now is not too late.