Life skills to focus on teaching children by the time they are 10
Children in today’s world seem to be incredibly in tune with the technological world and what is happening online. While adapting to a life where school may now be online for young children and people are using technology to gain access to basic needs, it can be easy to have children not experience moments that teach practical life skills. While it might be easier to do everything for your child because it: gets done faster, better, there’s less mess, there is frustration; children lose the ability to find out how to figure out problems themselves. Children need to learn independence, and the way children learn is by watching their parents. By focusing on teaching children practical life skills they will eventually need, will help foster a sense of independence, self confidence and help children feel they can manage life at home.
It is important to help children develop a sense of direction. Getting lost is an inevitable part of life, and it is best to teach children to not panic and use means other than technology and gps to help them navigate the world. Activities such as treasure hunts, looking at maps, learning to read a compass can build these skills. Parents can try having children lead the way with easy to read maps in places like a zoo or trail. Learning how to find your way can be a life saving skill!
Invite children to make meals with you. It helps to assign them jobs, and remember it is ok to get messy! Be sure to gauge how ready your child is to use certain equipment or tools such as knives, stovetops, blenders, and toaster ovens and always supervise. By age 10 children can try to make simple meals such as smoothies, salads, sandwiches, and use the stovetop with supervision to make foods like eggs, grilled cheese, etc.
Laundry & Dressing Themselves
Many adolescents and young adults go off to live independent lives without knowing how to clean their clothes. Help your child learn to sort through laundry, separate through colors, measure detergent and work the washing and drying machine. Keep a step stool nearby so your child can watch you a few times before they start helping out.
Children still need to know the basics of handling money, knowing the cost of basic items and learning how to save. Being able to manage their own savings such as an allowance or rewards for chores or accolades help instill a sense of pride in what they have accomplished and saved, and helps children learn the art of money management.
Children on a regular developmental track should be able to do self care activities such as brushing their teeth, taking a bath/shower, being able to wash themselves, as well as basic grooming.
Caring For a Living Thing
Children who are able to help keep something alive start to develop more empathy as they get older. Being able to care for something other than themselves such as a plant, fish, or family pet helps instill responsibility, patience, a nurturing and empathetic attitude towards other living beings.
Have a Conversation
Children need to be able to carry on a conversation with either a peer or an adult. Being able to communicate and develop long lasting, healthy and interactive relationships is extremely important. Nowadays with so much technology, children must practice being able to communicate and hold a conversation face to face and be able to get their point across in a respectable manner.
Children should be able to know basic manners such as greetings, saying please and thank you, waiting their turn, table manners and proper etiquette when it comes to different environments such as a restaurant, movie theater, friends houses, school, etc.
Children should feel like they are able to help in a crisis situation, having your child practice what to do in an emergency situation will help decrease any anxiety or fear should a real emergency happen. Children should start practicing how to dress a cut or scrape, call for help, stop drop and roll, use ice for a swollen injury, and basic first aid if they should ever need it.
Learn To Be Alone
Navigating the complexities of our emotions and thoughts can be exhausting. However, teaching your kids the art of being alone, (and enjoying it) can be very beneficial to their mental health in the long run. Teaching kids to be alone with their thoughts and emotions without family or friends around will help kids self regulate and improve their mental health. It can be helpful to designate a quiet or calm corner or area in the house with calming/sensory activities to help kids self regulate.