Kids are more brilliant than we realize. The tech-driven world is evolving fast, and some coping strategies pretty much lay the foundation of how your child relates to social settings and also solve complex problems with ease. From how to take care of a wounded bird to cooking a meal, kids need to be equipped with some essential life skills before they turn ten. Indeed, this is crucial to thriving in the ever-changing landscape around us.
The vast amount of information that we process each day can be overwhelming. Our children, too, sail on the same boat with their increasing exposure to the internet. Therefore, it is easy to miss practical life skills that enable them to become responsible.
It’s true: we have no control over the path our children will follow, but we can prepare them for life. Plus, with kids spending most of their time at home these days, it’s an opportunity like no other to get started. So, if you are driven to teach your kids critical life skills that prepare them for whatever life throws at them, here’s a list of things they need to be aware of and perhaps master by age ten:
What Essential Life Skills Should A Ten-Year-Old Learn?
As your child gets older, they’ll reach new developmental milestones in reading, writing, and arithmetic. But what about other essential life skills that they should master? The following skills listed below will arm your child with the know-how to analyze, gauge, and find their way as they grow up to be on their own someday:
1. Prepare A Meal
Assign tasks to your kids to help you in the kitchen. Give them age-appropriate jobs that are easy yet a little challenging so that they can critically think through them and find solutions (1). Preschoolers can make meals that do not require the use of an oven, stovetop, or knife. They should learn to organize a bowl of pre-cut fruit yogurt or spread jam/peanut butter on bread. Kids around five years of age can make sandwiches and smoothies, while those closer to ten can make an omelet or toast under your supervision.
2. Make Wise Use Of The Internet
As most of our kids spend a significant share of their time over various media platforms (social media being their “second home”), they need to learn good habits and practices to navigate the digital world. These are:
- Chat with those they know in real life only.
- Be kind to those with whom they interact.
- Take your permission to post and share pictures, download a file, or click random pop-ups.
- Ask you before giving out information like their full name, address, school details, or even phone numbers.
- Reach out to you if they feel any discomfort
3. Develop Spatial Knowledge
An essential modern life skill for kids these days is to learn how to find or reach a destination. Teach your children to map their locality, school, and home mentally. With technology taking over physical maps, your child must be able to follow navigational directions over electronic devices (2).
4. Build Healthy Relationships
It’s a common sight to find kids glued to their phones these days, making little effort to go out and communicate with people. Most kids talk to their friends and family over the phone through texts rather than have a real, face-to-face conversation. That’s a major problem because kids should be able to carry on conversations to go up the career ladder and develop healthy social bonds. They contribute to building social skills and also in maintaining sound mental health.
5. Know How To Play Any Sport
Your child may not make it to the Olympics but learning a sport or engaging in physical activity is a crucial life skill for good health and overall wellbeing (3). So, sign them up for a sport of their choice to get them active — and let’s not forget to learn to have fun outside electronic gadgets.
6. Take Care Of Other Living Things
Let your kids realize that this earth is home to several other living entities just like us. We are all guests on this planet. So, we need to cooperate and be kind to fellow beings — plants and animals alike. Your child should be able to take care of a pet, tend to their wounds (if any) and make all efforts for their survival. It will also help them develop compassion and love. If you’re not prepared to get them a dog yet, a goldfish or even a houseplant are other more accessible options.
7. Be A Smart Consumer
In a consumerist society, it’s easy to get carried away. Let your kid know what a budget is and what their money goals should be. They should know how to buy something cheaper that fits their budget or purchase something later because current finances don’t support it. For this, you can take them grocery shopping, discuss the prices, and talk about choices. Also, you may give them a small allowance and teach them to put money into some items to learn good money management skills. To incorporate fun into financial learning, you can help them explore games or online applications that teach them about money (4).
8. Value What They Own
Things that were earlier beyond our reach are all too readily available at the click of a button. A negative side to this is: our kids may develop wasteful tendencies. So, your child needs to learn the value of what they have, preserve and protect it. It essentially translates to your kid learning to organize their possessions and keep their surroundings decluttered. Plus, you can teach them the value of donating their old toys, clothes, stationery, and books to the less fortunate instead of throwing them away.
9. Chill Out On Their Own
If your children always feel the need to have someone around or seek entertainment throughout the day, they may suffer from severe attachment or entitlement issues as adults (5). To avoid that, set aside a dedicated area or a “quiet corner” in your house for them to be on their own, at least thrice a week. It should allow them to cultivate the habit of enjoying their personal space and alone time.
10. Express Gratitude
Your kids should know how and when to say “Please”, “May I”, and “Thank you”. Being grateful will enable them to have civilized interactions and teach them to be humble, appreciate what they have, and cooperate with others to thrive in this world.
It could seem like there is all the time in the world for your children to learn, but conventional wisdom and science have both confirmed that your child is better able to absorb information and learn faster than an adult (6). So, why wait? The earlier you start, the better it is! What other life skills do you think children should know by the time they turn ten? Do share your ideas with us in the comments section below!
- Cognitive Competence as a Positive Youth Development Construct: A Conceptual Review
- What Does Research Suggest About Early Development Of Spatial Skills?
- Physical Activity Facts
- Online Games and Apps That Teach Kids About Money
- Childhood attachment
- When children are better (or at least more open-minded) learners than adults: Developmental differences in learning the forms of causal relationships