As you see your children grow, you realize that with age they learn a bunch of verbal, non-verbal, analytical, rational, literary, and mathematical skills. While you may take pride in the smallest of their academic or sporting accomplishments, there are aspects which go beyond that. Nevertheless, there are certain aspects or as we call them, ‘life skills’ that they need to learn in order to grow into a responsible human.
Life skills are essential because they equip your child to adjust and adapt to the ever-changing environment and daily challenges. Imparting education about basic life skills is also the first step to make them more evolved and independent. Just as charity begins at home, learning starts there too!
So, go ahead and tell your naughty little toddler to learn some of these life skills before he turns five and steps into the real world!
1. Know The Full Names Of One’s Parents
If your kid still refers to you as ‘mama,’ it might be a good idea to make him/her learn the full names of you and your spouse. In addition to that, you may even tell them the address of your home as it might come handy in case of an emergency. It is an important safety rule as well. With kids learning mathematical tables in a jiffy these days, go ahead and inform them about your phone numbers as well!
2. Everyday Life Skills
When children grow up and join pre-school or spend extended stays outside their homes, they should be able to manage trivial things in their daily life on their own. These skills include tying their shoelaces, handling cutlery, eating on their own, cleaning themselves properly after a washroom visit, etc. It will help foster a positive self-image and confidence in them.
3. Managing Time Without Gadgets
The way kids use gadgets today, it seems like they learned the skills in their mother’s womb itself. While video games and mobiles provide instantly gratifying entertainment to toddlers, the constant light may impact their focus and concentration as well (1). They can hardly sit still or be attentive, even for a few minutes, making ADD (read: attention deficit disorder) a common occurrence (2). Therefore, make sure they do not get access to screen-time beyond a permissible limit.
4. Sharing And Caring
Children, in general, are quite overprotective about attention, and desirous when it comes to their possession. So, they are hardly able to understand the concept of sharing!
It is important for parents to inculcate a sense of belongingness in their kids, in order to help them understand fundamental humanitarian values. There are many ways of making your child socially responsible and well-behaved, and that include keeping pets, arranging group play-dates, community service, etc.
5. Going To The Washroom
Most parents start to toilet-train their child between the age of two and three. By the time they turn 5, they should be able to follow washroom hygiene on their own. This includes managing to pull their bottoms or underpants down, cleaning themselves, flushing, and washing their hands after using the toilet.
6. Following Basic Road Safety Rules
While your child may not cross roads without adult supervision, it is a great idea to expose them to the primary safety principles of road safety. These could be looking at both sides of the road, being alert towards an approaching vehicle, and so on. It will reinforce positive road habits from an early age.
7. Being Alert About ‘Good Touch’ And ‘Bad Touch’
With increasing child-related crimes, it has become imperative to teach your kids the distinction between a good touch and a bad one. Touches of affection like pats or hugs are okay, but kicking, pushing, hitting or touching private parts is unacceptable. A co-operation between the parents, grandparents, and school staff is necessary to make sure that children are aware of the kind of touches and can raise an alarm, if required.
Much like adults, life skills are important for children as well. Learning these skills can make them self-reliant, independent, and ready to face the harsh realities of the world we live in. So, if you are a parent to a toddler, do follow the above tips to inculcate the necessary life skills in him/her.