There’s no doubt your child is learning invaluable skills each day in school. However, there are many aspects of life that are not always taught in the classroom. Taking some time to make sure your child acquires basic, yet important, life skills throughout their adolescence can give them a step ahead in life. Below are a list of life skills you can work on with your child, according to their age.
- Before school. Before your child enters school, there are several areas you can work on with him or her. Prior to sending your little one to school, you’ll want to work on basic hygiene skills – washing hands, brushing teeth and hair, etc. – and getting dressed and tying shoes. It’s ok if your child still needs some help getting dressed, but they should be fairly independent. You may also want to work with your child on basic cleaning skills – keeping his or her room and play area neat clean and learning to put items back where they found them when they are done. Another important skill you might think about is memorizing important phone numbers and knowing how to make an emergency phone call, if ever needed.
- Elementary school. Once your child has entered school and has started to exhibit a little more independence, you can move on to some slightly more advanced skills. As far as hygiene skills, you may want to work on bathing independently. You can also work on basic food preparation – something simple like making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You can also assign your child simple chores, including cleaning, emptying trash cans, sorting laundry and bringing it to the laundry room, setting the table for meals and so on. You can also start basic money management skills – a small allowance will show your child how to earn money.
- Middle school. As your child grows and matures, you should move on to even more advanced skills. At this time you can teach your child how to do their own laundry independently. They should also be working on time management and learning how to balance their various responsibilities. You can also focus on more advanced food preparation, teaching your child how to clean and prepare different fruits and vegetables, or learning how to cook or bake simple items. You can also move forward with money management skills, maybe even opening a savings account for your child to use.
- High School. By the time your child reaches high school, you should be able to see him or her maturing more and being more capable of independent life skills. These could include planning a balanced meal, learning basic home improvement and auto skills, and furthering his or her money management skills to include budgeting, saving, learning about credit cards and debit cards and so on. You may also want to think about making sure your child has some type of work or volunteer experience. They should also be able to put together a basic resume and fill out a job application. Most high-school students also take their driving test around this time.
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