We all want our kids to be happy. And we want them to grow up to be happy, healthy and independent adults. There are lots of things we can teach our children over the years. But there are certain life skills that will stand them in good stead, no matter what life throws at them.
7 Essential Life Skills to Pass onto Your Kids
- Always Look After Your Health
First and foremost, always look after your health. Take them to visit a paediatric dentist regularly, so they get used to the experience. Make regular appointments to see the doctor and ophthalmologist. Let them learn how important good health is.
- Eat Well
Involve your kids in cooking and food decisions. Teach them how to make healthy choices and avoid foods that lead to poor health. Encourage them to help with grocery shopping, food preparation, and baking. If possible, grow food in your garden so they can see the process of planting to plate. If you have a small outdoor area, consider growing herbs or tomato plants indoors.
Communication is a vital life skill and will impact on all areas of their lives. It is likely to affect the jobs they get and the relationships they build. Expose them to lots of people from an early age. Encourage them to make friends and help them to navigate these relationships. As well as children, ensure they are comfortable speaking to adults.
- Good Manners
Good manners are part of your child’s communication skills. Teach them how to respond to different people and to say please and thank you. Foster a respectful and polite environment where kindness is key.
- Problem Solving
To be independent, children need to work out how to solve problems for themselves. A good way to encourage this is when they come to you with a question. For example, if your son or daughter tells you they can find something, don’t just locate it for them. Ask them where it should be and whether they have checked there. Then ask them where else it could be and suggest that they check. This will encourage them to find solutions themselves.
As your children get older, they will need to learn the value of money. Don’t just hand money over if they ask for it. Provide an allowance in return for them completing chores. If there’s something they want, show them how to save up for it. They will appreciate the item far more if they have worked for it.
In later years, teach them how to set up a household budget. Show them how to enter the money coming in and the bills.
Empathy is an important life skill, but it is often overlooked. The best way to teach this is to demonstrate it. When a situation arises, ask your children to consider it from the other person’s point of view. Ask them how they think that person feels.
Show your child the importance of physical activities. Make activities fun so they want to get involved. Let them see you exercising and explain why you’re doing it.
With all life skills, the best way to teach them is by demonstrating them. There’s no point in telling a child to behave one way and then do something different yourself. For the message to be effective, you need to model those skills.