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Like many of you, my life has completely changed overnight. I now work remotely, and my children are home learning online. I’ve had moments of triumph (my son wrote a paragraph independently), and I’ve had moments of failure (locking myself in the bathroom to sit in on a meeting). Life is far from perfect. However, I am finding more pockets of time to be present with my family, clean my home, and connect with family.
As a school educator, I am painfully aware that our schools don’t provide students access to life skills that they need to survive. A ton of time is spent on core content, which is critically important. However, we miss the mark with some critical life skills. I want to share with you some skills that I think are important to teach your child at almost any time in their life, whether 2 or 20.
Quarantine Note: I appreciate all of my followers for reading this post, but I also recognize that during this quarantine, you may not have the time, energy, or mindset to work on the skill sets with your kids. My priority is always to ensure you, mom, are taking care of yourself. I hope the suggestions below provide you with some ideas of what to do with your child, but if you need to tap out and just sit, watching tv with your kids, do so. Meeting your mental, physical, and health needs are critical.
Life Skill #1: Independently Managing Time
We are facing a new reality right now: kids are home, and we managing their online learning experience. For those of you who have kids under 10, you may feel the lift that comes with co-managing their learning schedule. If you have older children, you may be starting to see how well they manage their time (my daughter stayed up till ten the first day of homeschooling because she kept putting an assignment off, we fixed that quickly.)
Yes, there is an immediate need for kids to learn how to manage their time, but there is a life long need for it as well. When kids know how to manage their time, they are more productive; they can engage in activities that interest them and manage their emotions more effectively. Yes, it is so much easier just to give kids a schedule and expect them to follow it, but I don’t want to be the constant nagger about sticking to a schedule. I want to co-create a plan with my kids that they will look forward to following.
Here are some ideas:
- Co-Create a schedule with your child
- Manage breaks effectively, be mindful of your child’s age. A 6-year old should not be on any task for longer than 12 minutes at a time.
- Article: The Trick to Getting Kids to Manage Their Own Time and Get Things Done (Without Nagging)
- Teach kids the power behind making choices: What Should Danny Do? The Power to Choose Series
- Teach your kids about failure. Kids brain grow the most when they fail and learn from that failure: The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed
Life Skill #2: Understanding Money
I’ve learned some really hard lessons when it comes to money. The thing that stings me the most is if I had just started saving when I was 15 with money from my first job, I could be a millionaire right now. At almost 40 years old, I’m still learning. Understanding what it takes to make money, manage money, delay gratification, the responsible ways to handle debt, and investing for future goals are critical for someone’s stability.
Here are some ideas:
- Use a child’s savings account where you can coordinate between their allowance, spending, savings and donating. We use Current for our three kids, and even my two-year-old gets a $2 weekly allowance.
- Teach your kids how to manage money: Make Your Kid A Money Genius (Even If You’re Not): A Parents’ Guide for Kids 3 to 23
- Dave Ramsey’s Approach
Life Skill #3: How to Take Care of Their Own Things
Keeping things organized seems like a simple, natural task to take on. However, the hard lessons come when glasses are lost and hats are misplaced. When kids are away from home, you want to trust that they can manage their items and be responsible for their own things.
- 25 Moms give tips on how to teach kids to be organized
- 10 Ways to Help Get Your Child Organized
- Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary “Executive Skills” Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential
I would love to hear how these resources help with the work you do with your child(ren). Let me know if there are additional ideas I’m missing.
Always with love,