Parenting

5 Life Skills Every Child Should Learn

When it comes to raising children, years can fly by in the blink of an eye. One minute you’re changing their diapers, the next your child is all grown up, attending college, getting married, or even having children of their own. Before that happens, however, there are some important life skills that they need to know.

Social Skills

As your child grows, it’s essential that they gain experience with socializing and getting along with others. After all, research suggests that experiencing a sense of social belonging and connection is one of our core psychological needs. This means that for our kids to experience greater life satisfaction down the road, it’s important to encourage them to socialize.

One way to do this is by allowing your child to follow their interests. For example, if they show interest in a hobby that could lead to them making friends, encourage them to pursue it. Whether they want to learn an instrument or play a sport, these can be great opportunities for them to connect with other kids while having fun.

If your child is showing hesitance or anxiety when it comes to interactions, however, that’s completely normal. Just make sure to empathize with them and allow them to take things at their own pace. You may want to start out by planning playdates at your own home, where they are more comfortable.

Time Management

As you grow, responsibilities start to add up. Between managing work, personal relationships, and hobbies, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Studies have even shown that your ability to manage time is a predictor of stress. This is all the more reason to teach your child time management sooner rather than later.

One of the best ways to encourage this skill in your child is to start small. Have them complete small, easy tasks in short periods of time such as putting away their toys or brushing their teeth. Put together a fun daily schedule using colorful crayons and sticker books. By making time management into a game, your kids are more likely to enjoy the process. 

Hygiene

For both physical and mental health, good hygiene is a necessity. Not only does good hygiene lower your risk of catching diseases, but it also can also boost your self-esteem and make you feel more confident.

Here are some examples of hygienic habits every child should learn:

  • Brushing teeth
  • Cleaning hair
  • Cutting nails
  • Cleaning toys
  • Bathing regularly

While these activities will require parental supervision at first, once you’ve established them as habits, your child will learn to take care of these things themself. Just make sure to be diligent in the early stages of teaching these habits. Your kids will thank you down the line!

Money Management

Research suggests that finances are the biggest cause of college students experiencing stress and dropping out. But financial anxiety isn’t just limited to students. Whether you’re a parent searching for a home loan or a new job, you understand the stress money can cause. That said, for your child’s long-term happiness, money management is a great skill to teach.

Here are some easy ways to teach your child about money:

  • Savings jar: Have your kids save money in a piggy bank or a clear jar lying around the house. Whenever they make a new deposit, be sure to celebrate!
  • Have them pay: If your child asks for a treat at the store, consider buying it for them on the condition that they pay the cashier. That way they can feel both ends of the transaction.
  • Be a role model: Lead by example by creating a budget and resisting impulsive purchases. When you write a check or pay for a new toy, explain to your child what you’re doing. They may just naturally pick up on your habits along the way.

Independence

As your child grows, they’re going to want to do more things on their own. Fostering this sense of independence is crucial, as it helps your child develop confidence and self-esteem. This will help them in school, any problem-solving situation, and could even be the foundation for a successful career later in life.

Teaching chores can be one of the best methods to help your child feel independent. By doing simple tasks around the house, they will start to develop a sense of responsibility. If your child is younger, start off with simple chores, like sorting their clothes, or feeding the dog. If they’re a little older, have them make their bed, do the dishes, or vacuum their room.

Using the printable morning and evening routine cards below, you can hang up tasks for your children to complete. When they’re finished with a task, have them flip it over. Once they’ve flipped every printable for the day, they’ll feel a sense of accomplishment.

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