When we were growing up there was a lot of emphasis that was laid on academics. But once we got out of our homes and started jobs, we realized they only took us so far as we need more than a solid foundation in academics to survive jobs and life. So we know our kids need to be taught life skills to help them tackle the world. The good news is that these skills are teachable and there are many ways in which we can do it.
Life Skills Kids Need to Learn
Some of the skills kids should learn include:
- Problem Solving
- Home Management
- Handling Emotions
Teach with Movies
I often take the movie route to get my kids to learn certain life skills like problem solving, out of the box thinking, leadership and friendship. More recently, it was Penguins of Madagascar. The scenes may not be realistic – like the scene in Venice where the penguins use oars in the chase scene. I don’t expect my kids to be caught in a similar situation (at least I hope not) but it does show kids that we can go beyond the obvious and find different ways to solve problems.
Teach with Apps
There are many apps out in the market that are tailored to teach life skills like how to handle emotions, manage money and collaborate with others. I am just scratching the surface here. You can try out Calm Counter – Social Story and Anger Management Tool that offers tips to kids on how to deal with emotions. Rory’s Story Cubes is a great way to teach kids creativity and to encourage them to work together. By the time kids are seven years old, it is time to inculcate the value of money and how to save; Savings Spree is an educational game that aims to teach kids how to save.
Teach with Activities
Gaming can again help with spatial skills. LEGO also helps here. You can also teach responsibility by getting kids to start gardening. We have a little patch where kids can grow plants and it is wholly their responsibility. When the plants start wilting the kids know they have been slacking off. You can also host a cooking party – cooking is an important life skill and a party would call for kids to work together.
Life skills cannot be learnt from a text book, the skills have to be acquired with practice. So don’t forget to create opportunities for kids to exercise their life skills.