With schools now closed for an extended period of time in the UK, parents have become essential when it comes to children’s education. However, it’s also important to remember that all this time spent at home is a great opportunity to start fostering essential life skills that your kids perhaps aren’t always taught at school. Here’s some ideas of skills that will be beneficial to your child and ways to build them into your daily routine. Taking the time to develop these together will also be a great way to bond and have fun too!
How To: Cook Basics
One of the most important life skills you can start to foster at home on a regular basis is how to cook the basics and eat a balanced diet. Anyone can put a frozen meal in the microwave, but learning how to make real food will not only give your child independence as they grow up but will also be beneficial when they eventually head to university or move out. Start with simple things like making sandwiches and easy breakfasts together as well as getting them to assist you with cooking lunches, dinners or baking. Depending on how old your children are, you can eventually give them some bigger responsibilities such as chopping vegetables or cooking a jacket potato, rice or pasta from scratch without you telling them how to do it (supervised of course).
How To: Manage Money and Budget
Managing money is a vital life lesson to start showing children sooner rather than later, especially as you don’t want them to get into money troubles when they’re older. A great way to start fostering it with a child of any age is to give them a certain amount of pocket money every month or fortnight, which is all they have to use if they want to buy anything. This way if they want something a little more expensive, encouraging them to save up their allowance to buy it will help teach the value of money and patience. For teens, it’s also a great idea to take some time to sit down and show them how you handle your own household income, spending and savings, as well as things you sometimes have to sacrifice to stay in budget. Talking openly and honestly about money as well as actively showing how you try to make smart decisions with your own spending will not only help your children develop good habits, but they’ll be more likely to respect its value as they grow older.
How To: Ask For Help
Children often think they can do it all (especially teenagers), so it’s important to remind them regularly they’re not supposed to know how to do everything. Encourage your kids to ask for help at home whether it’s with school work, a craft project or an issue with a friend. Remind them that independent people became that way by asking for help when they needed it. Another great way to foster this life skill is to set an example of asking for help when you need it, whether that’s asking your partner to help cook dinner, or asking the kids to put away their own laundry. Showing children that adults can’t do it all and need help too will show them there’s no shame in asking for help when it’s needed!
How To: Manage Time Independently
Managing time is a great life skill you can foster during this extended period of learning at home. We recommend starting by encouraging your child to claim responsibility for their own time such as waking up in time for breakfast and getting ready for their day of home-schooling. An alarm clock might be helpful for this! It’s also a great idea to set mini deadlines for school work or projects that are being worked on during home-schooling sessions, as it will keep your child focused and help them learn to manage their study time. Having a planner might be useful for this so they can track what subjects they’re working on and what work needs to be completed by when.
How To Do: Household Chores
Involving your children in household chores is a great way to teach basic life skills that will help to foster their independence, preparing them for the day they head to university or move out. Everyday examples to get them to help out with include; hoovering and cleaning the house, laundry, changing bedding, making sure the rubbish is ready for collection outside and recycling. Asking them to keep their own room clean and tidy is a good place to start and eventually you can grow their responsibilities by showing them how to perform trickier tasks such as washing clothes properly. We know getting your kids involved in these chores can be hard, but they’ll be thankful one day!