Life Skills Parents should Teach their Children

Parents are their children’s first and most impressionable teachers. The lessons which children learn from their parents can have a powerful impact and last a lifetime. Teaching children a vast array of life skills can equip them for facing the challenges of the real world. Parents need to make their children realize that in all aspect of their lives, their value will be determined by what they choose to make of themselves.

It would be most beneficial if parents explain to their children the importance of imbibing life skills. Let your children clearly understand your expectations from them; however, parents need to make sure that the expectations are age-appropriate and match the child’s gender, temperament and latent abilities. However, learning  skills would be so much easier when no undue pressure is put on children.  Every child is unique; it is therefore crucial that parents pay attention to their child’s potential and adjust their teaching methodology accordingly.

Here are six vital life skills parents should teach their children:

1~ Self-awareness

Parents need to acknowledge children for who they are and not for what they can become. It is critical that parents make each of their children feel a sense of pride in who he/she is. Self-awareness can be created by parents when each child is respected as a separate entity.

Allow your child the freedom to be true to himself/herself first. Allow children to blossom naturally in accordance to their choice and inclination and not be manipulated by any external pressures.

2 ~ Responsibility

This is an important skill which can help children become independent, responsible adults. Children need to learn to take full responsibility for their thoughts, feelings, attitude, actions and behavior. Parents need to encourage their children’s drive towards independence and let him/her have the freedom to make their own choices.

Remember: It’s your children’s life and their choices to make. Begin to let children learn to take care of themselves and their things; let them be responsible for keeping their toys, books, clothes and room in order.

3 ~ Practical life-skills

Self-care is of great importance. It would be highly beneficial to begin teaching children early on, how to take care of themselves, how to maintain personal hygiene and take good care of their belongings.

Let your home be a practical learning center for children to participate in all family activities including all household chores. Of course, the assigned chores need to be age-appropriate. Children can be trained to do cleaning, mopping, dusting, laundry and help in cooking, preparation of breakfast and setting the family table appropriately for meals.

4 ~ Inter-personal skills

Children need to learn how to communicate and express their thoughts and feelings effectively without any qualms. Parents can help by initiating conversations and discussions and drawing children out from their shells. Careful listening on the part of the parents can help child to develop assertiveness; it could make children feel important-knowing their parents are truly interested and their opinions are respected.

 Let your children know that you as parents will always be available if and when they have any concerns. Developing children’s interpersonal skills can also build their sense of empathy and social skills; as adults they would have to get along with different groups of people in social settings.

5 ~ Decision-making skills

These skills are crucial in all aspects of life. Children need to learn how to make good decisions by carefully weighing the pros and cons relevant to the choices they have. Parents can teach children by involving them in making family decisions like going on vacations, choice of gifts for family members and places to visit.

When children’s opinions are heard and views taken into consideration, their self-esteem is raised; this could trigger them to make other decisions pertaining to their own lives like career or work choice in the future. Allow your children the many-splendored joys of accomplishment by encouraging them in making decisions.

6 ~ Management skills

Managing all aspects of one’s life is an essential skill for children to learn. Children should be taught from early stages of development, the importance of time-management. Parents can help by encouraging their children to get up and be ready for school on time, complete and submit their homework on time and also do their assigned chores on time without nagging or constant reminders.

 Children should also be taught to manage stress and learn how to deal with bullies or act in times of emergencies. They should also learn basics of street-smartness, so that their peers are not able to pressurize them into doing things which are against their moral principles. Children should also practice solving their own problems with minimum guidance from their parents whenever any conflict situations arise.

~ Conclusion

Finally, as parents we need to be persistent and consistent in teaching all the above life skills to our children. We need to set a good example to our children by practicing what we teach them. We need to set higher goals and standards of behavior for our children so that they can confidently make a place for themselves in today’s competitive world.

As children go through various stages of development, they learn to grasp what is truly significant in their lives and their understanding of their parent’s contribution deepens as they mature into adulthood. With your help and support, your children can grow up to be fine men and women after having imbibed the life-skills that their parents devotedly taught them.

Sources:

Parenting with Purpose by Robert Reasoner and Marilyn Lane

 Life Skills for Kids: Equipping your child for the real world by Christine Field