…..Why Learning Practical Skills for Kids is so Important
Will your Child be ready to leave the house?
Practical skills for kids are dying. Everyone eats, few cook. Everyone shops, few budget. Everyone uses electronics, few can fix basic computer issues. Many kids aren’t being taught cursive writing anymore. How will they be able to read historical documents? Kids aren’t learning these things in school anymore.
Teenagers seem to be having a harder time getting and keeping jobs, dealing with getting an apartment, traveling, and making it in the real world with daily things. Practical life skills used to be easier to absorb, but technology and other social factors seem to have stunted those learnings and can make them sound boring. Teaching life skills can be challenging for parents who don’t have all these talents.
Life skills are the foundation for our ability
to do something to help us in our everyday life.
The ability to manage around us, fix things,
understand things, and deal with other
people and outside situations and things.
Tom was really excited to go off to college and live on his for the first time. He found an apartment but didn’t know there would be deposits required and co-signers for the lease. He didn’t know how to get Internet services hooked up, and hadn’t saved enough money for the deposits and first month’s bills.
What do they really need to handle before they leave home for the first time? Teens need to know some hard skills to prepare them for activities like how-to:
- Prepare for business and work life
- Manage money
- Fix things and be resourceful
- Meet people
- Speak up to get the right help, and help others
- Grow and learn new things
- Explore their passions, take risks
- Be adaptable
- Make smart decisions and solve problems
- Plan and set goals
- Grow emotional intelligence
Not everyone needs to learn to bake from scratch but we all need to read a map and get around new places. You may not need to know how to start a fire from twigs, but we all need to know how to stay safe in different kinds of emergency situations. What about eating? You may not want to garden, but everyone should know how to food shop for produce and use kitchen tools to prepare them.
If you are serious about wanting your kids to thrive in this economy, how can you help develop their life skills learning? To give them the best chance possible, you’ll need to engage with learning opportunities in really fun ways.
Casual learning environments empower kids in ways that academic environments can’t. If there are opportunities for kids to meet up for a single purpose the team environment helps spur questions and advance ideas. Kids can meet up for cooking projects, building something together, or a painting project.
Creative, active projects that you child takes on alone are also really beneficial. Maybe your son wants to make youtube videos, or your daughter wants to start a jewelry-making business. Through these activities, they can practice the life skills they learn and put it together by using them in activities.
Going through normal daily life events with family and friends, parents can guide kids to life skills learning without it being a sit-down lesson. If you are taking a hike, you can add collecting leaves and talking about conservation. If you are food shopping, you can charge the kids with a budget and send them to spend it on a meal they create and cook.
As a last tip, there are many options to help parents set up lesson plans or activity ideas. You can make a plan to incorporate teaching important life skills with a youtube playlist, downloadable worksheets, or apps for their tablets with games that relate to the activities.