Life skills are those skills which will help your child endure, and survive most of the emergencies in life. They are inevitable along with academics or extracurricular activities and as parents, it is our job to teach them to our children. These are skills which can be taught through routine activities and by creating simulations of emergency scenarios. Life skills complement the development and provide much-required help for your child to succeed later in life.
Life skills will prepare your child to be independent. Teaching your child life skills allows him to feel empowered and is important for self-care and sufficiency and helps develop healthy self-esteem.
Here are the top life skills that every child should be taught:
1.Basic survival skills
Swimming, awareness about disasters, cooking simple meals, doing household chores, managing money, planning and organising are the basic skills required by all individuals to survive and live a comfortable life. Let your child take swimming lessons, manage their pocket money, buy groceries with you, learn about disaster management, plan their studies and day to day schedules etc. They may make mistakes but will be ‘learning by doing’.
Critical thinking, observation and ability to analyse a situation and react accordingly are the skills required for effective problem-solving.In this modern and complex world, children and especially teenagers may go through mind-boggling dilemmas sometimes leading to childhood depression. An increasing number of suicides among teenagers is one of the effects of not having problem-solving abilities, making them vulnerable to difficult situations in life.
3.Communication and interpersonal skills
Children need to be taught how to understand social cues. Effective communication also includes listening skills. They must know what they want to communicate and the most effective way to share it. How can you help your child build these skills?Just by talking to them as an interested adult and listening to them carefully. Spend time every day listening to and responding to your child without distractions.
4.Ability to take up challenges and cope up with failure
Parents should encourage children to try new things and take a calculated risk, such as climbing a tree or riding a bike or learning to swim, of course with adult supervision. Even small kids can be offered a new challenge when they seem to be ready. Focus more on their effort than achievement, e.g., “Learning to swim was really hard, but you kept trying. Great job. Keep it up.”Entrepreneurs, scientists, sportspeople take challenges and achieve victory after many failures. The key is to take risks, accept failures and never give up.
5. Appreciation and gratitude
A positive attitude towards life, gratitude and satisfaction with what one has can help sail smoothly even in the strongest storms of life. Parents should appreciate children for their good deeds and success, whether big or small. Kind words from parents, quality time and lots of hugs can help develop a positive attitude, confidence and a sense of satisfaction. Be careful while admonishing children for every small wrongdoing. Remember, you made mistakes too.
Lead by your own example. Check whether your own behaviour matches the skills required and shower lots of warmth, love and conscious parenting. You will not regret it ever.