Life Skills that Kids Sometimes Miss
By Sandy Schroeder
There seems to be a class for everything, but sometimes important basics get overlooked. StayAtHome.org recently took a long look at skills that we could, and probably should, teach our kids.
How to wait – We live in a world of instant delivery, which may make it harder to teach the need for building skills, saving money, and seeing the big picture. Getting kids outside with hands-on projects and lots of activities may lure kids away from too many screens, moving them back into the real world where not everything happens instantly.
Learning cause and effect – What we do or don’t do can make a big difference. Teaching kids how to show up and be responsible may stay with them all of their lives as they move through school and into careers. Self-confidence blooms when kids learn that they are responsible for their own success.
How to say you are sorry – Learning to forgive and ask for forgiveness can help kids be happy early. Hanging onto grudges seldom benefits anyone. Talking with kids about mishaps and helping them work through situations with friends can help them learn valuable people skills.
Thinking for yourself – Learning to think independently counts wherever your child goes. It starts on the playground, moves to the classroom, and then continues on through life. Questioning issues and speaking up when something is wrong will make a difference. Setting a good example and talking with kids about issues as you encourage them to form their own opinions is a good first step.,
Connecting with others – Kids may become very adept at electronic communication but still flounder when they deal with someone face-to-face. Make sure they have exposure to both skills with neighborhood, community and school events. See what they enjoy most and help them find groups to share their interests. Sports, music, art, or science could be the focus point to have fun with lots of different people.
Recognizing a snow job – It’s important for kids to learn how to look below the surface to know when things are solid or simply a scam. They may have already encountered scams online, or need to know how to avoid them, but they also need to recognize other scams wherever they turn up. Learning to see a sales pitch for what it is, or to wade through a lot of words to get to the meat of an argument, can be a valuable skill that will help them wherever they go.
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