Loving and helping your children is a source of happiness for them, and for you as a parent. Life skills are desirable or necessary skills that are needed to participate in everyday life. Teaching your child important and useful skills that he or she can use now and into the future is a valuable parental gift of help, and love.
Basic Life Skills for Young Children
Life skills taught should be age-appropriate for your child. Young children are learning about the world in which they live, and need life skills tools which help them interact safely in their environment.
Learning to get along with others begins when very young, and continues throughout a lifetime. Even the youngest child is presented with life situations that require decision-making, and a wise parent teaches basic age-appropriate life skills to foster good judgment.
Basic life skills learned early serve as a strong foundation and building block for the many life skills a child continues to learn as he or she grows to young adulthood, and beyond.
Some simple but powerful life skills tools for the very young include:
- Set a good example for your child. He or she will learn from you how to treat others by the way treat him or her.
- Teach your child good manners. Saying “please” and “thank you” lasts a lifetime.
- Teach your child kindness; to siblings, other children, and to other living things.
- Teach your child honesty. Do not punish a child for telling the truth, but help them to understand why it is important to be truthful with self and others.
- Teach your child respect for self, for others, for living things, and for the environment.
- Teach your child when to use caution, but do not teach your child to be afraid. Caution should be used around people they do not know. Teach them never to go with a stranger, and to go to Mom or Dad about it first.
- Teach your child basic safety:
- Drivers often do not see small children, so cars are dangerous. Never run in front of a car. Look both ways before you cross the street. Never ride your tricycle or bicycle into the street.
- Teach your child to use caution with an animal they do not know, and that does not know them. The natural curiosity and love of a child draws them to animals. Teach them to go to Mom or Dad about it first.
- The small size and lack of life experience of a child makes them especially prone to dog bites.
Teach your child that a strange dog might not be friendly to everyone, and not to pet or hug it. It is best to leave it alone, and just walk calmly and quietly away.
Basic Life Skills for Older Children and Pre-Teens
- Teach your children the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, beginning when they are very young. Continue to teach it as they grow-up, encouraging them to try and treat others as they would want to be treated.
- Teach growing children the lifelong value of competency and excellence in their chosen fields of interest.
- Teach your children the facts about drugs and drug use, and what to do when they are faced with the opportunity or invitation to use.
- Teach your soon-to-be adult child how to manage a bank account, establish and follow a budget, establish and manage credit, apply for a job, do a job interview, and how to purchase his or her first car.
Most importantly, encourage your children to follow their dreams in pursuit of a happy and worthwhile life.