5 Important Life Skills to Explore with Your Child

Watching children grow and learn is one of the biggest pleasures of parenthood. Seeing them gradually become more independent is exciting and of course, watching your child’s pride in themselves is wonderful.

There are a number of ways in which we, as parents can support our children to become independent and here, for your reference are 5 of the most important life skills you can explore with your child.

1 – Time Management – Of all life skills this is possibly one of the most important. Without time-management skills, many of the other important life skills are useless. The question is, how best to instil the habits and knowledge necessary? First of all, it helps if your child is able to read a clock properly. Once they can, talk to them in general about time – how long things take versus how long we think they might take. Discuss the things we must consider when getting ready for an event – how might we estimate travel time and what things can we do in advance to make getting ready easier?

2 – Simple First Aid – Of course, nobody expects a 10 year old to manage alone in an emergency but the fact is that very occasionally, there might be a situation which your child needs to call on some basic first aid techniques. You can sign your child up for a class with St. John’s Ambulance Brigade or keep it simple and show them where your own first aid box is, what’s in it and how to use it. They should also know when it is appropriate to call emergency services.

3 – How to navigate – Learning to get from A to B is a vital skill and you can start early with the basics. Even little children can learn how to read a timetable for a train or bus. Children should be shown the simple signposts in life which are there to make travelling simpler – street names, postcodes, counties and districts. Map reading and compass work should come when your child is around 10 or so – most enjoy this aspect and it’s fun to challenge them to find their way somewhere new whilst you tag along to ensure they’re safe.

4 – How to make a simple meal – This can also involve quite young children because not all meals require cooking or sharp knives. Good first attempts include sandwiches, either toasted or not, salads, spaghetti Bolognese and any meals which your child particularly enjoys. Teach them to hold a knife safely and how to manage the stove or other kitchen tools.

5 – How to swim – The value of being able to swim should not be underestimated. Swimming is excellent for fitness and for mental health as well as being useful in a number of situations. Without swimming, there’d be no sailing, canoeing, surfing or diving.

Most good schools, like this prep school in the UK ensure their pupils are exposed to plenty of opportunity to learn new life skills including the above mentioned. Teaching these essential life skills to your child can only improve their life – they won’t all come easily to your child but persistence is vital because once they get the skills needed, their confidence will soar.

David Curry