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Five life skills for kids and teens

Five life skills for kids and teens
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Sometimes kids and parents alike get caught up in exam results. But no matter how bright your child might be on paper, unless she has some basic life skills behind her she won’t get very far in the adult world. Here is our pick of five of the most important life skills you can teach your kids.

 Thinking for themselves

Success and creativity only come to those who can think for themselves. Ask kids lots of questions, push them to be curious and allow them to make their own decisions and learn from their mistakes. Children can be offered a choice between two meals or a few t-shirts while teens should be given more of a free rein to make their own decisions. Encouraging your children to think for themselves reduces the chances of teens following their peers into risky behaviours and having a lack of ambition.

Communicating effectively

Your teen may have a thriving social life online, but how do her people skills fare? Interacting with new people is essential for interviews and starting new jobs as well as going off to college or university. Without good interpersonal skills, respect and politeness, teenagers will struggle when they enter the adult world. Lead by example showing exemplary manners wherever you go and encourage children to do things like paying for shopping or ordering food on their own. Sports are a great way to develop people skills – there is no place for a smartphone on the football pitch!

Problem solving

The ability to identify a problem and find a solution is invaluable in both work and personal lives. Kids need to learn how to consider different solutions and choose the best one. It also helps if they are flexible enough to adapt to doing things differently when a problem arises. Busy lifestyles often result in parents telling their kids the best way to deal with a problem. However, this doesn’t help them learn how to think things through for themselves. Rather than offering the solution you think is best, ask questions to support them in finding their own way of dealing with issues.

Five life skills for kids and teens

Managing money

It’s a skill that adults across the world need but often people don’t start learning to manage their money until they’ve already left home. By which time they’re learning the hard way. However, you can start teaching children how to manage their money from a relatively young age. Giving kids and teenagers pocket money is a good place to start.

If they want some extra cash then they can earn it by doing chores and if they want to purchase something expensive then they should be encouraged to save for it. This teaches kids how to budget so that they have a little left over each week for their piggy bank or savings account and shows them the value of money, which as grown ups they’ll have to earn.

Running a house

You might be surprised at how many young people leave home and realise they don’t know how to cook a proper meal, use the washing machine or fix the fuse box. Rather than doing everything for your kids, encourage them to help out around the house. It doesn’t have to be a chore. Cooking or baking together can be a fun way to spend an afternoon together. Teaching your kids these essential skills will help them in the future but has the added bonus of giving you a little more free time.

 

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About Maria Brett

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About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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