As parents, we want the best for our children. When we get pregnant we create ideas of what our children will be like, who’ll they’ll take after and the qualities they pronounce onto others. As they go through their infancy and toddler stages we figure it’s our responsibility to teach them. Sounds and actions become forms of how to talk, walk and interact but as they develop the important life skills which, as parents can’t always depend on the school to teach our children.
We spend so much time focussing on our children achieving milestones such as crawling, walking, singing the ABC that we can often overlook the necessities of managing money, time management, basic cooking skills or emotional awareness. The future of our children is changing and it’s our job as parents to keep on top of it. Social media, current events and screens are having influences on children we could have never expected but understanding some simple life skills for survival and coping with the modern day will grow them into the respectful, responsible and thoughtful humans we had imagined.
Health and Hygiene
In the madness of everyday life the simple act of brushing teeth, taking a bath or washing your hands can just be something you rush around telling your kids to do, but do you actually explain why? Why do we brush and floss? Amazingly kids are very good at getting filthy but it’s the perfect time for teaching them healthy habits and hygiene. The simple act of washing hands for 20 seconds, make it fun by coming up with a song to sing at the same time. Coughing and sneezing etiquette, blowing into a tissue or coughing into a sleeve. They won’t become masters overnight but continuous reminders will eventually make them natural behaviours.
Embracing the digital age is a positive thing, its where the world is going and if you don’t keep up you’ll be left behind. Etiquette which revolves around the net and social media platforms should become just as important as manners. Kids are like sponges they’ll absorb your actions and even your online behaviour, so be a good role model. A few simple guidelines will help them to understand how their actions online could affect certain situations. Respect – be kind, courteous and considerate of others no matter what their race, ethnicity, sex or beliefs. Avoid negative talk, name calling or gossip, set boundaries on what is acceptable to discuss online. Appropriate language, using capital letters and certain emoticons which could be received in the opposite way to what was intended. Teach them to think before clicking send, how they’d feel receiving such an image, text, email or video. Creating safe screen names, profile images and posting suitable content.
Survival Skills and Basic First Aid
You won’t be there to wipe the blood, sweat and tears forever. Of course, they’ll learn some of these basic skills at school but it’s our job to reinforce it at home to teach them these essential first aid steps. From providing and explaining the contents of an at home first aid kit to calling emergency services in the appropriate situations. When kids take a fall let them help you tend to it, they’ll learn the basic skills of cleaning a wound and dressing. If you are an outdoorsy family teaching the basic survival skills will be a little easier. How to light a fire, keeping warm in case of an emergency, searching for food from the land and water rescue. If not it might be worth joining a scouts or girl guides club where kids will learn a plethora of skills while making lifelong friends.
Children are our future and will pave the way for generations to come so instilling the importance of environment and sustainability at an early age will teach your child to be more loving towards the planet. Changes, if only small are a step in a more positive direction. Help them to understand the earth, the land and the waterways but start off simply. Activities like sowing seeds and having the responsibility of watering them, recycling household items in the correct way. Reusing jars and bottles or shopping at bulk bin outlets for groceries. Teach kids about the landfill, the oceans and the food chain. The earlier we begin to educate and instil eco-friendly habits the sooner it will become second nature.
From the basics in primary school of adding and subtracting to enrolling in finance or accounting class the school system is designed to teach kids the basics of money based on future careers but more often than not they fail to emphasize the importance of saving, how to keep a personal budget or how to manage personal finances and how our tax system works. Basic negotiation and maintaining a personal budget may well benefit them in the future. An idea to teach children is giving them a certain amount of pocket money each week or fortnight which they have to use for their expenses – these could be buying lunch at Chipmunks Playland, their entry fee or paying for their bus to school. Teach saving by creating a budget which outlines their outgoings and allows a little extra to put aside for something they desire to buy over time. Lend a hand by matching their saving dollar for dollar to help fund their purchase to motivate the want to save. Comparative shopping is also important and helps to understand the concept of budgeting, explain why we choose the cheaper option sometimes as this kind of awareness and budget training can develop a healthy habit towards not wasting money and respecting dollar value.
Kids love to follow the behaviours and actions of parents so why not start by teaching them these and many other life skills from the earliest age. It’s easier to create a habit than break one and the long term pay off will pay off. No one knows your kids better than you so create ways which work for your family to teach such skills. Games, songs or a rewards system. Why not create a rewards chart and aim towards a family day out at Chipmunks kids indoor play centre, the kids are guaranteed to have fun, you can relax and have a break in the cafe and the kids will have something to work towards. Stay and play all day or as long as you like because at Chipmunks our unlimited pay for play pass means kids can enjoy the indoor playground, ball pool, slides and inflatables for the entire day.