Family Support Blog #17 – Practical life skills

Blog #17 – Practical life skills

Practical life skills are self-help and life-saving skills and lessons that you can learn (often easily), teach to others, and practice every day to prepare and protect your and others’ health. Most practical skills do not require special certification or formal training to perform, but you do need education

How often as parents do we say ‘It’s quicker if I do it’ rather than ask a child to do something, such as tidy their room, unload the washing machine.

If we don’t allow children to help, they will get use to parents doing things for them.  Children need life skills, here are some tips to help them – and you!

Decision-Making Skills

You may not have realized that decision-making skills for young children are something that needs to be learned. Making independent decisions is an important skill to have so that as your child gets older, they can confidently make decisions without relying on someone else.

Independence is another skill you may not have realized needs to be taught to kids. As parents, it’s easy to complete tasks for our kids because it’s faster, less messy, less stressful, etc. But if we want our kids to turn into strong and independent adults, then they need opportunities to develop this skill.

Teaching kids hygiene skills will vary in level of supervision based on the age of your child, but eventually, you want them to be able to take care of personal hygiene without being told to do so. Basic suggestions for personal hygiene for young children are getting dressed, brushing teeth, washing face, bathing or showering, combing or brushing hair, and independently determining when clothes need to be washed. Pre-teens and teens will have additional personal hygiene skills that should be mastered as they enter puberty, such as learning when to start using deodorant.

Cleaning and Household Chores

Getting children to do chores doesn’t have to be a struggle or a punishment. Having children help out around the house, not only makes parents lives easier, but can also be a fun and rewarding activity for them. To start asking your children to do chores without a fight, make sure you choose tasks that are appropriate for their age, and encourage them when they do a good job. Some parents may want to give their children an allowance for completing chores, but money doesn’t have to be the only reward.

Learning to cook for themselves will set children up for success in adulthood. Even if it’s something basic, being able to independently prepare a meal is a huge life skill. By ages 6 to 7 children can start to help with cooking meals, and can learn to mix, stir and cut with a dull knife, make a basic meal, like a sandwich, and help put the groceries away. There are many kid-friendly recipes available to help young children learn basic cooking skills.

As your children become more confident in the kitchen, assist them in learning how to follow a recipe and prepare a simple meal for a family dinner. 

Problem-Solving and Learning to Adapt

Problem-solving and adaptation are skills that even adults can struggle with. Resilient children will make resilient adults, and in an ever-changing world that can be essential. Practice problem solving and handling challenges appropriately with everyday situations. Children may get frustrated at first, so teach them how to handle their emotions, and walk through a challenge step-by-step.

Have patience and stay positive so that you help kids learn to persevere through difficult times. One of the best ways to work on developing resilience and adaptation is by modelling appropriate behaviour. When things don’t go the way you want them to, remember that your little ones are watching your every move. It can be hard to practice what we preach, but this is the perfect time to do it.

How to Appropriately Interact with People

We live in a day and age where being open-minded, accepting, and polite can go a long way. Teach your children how to respectfully address people, use good manners especially (please and thank you), have patience with others, offer help and assistance when they see someone struggling, and hold themselves accountable. The saying of “treat others how you would want to be treated” is the perfect motto when it comes to appropriately interacting with other kids and all people.

To treat a minor cut

To help your child not to panic when they see blood, do your best to avoid having a big reaction yourself. Giving them a first aid game plan will also help distract them from the pain and come in handy when you’re not around to kiss their cuts and grazes.

Clean the wound and apply a dressing

1. Clean the wound under drinking-quality running tap water – avoid using antiseptic as it may damage the skin and slow healing.

2. pat the area dry with a clean towel

3. Apply a sterile adhesive dressing, such as a plaster

We hope these tips are useful for you and your family.

Our Family Support Team are here to offer support and advice and are running workshops in your school throughout the year so please get in touch if you would like more information contact are #hereforyou if you need advice, guidance or support – you can contact us via the contact information on our Team page.

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