by Aarti Kapur Singh
Here is a list of the most important life skills for kids that parents should teach their children!
When I raise my child, the responsibility of it all overwhelms me. The fact that I am not raising just my son, but a friend, a co-worker, a brother, a husband and a father is HUGE. I am also immensely conscious of the fact that whatever I am doing influences him like nothing else will.
Parenting is a mix of tangible, emotional, psychological, and physical and so many other lessons for kids as well as parents. A number of skills that can be introduced to children at an early age hold them in good stead for life ahead. It is important to help your children develop critical, advantageous skills, strategies and techniques to survive as well as thrive. As parents, we influence our children by what we do and don’t do, what we value and ignore, how we spend our time with our children, and the kids related activities we encourage. After all, the abilities and interests we choose in childhood usually help us choose our paths as adults. It is not just about careers, but a life that is rich and enriches.
As President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “We may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future.”
1. Reading and Writing:
Anybody that is fond of reading can never be or feel lonely. And I say that from personal experience. Children who are encouraged to read from a young age not only have better verbal skills, but are also more expressive and imaginative. Reading also encourages the development of empathy – something that is so crucial for any relationship – professional or personal. Writing – putting thoughts down on paper enhances self-expression and nurtures individuality. Learning experts also believe that learning by writing (as opposed to mugging up) “enhances the brain’s intake, processing, retaining, and retrieving of information.”
Teaching your children to love reading and encouraging writing skills means they will be more persuasive, perceptive and expressive.
As the world has grown more interconnected and interdependent, the ability to exchange thoughts, feelings, and information is critical. Effective communication skills on an individual as well as a group basis enables your child to more easily achieve the things he or she wants from life. The communication skills a child needs are not only for the public sphere – but also within his or her own environment – how to talk about how you are feeling, while keeping in mind the fact that the idea is to respond, and not react. Children have an inherent sense of wanting to be the center of attention. And yet, many adults develop a fear of standing in front of a group and speaking. Encourage children to participate, to recite, to talk to people other than immediate family and friends.
Trust most of us parents are already out-of-the-box thinkers with the real life challenges our kids throw at us. Is a picky eater? Won’t have vegetable? Puree and mix with pasta sauce. Won’t brush teeth? Make funny sounds while brushing your own so he apes you. Don’t we all do things imaginatively to achieve what can be? In a world infested with rats and their races, this is the one skill that will make him stand out and reach destinations where nobody has been before.
4. Physical Confidence:
Nobody will dispute the benefits if physical activities for children. Development of fine and gross motor skills, prevention from possible obesity in later years, mental stimulus of sport or the sheer joy of playing with gay abandon – are some of the advantages of vigorous play that have been scientifically proven.
5. Making a Contribution:
Every person, no matter what their struggles are, deserves and needs to share their gifts, talents, skills, spirit and heart with the world. And kids, have a lot more of all of that than any adult. The biggest heart, never-say-die spirit, a solution to problems – they are the very manifestation of hope – because each child that is born is proof that god feels that the world must go on. Teaching him to do his bit begins early at home. My son loves watering plants with me, he loves helping his dad clean the car. Every year since his 4th birthday, we plant a number of trees equivalent to his age (sometimes more). We also go and donate the toys, books and clothes he has outgrown to an orphanage. I still take him to an old age home every once in a while just to ‘hang out’ with people there. We sometimes bake a cake and take it with us or just go and read to the old people. And my son loves knowing that what he does is meaningful, and he extends this help and support willingly. I am hoping that this will make him a more compassionate and empathetic person as he grows older.