What is Life Skills Education? Does it sound alien? I’d say, it sounded a bit off until the lockdown became the new normal. Before the quarantine, the kids were too preoccupied with the school, extracurricular activities, tuitions, etc. In the little time they had free, they would want to play or chat with their friends. There was hardly any time for the basic life skills education which every child should be equipped with. The present quarantine is a great opportunity for any parent to introduce life skills education in the child. According to WHO, “ The life skills are abilities that facilitate the physical, mental and emotional well being of an individual.
Concept of life skills
How many times as parents, did we not shout at our child for the missing textbook, crumpled uniform, mismatched socks and playthings hidden in unusual places. For the child not to miss the bus or be late to school we parents pitch in to set things right. Now you have the child and also the time. Instill in him/her the concept of life skills that will help in making your child organized, and disciplined.
11 Life skills for children:
Along with academics, this is the best time when you as a parent can introduce life skills and guide your child towards a balanced life.
Here are the 11 life skills you can teach your kids during the quarantine:
1. Healthy eating habits
During this COVID-19 times when all the eateries and restaurants are closed, our children have no other option but home-cooked food. Introduce them to tasty and healthy home-cooked recipes. At the same time talk about the health benefits of home-cooked food and the health issues of fast food.
2. Importance of physical exercise and meditation
Until now the child was too busy with academics to give any time for physical activities. Any free time would be grabbed by the child to watch TV or play games on the computer. Since now the child is under your supervision, you as a parent can regulate the screen time and introduce your child to physical exercise, skipping yoga, and meditation.
3. Personal hygiene and domestic work
Make your child realize the importance of personal hygiene. Keeping the clothes, books, and playthings neat and organized is a skill. Also being able to do some basic housework like cleaning, washing, cooking, etc will enable the child to survive when there is a need.
4. Interpersonal relationship
When all the family members are at home, this is a wonderful time for your child to develop interpersonal relationships with the family members in a positive way. Helping in chores, sitting together at dinner time, playing, etc are times when the child shares thoughts and feelings and also listens to that help in bonding with parents, siblings, grandparents, and others in the family.
5. Effective communication
The kids learn the importance of effective communication with family members. Listening with understanding, thinking before speaking, speaking clearly and effectively, not shouting are some of the things they should keep in mind.
6. Creative thinking
As parents we should be able to encourage creativity through creative thinking. A small effort by the child when he draws something, makes something, writes, sings or tells a story on his own should be encouraged.
This is the time when the kid should be able to understand and imagine what the other person is going through. Good positive discussions between the family members will encourage empathy in the child.
Spending leisure time in creative, fun, and as a learning activity is a life skill that every child should enjoy. Parents should introduce leisure activities such as drawing, craft, needlework, gardening, painting, singing, etc. to their child
Safety is an essential life skill that every child should know. Being safe in the kitchen, on the phone/ net, when alone, when there is a stranger when the child is hurt, etc are some situations where the child should be taught. The child should learn to observe hygiene to avoid Covid19 pandemic.
10. Feelings and emotions
As parents, we should help our children to understand and manage their feelings and emotions. The children should know that everyone has feelings, some sad and some happy. What is important is we should be able to express our feelings in such a way that others understand and also doesn’t hurt others.
Discipline is about learning and following the rules in such a way that we keep others and ourselves safe and happy. It is the duty of the parent to instill discipline and when the child understands this important life skill he will be safe at home, school and outside.