Learning is a life-long activity that begins from the day we’re born. As a parent, you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure your child is able to live happily and healthily. Similarly, parents want their kids to become more independent as they get older and to interact with the world safely. To ensure you’re on the right track, take a look at these eight life skills that every parent should teach their child:
- How to Practice Self-Care
We’re much more aware of the importance of taking care of our mental and emotional well-being these days, but it’s still an overly stigmatised area. However, emotional health is essential to your overall well-being and happiness, which makes it a critical part of life. Teaching children how to prioritise their emotional health is, therefore, an important part of being a parent.
By modelling good self-care practices yourself, you can reinforce just how important emotional health is to your kids. Additionally, using apps and self-care tools designed for children helps to introduce them to age-appropriate techniques to optimise their well-being.
- How to Apologise and Forgive
Knowing how to apologise – and mean it – is an important life lesson that’s often overlooked. In fact, there are many adults who are deeply uncomfortable when it comes to apologising. Of course, we all need to apologise at some time or another, so this is one lesson that definitely won’t be wasted.
Conversely, learning how to forgive someone is also an essential part of a well-rounded life. Teaching your kids when to forgive, how to forgive and how to move on will help them to navigate friendships and relationships more easily in the future, while still recognising the importance of their own feelings.
- When to Talk to an Adult
As your kids get older, other people will have more influence on their lives. From teachers and school friends to celebrities and online influencers, there are numerous people who will have an impact on what your child thinks and how they behave. In fact, as your kids become teenagers, these people will probably have more influence than you do!
Despite this, it’s important for kids to know when they need to confide in a parent or another appropriate adult. Ensuring your children can talk to you about troubling topics or issues is always important but giving them the confidence to seek advice will enable them to confide in you when they need to.
- How to Stay Safe Online
In a digital world, kids use tech devices from a very young age. Although there are many benefits associated with technology and the internet, it’s vital that kids learn how to stay safe online.
Educating kids about online threats is the first step to making them aware of potential dangers but providing them with the right tools is also critical. If you want to ensure your kids can use technology safely, download a great app to monitor your child’s phone. From setting parental controls to monitoring their location, the right app can make it easy to keep your kids safe online and help to implement healthy screen time habits.
- How to Listen
We like to think we’re great listeners but, in reality, this isn’t always the case. Listening is about more than simply waiting for your turn to speak or passively letting someone’s words wash over you. Instead, active listening is about making a conscious effort to understand someone’s message and to take it on board.
Encouraging your child to listen to what people are saying, think about their message and reflect on it is an effective way to turn them into great active listeners. This is a skill that’s vital for effective communication, so you can give your child a head-start by practising from a young age.
- How to Accept Disappointment
Life doesn’t always go our way, which can be tough to accept, particularly at a young age. When you don’t get the outcome you want or you can’t do something you want to do, dealing with the situation in a healthy and proportionate way is the best solution. For toddlers, however, a tantrum seems to be the only possible solution!
Fortunately, kids grow out of the tantrum phase fairly quickly (although it may not seem like it at the time). While it might be tempting to ‘give in’ when your kids are young, learning how to accept disappointment is a critical life lesson that’s important for everyone to learn.
- How to Care for Others
Children naturally become more empathetic as they get older, but you can help to enhance their skills by teaching kids how to care for others. If you have pets, this can be a great place to start. Teaching young children not to pull the dog’s fur and, more importantly, why, helps them to understand that other people and animals have feelings too.
Similarly, encouraging kids to think about other people’s feelings and wants is an effective way of encouraging them to be more empathetic. While very young children are naturally rather self-centred, you can teach them how important it is to care for others by modelling this behaviour yourself.
- How to Solve Problems
Being a problem-solver is a great skill to have, so it’s certainly something you’ll want to teach your kids. When they face challenges rationally and come up with a range of potential solutions, they’ll be more resilient, capable and creative in the future. Helping your child to think of potential alternatives to a problem and encourage them to analyse which solutions would be most effective will help them to begin problem-solving on their own.
Give Your Kids a Great Education
Kids are learning all the time, so don’t assume your kid’s education begins and ends with school. Instead, make every moment an opportunity for learning. When your children can learn informally, through playtime or via experience, these lessons will stick with them and help them to become happy and healthy young people.