There are many skills children need to learn to prepare them for life and their future. Parents sometimes can struggle with which skills are really important and when. Here is a list of our 10 top skills children need and should learn.
Top Skills Children Need
1. Desire to learn…this is not limited to school or a teacher.
A desire to learn is not about passing exams, but rather being curious to learn. You have probably heard the saying that the one thing that is constant is change; this is so true especially today when things change faster than ever before. One of the best things you can equip your child with is a desire to learn, to control their learning and be self taught.
A practical way parents can do this is to encourage them to be curious, as parents answer their questions and communicate with your children. Use technology to your advantage here and sign them up for educational resources that help them learn new skills. [Free Online Learning Resources]
2. Not to have a spirit of fear.
Fear is the opposite of faith and there is usually there in only room for one. Teach your children to know that they need to have a sound mind to be able to make the right decisions.
Some fear is healthy, like the fear of God, fear of falling out of a window and so should not play around open windows. The fear we are talking about is the one that creeps up as doubt, limiting beliefs and thoughts of not being good enough. Fear of missing out, thanks to social media’s constant barrage of “happening’s. This is the fear you need to counter, teach your children that they can do most things they set their mind to once they have a solid plan. [Read: Affirmations for Children]
3. Learn about MONEY early.
How to budget, save and invest are critical skills everyone needs. There is no better time to start learning this that when they are young and so it becomes second nature.
How? Talk about money in a way that is age appropriate. Start with simple trips to the supermarket, let them see the different prices. As they get older give them pocket money, teach them how to budget and save and teach them about investing. There are many resources out there to teach about money.
They can start earning from summer jobs as this teaches responsibility. Once they learn how to earn, ask your child to pay for some of the things they claim they must have…they will suddenly tell you its not that important to have. Children love to keep their money. Money matters is a top skill children need.
4. To be respectful.
Respect is important, this includes being respectful of others and respecting yourself. The basic courtesy’s of saying please, thank you and sorry are important skills that never go out of style. Teach your child at home the importance of these and they will grow with these are their basic road map to life. Everyone responds well to respectful and pleasant people, a bad attitude will only take you so far, but good character opens doors.
5. To have an optimistic attitude.
When life gives you lemons make lemonade, look at the cup as half full not half empty. Life doesn’t happen to you…it happens for you is another phrase I heard recently. They all encourage us to seize life as co-participants and not as victims. All these are quotes that point to the fact that the way you look at life is the way life appears. Your attitude affects how you see things.
Failure is only feedback…I could go on with the quotes. An optimistic attitude includes doing your best, moving in the right direction, take feedback, acknowledge how you feel including unpleasant things and then move on with your life. Your life is yours to create.
6. Build the power to say NO to peer pressure and negative influence.
There is so much influence our children ace daily, from friends, from television, from social media and more. Our children need more than ever before to have thick skin and say no to negative influence. Teach your children early to have the grit to say no to negative peer influence, they do not have to do what everyone is doing if it does not align with their values. Values that as a parent you have hopefully spent time imparting.
A recent trend is viral challenges that are very dangerous and sometimes fatal. Teach your children how to resist taking part of these and how to make sound decisions. [Dangerous Teen Viral Challenges ]
7. Learn responsibility by doing chores.
One of the best ways to learn responsibility is to be responsible. Start this early by giving your children chores at home. From a young age start with simple things like cleaning up their toys after they play, as they get older washing dishes and learning to make simple meals. Do not get carried away with thinking they are too young or doing everything for them, your nanny will leave your house one day and you might be left with a delinquent adult – Ouch! But we would rather make you uncomfortable now when you can make a change.
8. Know they are Unique and special.
Simple every child is unique, beautiful and wonderfully made. every child deserves to be loved and accepted by their parents. Parents play a pivotal role in identifying their children’s unique talents and gifts and then nurturing these. When your child feels loved and accepted, they will not look for love and acceptance in the wrong places.
9. Social skills
Social skills include the ability to make eye contact and have a conversation with real people. Too many children today are more comfortable in their virtual world and behind a screen than with having a real conversation with people. Help them with the skills to make, maintain and keep friendships. As a parent raising digital natives, you have to be more intentional to raise children who know how to drop their devices and connect with real people.
10. Have a growth mindset.
Children have to be able to think, to be innovative and to learn. The ability to want to grow and try new things is important especially today. Most employers want people who think out of the box, who can learn, who are willing to try new things. Children with a growth mindset are team players and ask how can we do this, their first response is not “that is too hard”. When you notice your child or children around you want to start with Ï cant…you need to work on this and rather teach them to figure out solutions.
When children have a growth mindset, they take on challenges and learn from them. Read more on Growth Mindset here.
There are many skills children need, here is our round up of some of the most important skills children need. When you realize you are raising an adult, you can start with the building blocks when they are children.
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