Your children tend to learn not only from their text books, but from everything around them. Everything they learn in this period shapes them into an independent human being. They will make career choices depending on what they learn. They will make life choices based on the ideology they develop during their upbringing.
An ever naughty girl can become a disciplined professional. A shy boy can grow up to be a motivational speaker. And as parents, you can make such a difference for your child. That of course, will not happen if you make decisions for them. A better approach is to inculcate certain life skills to mould them into self-sufficient human beings who can confidently build a remarkable future for themselves.
The best part is you don’t have to make them sit and listen to a big lecture about life. That will only make them uninterested and sleepy. All you have to do is have them participate in various fun and innovative activities exposing them to these life skills. You just need to nurture them further.
Interaction and team work
Survival for the human race is social relations. Your child should know how to make a friend, how to interact with people and how to be a team player.
You can start with simple things like letting your child answer the phone and speaking politely with the person that is calling. Let them answer the door and talk to the courier delivery man, the man collecting newspaper or telephone bills, etc.
Have your child invite his/her friends from school or the neighborhood. Let them do a puzzle together, paint a wall together, create decorations for festivals, create a map of the neighborhood etc. You child will learn to make decisions along with a team, taking the opinion of others into consideration, voicing their own opinion and backing their team up.
This life skill would benefit when they meet new people, when they’re made to work with people they are not fond of or when they’re working with a team at their workplace. With your assistance, testing the water and acting accordingly will come naturally to them.
Conflicts and problems are an unavoidable part of life. Rationally look at something, analyze it and come up with a solution is rare in people.
Ask your child the question “why” whenever possible and have them find the answer. Avoid hiding mild family problems from children, rather discuss with them and ask for their opinion.
If they have a fight with someone, let them tell you about the background and the reason behind the argument. Discuss it with them and encourage them to discuss this with the person they have had a fight.
When the sugar in the house gets over have them run to the store to buy some, make them change the batteries of the remote as soon as they die. Let them fix something that is broken under your supervision and let them make mistakes. Once they make a mistake they will try a different approach. This will enhance quick thinking and trying to find a solution in more than one ways.
You don’t want a child who calls you every time something goes wrong, who makes you serve them dinner every night neither you want to be the parent who’s doing bank work or paper work for your child forever. Your job is to make sure that your child can do everything on their own in a timely manner.
Get them in the habit of making their bed every morning; have them make their own milk / cereal; have them go to their classes or school by themselves. Daily tasks will lead to them taking bigger things under control too.
Take them with you to the bank, to pay the bills, to buy groceries and let them take over after a few times. Have them fill their own forms for school or insurance etc.
The sooner your child learns to take control of things, the more independent he/she will be.
Basic life skills go a long way. You are making their future look good already by finding innovative ways to inculcate life skills. You can become a very proud parent when you see your child follow the learning acquired by their own experiences.