What are the Basic life skills & Why Are They Important

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Jumping from one developmental milestone to the next, it is amazing how your little baby can grow up so quickly, isn’t it? It is during these crucial years of life that your child will learn some of the most important ideas, concepts, and skills that he will carry on into adulthood. 

And that’s exactly why now’s the perfect time to focus on helping them get equipped with those very skills. But what are life skills and why are they important? Let’s find out! 

What Are Basic Life Skills?

There’s so much more beyond academics that your child needs to learn as they grow up. Life skills play a crucial role in shaping your child’s personality, their confidence, and independence. But what are life skills really?

Simply put, life skills are essential personal abilities that enable your child to cope effectively with the demands of everyday living. Think skills like time management, healthy eating habits, creativity, responsibility for self and others, money management, critical thinking, coping with stress and pressure, goal setting, and problem solving- they are what we all need in our day-to-day lives, right?

But before you go ahead and jump right into it, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind. 

There are certain factors that you need to consider when it comes to deciding what life skills to teach your children. These include your child's age, his or her personality, and personal interests, and your short-term goals for your child- just to name a few. There are, however, some basic life skills that you should expect your child to possess at certain ages. These include communication skills (both written and oral), interpersonal skills, academic abilities, self-help skills (food preparation, hygiene), etc. 

Why Are Life Skills Important?

Teaching your children life skills is important for many reasons. From cleaning and dressing up to basic cooking and managing money- these little skills can help your growing child develop confidence, and have the ability to deal with everything that comes their way. 

Teaching children life skills at the early developmental stages of their life can help them develop independence and self-awareness. 

That’s not all; learning these soft skills can help your child have a more practical educational learning experience. He’ll be able to learn how to communicate, think abstractly, develop problem-solving abilities and, in general, apply his knowledge in the real world. 

After all, there’s a lot more to life than just solving math problems and doing science experiments- isn’t it? 

What Are the Most Important Life Skills For Children to Learn?

Depending on your child’s age, you can start to introduce them to different life skills. We’ve highlighted some of the most important ones you can begin with right away. 

1. Health and Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene is at the root of your overall health, and while you might be aware of that, your fast-growing child might not, and that’s exactly why this one’s made it to the top of the list. Make it a point to inculcate habits that inspire and teach personal cleanliness. Have conversations about how to keep yourself clean, take a bath, wash hands before and after meals, brush teeth, etc. 

One of the best ways to do this is to start off with a routine. You can also make use of some good books that teach children about cleanliness. Promote cleanliness as a form of self care. 

2. Decision Making and Reasoning

From choosing an educational path to taking steps in career and personal life- all throughout our lives we are faced with decisions that we need to make, and that’s exactly why, this is another important life skill that has made it to this list. 

Despite what it might seem like, it isn’t too early to let your child start making decisions. Begin with something simple- like choosing between two outfits for the day, or choosing a pb&j or grilled cheese for lumch, and then take it from there. 

Doing this will help your child understand the concept of cause and effect, think independently, and develop more confidence. 

And of course, this is one of the best ways to end the power struggle between you and your child. If you’ve been having trouble with your child revolving around every rule you set for them, give them a little breathing space and allow them to make little decisions. 

3. Time Management 

Teaching children to plan and prioritize the most valuable resource they have- time- is another essential life skill that needs to be focused on. 

Knowing the basics of time management can help children become better at managing their work, school, family life, extra curricular activities and so much more.

Time management doesn't just affect academics but every aspect of a child's life because it teaches them how to prioritize tasks and stay organized. It also gives them some more free time so they don't feel rushed or overwhelmed with deadlines coming up soon. Children that are taught how to manage their time will end up working harder because they take accountability of actions and reactions into their own hands. What’s more, when you introduce the concepts of time management at an early age, your child will be more likely to internalize it, and it’ll eventually become a part of his life, embedded in his core. 

4. Basic Cooking

Cooking is yet another practical and extremely important life skill that all children should learn. Depending on your child’s age, you can start to get them involved in the kitchen in different activities. It can be as simple as asking them to follow directions and prepare simple foods like a bowl of cereal. 

Doing this also allows your child to develop a stronger relationship with food, which will make them more inclined to choose healthy options that they will enjoy eating on their own. Learning how to cook at an early age has also been associated with numerous benefits. In school-aged children, cooking has been linked to better academic performance. Studies also suggest that children who cook with their parents often develop stronger bonds with them and make healthier choices in life.

Toddlers can start to learn how to cook by following easy recipes with simple ingredients. To get your child inspired, you can also get him a nice little cookbook. 

5. Cleaning

You might be dreading this, but the key to do it the right way is to help your child understand cleaning as a valuable learning experience as opposed to a chore. 

Children who are taught cleaning techniques at an early age will have lasting effects on their mindsets throughout adulthood, and naturally, move on to become more organized, self-reliant, and responsible adults. 

When you teach your child how to clean up the house and the space their living in, you are teaching them how to take care of themselves. Apart from getting your child equipped with real life skills that will help them in the future, it will also help them become a more thoughtful and conscious person, who focuses on taking care of the environment around them too. 

6. Money Management

Financial literacy is an incredibly important aspect of life that a lot of parents often end up neglecting when it comes to educating children about different life skills. Being financially literate is not just about knowing how much money you have in your bank account or how credit card interest works, but it's also about teaching kids the value of a dollar and how to manage what they have.

It is never too early or late to start teaching your child about money- in fact, the earlier you start, the better. Children who are taught money management skills move on to make sensible and clever financial decisions as adults. 

7. Getting Ready

Teaching your child how to dress themselves may seem like an impossible task, but remind yourself that the effort you’re putting in will really make a difference. The key to doing this the right way is to start small. Instead of getting your child to dress up completely on their own, ask them to pick their shoes or shirt. Make it a practice for a few days, and then take it up a notch. 

How Does Teaching Life Skills Impact a Child’s Growth?

Learning life skills can impact your child’s overall growth in more ways than one. It can help them grow into a more confident, independent, and social individual and deal with fears, personal insecurities, and other such situations in a more empowered way. 

These little skills can equip your child with the tools he needs to survive in the world, and develop the crucial abilities to reason, understand, link the consequences of his actions and glide through life in a more structured and disciplined way. 

All in all, teaching life skills can help children become better-adjusted adults. 

Discovering what are life skills and which are the ones that you need to teach your child can be quite a journey in itself. 

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