Parents do every possible thing to raise their children in a suitable environment. Every effort is made to protect, care, love and nurture them (we get that it’s not a bed of roses for the children who are also grounded by their parents if they do not adhere to the rules). Right from waking them up, helping them getting ready and doing their homework (in case you don’t know, the teacher knows who’s behind those silly mistakes and dad jokes), you do your bit to ease your child’s burden. But have you ever given it a thought that this overparenting can be disastrous (we’re exaggerating when we use the word ‘disastrous’ but you get the idea, right?) It can make your child dependent on you and she/he would find it difficult to adapt to the ever-changing world that requires one to possess certain skills. What skills, you ask? Basic skills is what we are talking about. In order to make your child a bit independent, it is important to teach her/him some basic skills before she/he enters teenage years. These basic skills can be a stepping stone for your child to turn into a responsible adult. Here, we bring to you few basic skills that you must teach your children before they reach adolescence.
- Make a simple meal: When your kids are growing, it is necessary for them to learn to take care of themselves. No, we are not asking you to teach your children to prepare an entire meal, but teach them basic culinary art, simple enough to help them survive during worst case scenarios. Maybe, a simple snack or juice to drink. Or, preparing a toast, sandwich, tea, coffee or boiling milk (now, that’s not a humongous task, is it?). In the absence of their parents, they should know how to feed themselves or their younger siblings (instead of fighting with them) or even their grandparents.
- Wake up on time, on their own: We’ve all heard the rhyme ‘Early to bed and early to rise makes you healthy, wealthy and wise’. Now, it’s time to inculcate this habit in your child. If it is an everyday struggle to wake up your child, then it is high time for you to prepare a schedule for them (this is for education purpose only. As adults, we don’t follow it ourselves but that’s because we need to chill after a day’s work). By the time they reach their teenage years, it is important for them to learn to wake up on time, dress up and get ready for school on their own. Let your child value time and the importance of punctuality. Setting up their alarm and waking up on their own may seem to be a tough task, but gradually they will learn the art and get habitual.
- Do grocery shopping: Grocery shopping may appear to be a tough task, but generally almost all departmental stores have labels on their products which makes it easier for children to recognize what they want. Parents do not prefer sending children alone because they believe them to be too small for such tasks (trust us, they’re not) but once in a while, it is important to do so. Start by accompanying them but ask them to buy the things on their own. Subsequently, your child will learn how to do shopping.
- Pack their bags: It is important for children to learn and get acquainted with the basic things that they need in their daily life. Teach them to pack their own bags whenever they are traveling with or without you. From school bags to picnics bags, or from sleepover bags to travel bags, the child should know what all she/he should add as per need and requirement.
- Manage money: Many families do not involve their children in discussing financial matters, which is the appropriate thing to do considering the children are too young to understand what is going on. But, when it comes to teaching them the value of money, count them in. It is important to teach them that things don’t come easy in life and it takes a lot of hard work to earn something. One can start with their pocket money. By the time your child reaches a certain age, teach her/him to spend her/his pocket money wisely. This will help them in the long run.
- Take care of others: Except for taking care of themselves and their things, it is essential that your child becomes a good human being. Teach them to look after and take care of others. Your child should know how to respect and look after the elders and their younger siblings. This also applies to other living beings. If you have pets, teach your child to treat them well and take care of them. They should know how to value life and needs of other beings.
- Take initiatives: As the child grows, she/he should learn the worldly manners and ethics. Start by teaching them to take initiative wherever possible such as helping with household chores, working on group projects with friends, traveling alone in public transport, ordering food for themselves in restaurants, talking to people of their age and making friends at school.