22 Essential Life Skills to Empower Your Child for the Real World

Today’s real world is not what it was a decade ago. The future real world isn’t going to be the same either. Are our kids ready to face the future real world? Most kids don’t learn to handle real-world situations until they are in their teens or even later. You don’t have to wait until your child is a teen to teach essential life skills to them — start teaching them right now. Here are 22 life skills to equip your child to be ready for the future real world.

1. Time Management

Get your kid to claim responsibility for their own time. Get them an alarm clock to use to wake up for school on time, instead of you waking them up. Allow them to plan their school work and other activities. You may have to buy a planner where your child can keep track of their activities. Once they get the hang of using a planner, they would know exactly how much time to devote to school work and play.

2. Organisation Skills

You can instil organisation skills in your child by making their daily routines fun. Some of the activities to get started are: introduce checklists, establish a homework routine, get your child a kid-friendly planner, and give them chores that require organisation.

3. Basic Budgeting and Money Management

Schools introduce the concept of money through maths, but the importance and relevance of planning, saving and budgeting are often overlooked. You need to help them understand the real value of money. Give them pocket money every day, every week, or every month that they can use for their expenses. If they want to buy something expensive that they cannot afford with their pocket money, you need to tell them to save for it.

You can lend a helping hand by letting them know that for every rupee (depending on the price of the product they want to buy), they save in a day, you’ll double the saved amount by the end of the month.

Teach them comparative shopping, and why to choose comparatively cheaper options sometimes. For example, ask them to pick up two items of the same kind but with different price tags. Help them understand why picking the cheaper alternative (but not at all times) can be a smart choice. This kind of budgeting training teaches your child to respect money and not waste it on unnecessary things.

4. Focus and Self-Control

Children like to follow schedules and routines. It gives them a sense of security. So, make sure your home has a place for everything. For example, your child should know where to put their shoes, books, and other personal belongings. Quiet activities like reading a book, solving a puzzle or listening to music help them to slow down and stimulate focus and self-control.

5. Problem-solving

When your child comes to you with a problem, use this opportunity to teach them problem-solving skills. Encourage them to look at the situation from the other person’s perspective. Help them find out at least three solutions to their problem. You can guide them in the brainstorming process. Once they have the solutions ready, discuss the pros and cons of each to figure out the best.

6. Take on Challenges

Taking on challenges, bouncing back from failures and never stopping trying are attributes that can make your child resilient. Create a balanced environment to encourage your child to try new things such as riding a bike, but good enough to make them feel safe.

Offer them a challenge when they are ready. For example, “ I think you’re ready to ride a bike. Let’s give it a try.” Keep your focus on the effort and not on the achievement. “Riding a bike is hard, but you tried really hard. Well done.”

7. Communication

Communication skills is an important life skill. Encourage your child to begin or join in on the conversation as often as possible. Always listen to what your child has to say. Make your conversation fun by sharing a funny story or experience. Make it a habit to dedicate time for reading with your child.

8. Decision-Making

decision-making skills at an early age in your child. Here’s a simple way to teach your child to make wise decisions: p>

Ask them to choose between two types of clothes, two activities, two dishes, or two games. Guide them through the process of understanding the consequences of each of their decisions. Help them weigh the advantages and disadvantages before they make the decision.

9. Simple Cooking

Start with simple things like how to make a butter and jam sandwich. Some other cooking activities you can teach your child include: squeezing lemons, mixing chopped vegetables to make a salad, making an omelette, helping you with ingredients for baking a cake, or setting the dinner table.

10. Environmental Awareness

Instil the importance of environment and sustainability in your child early on. Help them understand why preserving the environment is essential and how they can make small lifestyle changes to help the environment. Involve them in a few eco-friendly activities like gardening and taking the responsibility of watering the plants.

11. Grocery Shopping

Make it a point to always take your child grocery shopping with you. Give them a basket and ask them to get a few easy-to-find things for you. For example, your kid can be in charge of buying juices and snacks, including paying for them at the billing counter.

12. Resilience & Adaptability

Don’t give solutions to your child all the time. Empower them to solve their problems on their own, so they are ready to face challenges when they encounter them. Resilience for kids is good as it makes them easily adapt to different environments and changes in their lives.

While you are teaching them to be resilient and adaptable, ensure that you keep the channel of communication open so that you know what they are going through, and they can reach out to you whenever they want.

13. Creative and Critical Thinking

Every day, adults need to analyse information and make decisions about myriad things. One of the best ways to develop these creative and critical thinking skills is to allow your child to play each day either alone or with friends. This play can include role-playing, building structures, playing outdoor games, playing board games, etc. When children play, they take risks, formulate hypotheses, try out ideas, make mistakes and try to find solutions — these are all elements of critical thinking.

14. Independence

Make your child do their own tasks. For example, packing their school bags, making their bed, and maybe even packing their own lunch.

15. Social Interaction

Most parents teach their children about stranger danger. We need to also teach them how to make friends, talk to adults and how to be a good conversationalist and interact with others in a social setting. This will help them develop positive social skills.

16. Household Chores

Getting kids to do household chores can be quite a task. But it’s worth the effort. Make your child keep their room clean. This includes making their own bed and ensuring everything is in its own place. When you make your child do chores, you are not only making them responsible, but also raising a smart kid.

You can ask them to wash their plate once they are done eating. Other household chores they can do include: dusting the tables and setting the table. You can make these tasks more exciting by giving them allowance in exchange for their work.

17. Basic Self-defence

In today’s world, learning self-defence techniques not only make the child more independent but also more confident. Most schools of today teach basic self-defence to their students. But if your child’s school doesn’t, you can send them for classes outside.

18. Navigation

Teach your child the routes around your house. Test them by asking them to direct you from school to home or vice versa. Ensure that your child knows how to read a map. Teach them to use a GPS and follow the instructions.

19. Basic Restaurant Etiquette

It’s important that you teach your child how to behave when they are at a restaurant. You can also ask them to decide on what they want to eat and place their own orders. Teach them the basic eating etiquette of eating with a fork and a knife.

20. First-aid

You can’t always be around when your child gets hurt, a rash or a cold. You need to empower them with the knowledge that can help them take care of themselves in case of emergencies.

Teach your child the basic first-aid steps. Show them the first-aid kit and what it contains. Also, reinforce the importance of health and how they should be taking care of their health. For example, instead of forcing your child to eat vegetables, tell them the health risks of eating fast food all the time and the benefits of eating a healthy diet.

21. Perspective-taking

Thinking about another person’s perspective doesn’t come naturally to most children, but it can always be developed. Discuss characters, emotions, feelings and motivations from the books you read. For example, “ Julie was sad that she couldn’t go out to play.”

22. Writing Letters

Learning writing for kids improves the child’s communication, social skills and handwriting. Make your child write a letter to a family member or a friend, and drop it in the mailbox. Teach your child the 5 parts of letter writing: date, greeting, body, closing and signature.

Children need to develop the above life skills to compete in a global economy. These are skills that cannot be taught in a typical classroom setting. But you can teach your child the life skills they need to cope in the modern world at home. If you need help, you know you can count on us. Let PlanetSpark help make your child ready for the future real world.