How long will your child last without you? This is the question you must ask yourself when making important parenting decisions. Our children are more intelligent than we give them credit for, and we know that deep down. Parents are programmed to be protective, but sometimes they go too far. We feel obliged to do everything for our child, even though they are completely capable of managing on their own. It doesn’t take long for the child to adapt to being spoon-fed all the time and this dependency lingers into adulthood.
Child specialists recommend parents to encourage some autonomy and sense of responsibility. Remember Darwin’s evolutionary theory, which suggests that natural selection is based upon survival of the fittest. Let your children learn the following life skills at an early age in order to succeed in the future:
1. Health & Hygiene
Children cannot be monitored every second of the day, which is why they should have basic understanding of health and hygiene. Germs and infectious agents are everywhere, which can make your child very sick. However, if the child is taught to wash their hands regularly and avoid touching contaminated surfaces, consider them protected. Your kid should know the importance of cleanliness, so that they don’t skip on brushing their teeth and taking a bath. They shouldn’t need instructions regarding what to put their in mouth or what to do if they smell bad.
2. Cleaning Up
Parents are habituated to clean the mess made by their children, though that is only acceptable until they aren’t old enough to go to school. If your child throws a tantrum and breaks something, make them pick up the pieces. If the task involves picking up something sharp or potentially dangerous, equip them with safety gear. The child must be taught to make their bed every morning and put away toys (in a proper place) after playing. They should also know about carrying dirty dishes to the kitchen, and cleaning up spilled food. This habit will also discourage them from playing with food and wasting it.
3. Dressing Up
If your child can eat food by themselves, they are more than capable of dressing up on their own. You should not have to fasten their buttons and laces once they are enrolled into kindergarten. You may need to demonstrate a couple of time before they get a hang of it. Your child must also be taught the difference between casual and formal wear as well. Letting them choose their outfits will grant them confidence and develop a sense for fashion.
4. Time Management
When your child has started reading and writing, make sure they know how to tell the time as well. Understanding how time works will help them be more organized and fathom the concept of deadlines. They should able to tell when it’s okay to play and when it’s time for bed. If you are in a joint child custody arrangement, demonstrating time management is all the more crucial. Their awareness will accommodate your parenting plans and prevent disappointing situations.
5. Preparing a Meal
Your child does not need to be a master chef by the time they are ten years of age, but they should know how to make a simple snack. For instance, if you are unable to provide a cooked meal any day, they should be able to prepare a sandwich or something like instant noodles on their own. The ability to feed themselves in case of emergencies will save you from a great deal of headaches. You can rest assured that your child won’t starve if you’re not around.
6. Managing Money/Budgeting
We all give our children some pocket money, so they can buy some things for themselves. This incorporates self-reliance to purchase something from a shop or order food at a restaurant. By setting a limit to their spending privileges, you help them learn budgeting. Managing money is simple math that your child should be able to figure out in a matter of time.
7. Memorizing Important Names and Numbers
A child must know the full names of all their family members, as well as regular acquaintances. They should also memorize phone numbers of immediate family, as well as local rescue services. Knowing one’s full address and vehicle information can also be extremely useful if they ever get lost or stray away from home.
John Adams is a paralegal at a personal injury law firm who writes about widespread legal and social issues. He helps readers overcome challenges and solve many personal problems the smart way, rather than the hard way. He aims to reach out to individuals who are unaware of their legal rights, and make the world a better place.