Parenting is hard. While taking care of a child is the most fulfilling thing you can do with your life, you can’t ignore the anxiety and stress that come with it.
You can’t be there for your kids forever, that’s the bitter truth of life. But you can at least teach them how to face every challenge life will eventually throw at them head-on. The earlier the learning begins, the better.
Take a look at the list of 8 life skills your child should master before she/he turns 7. Of course, there are many more things to learn but let’s start with the most basics, shall we?
1. Preparing a Simple Meal
No, your 7-year-old doesn’t necessarily have to know how to make duck confit with spicy pickled raisins (although, it would be pretty cool!).
But what your child can do at this age is learning how to make simple PB & Js or a chilled cheese in a sandwich maker. It doesn’t take a lot of effort. You can also teach her/him how to throw chopped veggies, some salad dressing in a bowl and finish it off with a squeeze of lemon. Nothing better than a fresh bowl of salad for lunch!
You can also ask her/him to be your sous-chef while you’re baking cookies or a cake. She/he can sprinkle chocolate chips on the dough and help you with the cleanup. Fine baby steps. Early meal prepping training develops a healthy eating habit in your child, which helps her/him to steer clear of the road leading to childhood obesity.
2. The Art of Self-defence
The world is a brutal place full of all kinds of freaks, which is why learning basic self-defense techniques is a must for everyone, especially children. Encourage your kid to involve in the self-defense training program in school.
If the school doesn’t have this curriculum, make your child take lessons outside. Your child can start taking karate, martial arts or Jiu-Jitsu lessons from the early age of three. Some parents fear that teaching kids self-defense will only encourage violence. That’s bull.
Proper training can make your children more disciplined, boost confidence, increase awareness and help your kids tackle everyday situations without engaging in violence.
3. Doing Your Own Laundry
Look, I was neither a smart kid nor I mastered the mystic art of adulting. But at least I knew how to do my laundry without my parent’s supervision since I was 6. I take a lot of pride in it. 🙂
There are a lot of steps involved in this process such as loading the laundry, separating the whites from colored clothes, choosing the right amount of detergent, temperature, and spin cycle. Don’t expect your kid to learn everything in a day. Baby steps, remember?
4. Reading Maps
I don’t want you to get you all freaked out but children do get lost sometimes, you know? Start teaching your kids how to read a map and deftly use the GPS as early as possible. You can make the whole process a fun learning experience for your child by involving her/him in treasure-hunting games on weekends.
5. The Importance of Road Safety
Sooner or later, your kid is going to demand a bike for her/his birthday. I know the very thought of your kid speeding through the pothole-filled roads makes you sweat bullets.
While you can’t possibly change your kid’s mind, you can, at best, invest in a high-quality motorized electric scooter. But before she/he takes the scooter out for a spin, make sure she/he receives proper training and learns all the road safety hacks from you or a certified trainer.
6. First Aid Training
Let’s face it, even if your job allows you to work from home, you are not always going to be around to look after your kids. Knowing that they at least have the basic first-aid training will give you peace of mind.
This includes teaching them how to stop the bleeding, disinfect the wound and put some bandage on top. In addition to these, you should also teach your child how to give Heimlich maneuver instead of panicking at the face of a choking incident.
7. Mastering the Household Chores
By the age of 7, your kids should learn to tidy up the bathroom after using it, do the dishes, make her/his own bed and keep her/his room clean without your help. Your child doesn’t have to learn all these in a day. And to make sure she/he takes an interest, use the magical power of rewards. A bar of chocolate, no homework for a night, whatever works for your little monkey.
8. Grocery Shopping
Teach your kids to be smart shoppers is going to save them big bucks when they grow up. I play a little grocery shopping game with my child where he is asked to buy 5 items (decided by me) at a set budget. If he successfully completes the task, he gets to bring home anything under $15 from the store.
Ending on a High Note!
Kids are whimsical. You can’t just expect them to straighten up the toilet or help you with the chores on their own. And why should they? Doing chores isn’t exactly the definition of fun. So, spice up the learning process with small challenges, rewards or whatever your kid’s poison is.
One more thing to remember here is that people learn faster and better when you lead by example. Don’t just ask them to do something they don’t care about. Show them how it is done, talk to them about the importance of being self-sufficient. It’s not super hard, try it.