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5 Skills to Teach Your Kids

March 30, 2022

by carol evenson, guest contributor

“Who raised you??” Don’t deny it, we’ve all thought it at some point about someone we know. The college student whose mom still does their laundry and the teen who can’t be bothered to look up from their phone when visitors arrive. We’re inwardly shaking our heads in disapproval hoping that our children will be better. As a parent, we are responsible for teaching our children critical skills that will help get them through life. Start when your kids are young so they can build on these abilities as they get older, making them better able to deal with life. Here are some skills you should consider educating your children about.

1. Managing Money

Many adults have trouble with money management and spending habits, which may stem from being uneducated on these issues as children. Money is essential in all aspects of life. It allows you to keep your refrigerator full, pay your student loans, and purchase entertainment. You should teach your kids that they need to take care of responsibilities before investing in fun activities.

Additionally, if you give your kids allowances, it's in your best interest to teach them how to save. Have them keep half of what you give them and allow them to spend the remainder on things they want. Once they've saved enough to open an account, you can take them to your local bank and show them this process, which is a great opportunity to discuss interest. 

2. Cleaning Up

While you probably won't have your kids clean the entire house, you should make them clean their rooms. This process allows them to organize their spaces the way they like, and it teaches them to care for the items they have.

Also, your kids will get to witness what the room looked like before tidying up the cluttered space. Knowing that they made a positive change will make them feel good about their abilities, which will boost their self-esteem and confidence.

3. Displaying Proper Manners

The best way to teach your kids to say "thank you" and help others in need is by modeling these actions. Your kids want to be like you, so when they see you acting a particular way, they'll pick up on it and utilize these behaviors.

You should always praise your children if they display good manners. By doing so, you're reinforcing their behaviors, making it likely they'll continue being polite. 

Conversely, if you notice that your children did something impolite, you should address it. However, you shouldn't make a big deal about it or lecture your kids. Simply tell them why you didn't appreciate the action calmly.

4. Engaging in Appropriate Hygiene

Children need to learn the importance of washing their hands, taking baths, and using the restroom. You can discuss these habits with younger children, but when your kids are between the ages of 3 and 5, you should start encouraging them to do these things on their own with your supervision. By watching them, you can give them helpful improvement tips. Plus, getting your kids involved in these habits at an early age will help them continue their daily hygiene routines into adulthood.

Additionally, it would be best to help your kids understand that going to the doctor, dentist, and eye doctor are vital parts of life. Try to get them accustomed to seeing each of these specialists on a regular basis. If you don't take your children to the dentist, for example, they may be too afraid to go when they're older, resulting in poor dental hygiene.

5. Making Decisions

Introduce your children to decision-making when they are young. For example, you can have them pick between two places to have dinner or which stuffed animal to take to bed. If they aren't sure what to choose, have them weigh the pros and cons for each option.

As your kids get older, the decisions will become more complex. Try to stay involved and encourage them to consider every option and how each outcome can affect them or others. When you feel like your children are ready to make decisions independently, let them try. Allowing them to fly solo will build their confidence and enable them to learn from their own mistakes.

Children acquire knowledge and many valuable lessons from their parents. As long as you take a proactive approach to teaching your kids, they will reflect your thinking and values.

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