After all that information on how you can teach children life skills let’s take a look at all the great benefits you and they get while they help you in everyday life
Cleaning together teaches your child:
- logical thinking
- product safety
- label reading
While helping you clean your children learn which products do the job the best and easiest way. They see these products on advertisements on television and now they get a chance to see these products work in real life. Smell and feel them and also learn how to use them correctly. The learn about the process of trial and error and by trying different methods of cleaning something and they decide for themselves which method works best.
Does children love cleaning? No, but do you?
Cleaning is one of life’s activities which we have no choice, it has to be done. It might not be our favorite way to spend time together, but we do it because it has to be done. Doing it as a family saves time as we do it together and then we have more time to do fun activities together.
When they start cleaning the bathroom, you will notice that the dry toothpaste you had to rinse out of the basin every time, exists no more, because they understand now that they have to rinse the basin every time they used it, then it is easier to clean.
Remember to teach them to read labels and warnings carefully before using a product.
Once you have read the directions and reviewed them with your child, show the exactly how you clean for example the bathroom. Show them the order in which you clean and explain the logic involved. Just let them watch for a while before you let them do any of the work. The purpose of this is so that they can see the way you want the job done and you demonstrate safe techniques. You may have certain routines that you want your children to follow, like first opening the window before starting for good ventilation. I start at the top (as I believe most people do), otherwise you have dirt on the floor again and have to wash it again if you started there. Maybe you have not thought about the logic behind what you do, now is the time to think about your routine and explain it reasonably to your children. Don’t make them crazy and insist that they do things your way, just make them aware of some of the practical aspects to a cleaning routine. You will teach them a great deal about the benefits of organization. But let them find their own comfortable routine. They need to do this to become independent. Remember that training toward independence is what teaching your children life skills is all about.
One of the great lessons is the ability to organize. After all, you need to know that if you do the floors before you dust (as I mentioned earlier) you are going to have to do the floors again. Children develop terrific logical thinking skills from understanding the order of cleaning operations and the reasons for the order. These seem obvious to us, but they have no way of knowing even the simplest of cleaning facts unless we explain it to them.
Teach them to take their dishes to the dishwasher or sink and if they are old enough, they can pack the dishwasher or wash the dishes while you help of course.You can cut the time it takes you to do these tasks alone by half when everyone pitches in.
While doing the dishes or cleaning the table or cleaning the bathroom, talk to them about school, life, or any issues or feelings they might have, this will let the time pass faster as well as make this time your quality time that you spend with your children.
Helping with small home repairs can also teach your child:
- use of simple hand tools
- easy, inexpensive methods of upkeep
- logical thinking
- following directions
With my husband who loves to fix things and build, the children see him working in and around the house all the time. When children are included in these activities they learn that certain tools has to be handled with respect and although they are not allowed to work with the electrical tools yet, they see how they are handled.
When we painted our girls’ room, she was very excited and she picked out the colors for herself. She couldn’t wait for the day we started with the real painting. We did the parts with the paint brush in the corners and let her do the parts with the roller. We made sure that all the furniture was removed and that the floors were covered with old news papers. She enjoyed it allot …. for about the first half hour, then she started realizing this is hard work and quit. We did let her finish the wall she started, so that she can finish the job she started and then let her go, because for her age an size we felt that she did enough. It was not long after that, that she was looking for something to paint again.
So, by doing this job with us, she learned organization, preparing and how to follow the job through from start to finish to achieve a goal. She even learned about the need to go over something more than once. This skill helps when it comes to writing and proofreading work. The same concept applies, doing something once is okay, but going over it a second or third time really leaves a job well done.
They can even sponge paint an area by dipping a sea sponge in paint and then dabbing it on the wall. Let them test the method first on some newspaper or an old wooden board. When they got the hang of it, let them paint the wall of their own room. Sponge painting is fun, because it doesn’t need a neat pattern and looks even better when it is done randomly. The trickiest part is not too much paint, but this is why they practice first.
Other jobs in and around the house can be hanging up a picture, replacing doorknobs and locks, wallpapering and replacing light fixtures (with caution of course).
Any job done in the home requires time management skills. You will have to help your child see how being well organized helps to function efficiently. You need to demonstrate how to complete a task before going on to the next task as well as how to schedule activities logically for maximum productivity.
Including them in money matters is very important to teach your children:
- setting and achieving goals
We pay our children for doing chores around the house and they learn about work ethic and the earning of money. They responded well to this setup and they do their chores without complaining because they know they will be rewarded when the jobs are finished. We taught them that out of this money they have to give a tenth to the church and save a portion. The rest they can use for whatever they want. My son saved up to buy his own PSP and volunteered to do extra jobs in and around the house. Before long he had saved up half the money and we gave him the rest to reward him for his excellent saving abilities. He is still very proud of the fact that he could save so much money by himself and he looks after it. I regularly say if anyone gets something without any effort or working for it, they do not look after it, because they do not realize the amount of money, time or effort that went into it.
They also learn the value of money and that you have to prioritize in order to have enough money for the things you really want or later in life to first buy the things you really need before buying the things you want. Prioritizing is a critical skill when it comes to financial decisions, and your children must learn this.
Whatever ways you and your children decide to help them make money, the concepts of budgeting and saving that you teach your children will be valuable.
Let them go with you when you are shopping and show them how you do your shopping list, so that they can learn that you cannot just buy anything, you buy what you need.
So you can see how you can easily include your children in daily life skills as you live them, you can join me again as I break up other tasks and show you how to include your children in everyday life as you live it while you teach children life skills. Be sure to start with part 1 if you haven’t already done so.
You can share these important tips on how you can teach children life skills with your friends, because we are all very busy with our lives and in between it is very important to teach our children life skills for them to have an advantage in life – these are the easy ways of doing it.
Hope you enjoyed the series
I believe that you enjoyed this series on teaching kids life skills and remember to share it with your friends.