As a parent, it’s your job to set your children up for success. And that doesn’t end at providing their needs or sending them to a good school. You also need to impart practical skills that can help them thrive when they leave the nest. This builds them up to be well-functioning adults, and gives you peace of mind that they are. So, here are five practical life lessons that you should teach your kids:
1. Knowing how to clean up after yourself is an essential life skill
There’s a lot that goes into cleaning — from doing the laundry to maintaining household utilities. It’s going to take some time to instill these lessons, so it’s crucial to build from small tasks. Have them help out while you’re doing chores. After, you can assign them simple tasks, like wiping the table after dinner or doing the dishes. As they grow up, you can present them with more responsibilities.
While teaching them how to clean has obvious practical benefits, it also fosters a healthy mindset. Dr. Tamar Chansky, founder of the Children’s and Adult Center for OCD and Anxiety, stresses that having kids do household chores at an early age can help build a sense of mastery, responsibility, and self-reliance in them. These traits are sure to help them later on in life.
2. To live a comfortable life, financial literacy is a must
Financial literacy entails effective money management and budgeting. By teaching your kids about this, you’re setting them up to not just make wise purchases, but also smart financial decisions in the future. Furthermore, as the digital transformation of business makes way for emerging fintech and remote transactions, being financially literate can help your child to better adapt to the increasingly digitized new normal, even in terms of grabbing future career opportunities. Embracing the latest fintech, businesses looking to adapt to the new remote working normal are increasingly in need of tech-inclined accountants and financial experts who can steady their path to success.
In the face of this rising demand, online universities are producing these experts faster than traditional universities. Graduates pursuing, streamlined online accounting degrees can look forward to answering this demand by filling five to six-figure positions as accountants, auditors, financial analysts, advisors, and managers in the business world. In short, financial literacy can not only ensure that your kids are smarter about money in the future, but might also pave the way for them to enter highly promising and future-proof careers.
One way you can teach them to be financially literate is to provide them with a weekly allowance that they can spend as they please. If they want something that costs more than their allowance, tell them to save up for it. You can also buy them a piggy bank and encourage them to deposit some of their money every month. Letting them use their own money can teach them how to save up for things they want.
3. Shopping smart helps cut down on costs
When it comes to shopping, your kids have to know the difference between needs and wants. They should know to prioritize necessities before splurging on luxuries. When your child begs for a new toy, always ask them whether it’s something that they need or want. This helps them make the distinction. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with buying a toy for your child now and then. What’s important is that they know how to pinpoint necessities.
You could also teach them about comparison shopping. When you’re out with them, talk about prices. Maybe mention that you’re not going to buy a certain pack of cookies because there’s a cheaper variant that tastes just as good. This teaches them that it’s possible to save, while also getting quality items. It just takes a little digging.
4. Managing your time right makes you more efficient
Making a habit of procrastination is something everyone wants to avoid — especially parents with their kids. So, teach your children the importance of time management early on. Get them involved in planning their day, which they can do so with a planner or calendar of their own, and allow them to set times for study and play. Then, make sure they stick to those times.
In an article on teaching kids time management, Robert Myers, Ph.D. says, “Regular schedules provide the day with a structure that orders a young child’s world.” So, don’t worry about repetition and predictability in your kids’ routines — they actually thrive on it. Focus on teaching them how to manage their time instead. This can help them become more efficient workers, as it improves their productivity levels and reduces stress and anxiety.
5. Anytime you have to make a decision, choose wisely
Your children should learn to think before they make a decision. Start with simple things, like what ice cream flavor they’d like or what toy they want to get. Then, as they age, present them with more complex choices. Exposing them to different decision points will teach them that their actions have consequences.
One day, you’ll have to let your kids go off and make their own choices — their career path, their life goals, and future relationships. You need to guide them as they grow up, so they develop a sense of judgment that will help them make the right decisions.
Not every lesson kids learn can be learned from a classroom. Many of their most practical skills will be coming from you, so try your best at teaching them these nuggets of wisdom while they’re young.
By: Ella Wing