The global coronavirus pandemic has seen everyone either in quarantine or sheltering in place. This means that parents and kids are spending more hours together at home. This is generally a good thing, because who can say no to extra time spent with their kids, right? But at the same time, we should still give our kids some semblance of a routine for their sake and also to keep our sanity intact.
The Internet right now is chock-full of learning resources made especially for kids during this time. But aside from these, we can also consider using this time at home to teach them life skills. Here are a few you can consider include in your day-to-day quarantine routine. We promise, no education degree required, it’s free, and hey, your kids can use them as they grow up. A win-win for everyone, right?
Basic first aid
Now is a good time as any to stock up your family’s first aid kit. And while doing so, ask your child if they know what each item is and what it’s used for. Kids easily absorb knowledge, so this is a good time as well to teach them the right first aid information. Keep your explanations as simple as possible.
Money and budgeting
Financial literacy is a must-have and it’s not too early to start. You can use this time to teach your child how to be financially responsible by giving him an allowance (no amount is too small) every week or even month. You can then show them how to keep track of their money on-hand and their spending habits (not that they’ll have a lot of opportunities to spend with the quarantine). Showing them their bank accounts as it rises and falls is a good way to show them the realities of spending and saving.
A lot of moms dread doing laundry, so why not choose this time to teach your kids how to do it themselves properly and get help — all at the same time. Plus, laundry is one of those life skills that everyone needs to be a well-functioning, independent human being.
Why stop at the laundry when you can also include ironing? Because wrinkled clothes are not a good look and will never be one. If your child’s too young to use an iron, there’s no harm in explaining the basics this early.
Another necessary life skill is cooking — as this quarantine has already shown us. Plus, knowing the basics of cooking can allow your kids to be more mindful of their food choices and allow them to grow into healthy adults. If your kids don’t have the patience to work through the entire meal preparation and cooking, don’t fret. Instead, assign them tasks such as collecting the ingredients, properly cutting up the veggies (if they’re old enough to handle a knife), or cleaning up after. Assigning tasks will also teach them ownership.
Basic sewing skills are also a must if we want our kids to grow into independent adults. Plus, they’ll surely make use of this skill once they become parents — so do your future grandkids a favor and teach their parents how to hem or do a basic running stitch to ensure that their clothes are properly mended. Plus sewing can instill a sense of self-confidence, responsibility, and independence in your kids.
Kids might not have a problem with this while they have us to set their routines and wake them up in the morning. But can they do it on their own? You can allow your kids to help in setting their schedules during this time away from school. Doing so can practice their time management skills so that they are well equipped to do it on their own when they leave home.
Specifically the art of small talk. It is common for kids to talk to their parents but stay quiet with strangers. If your child is also the same, practice his communication skills by engaging him in conversation and taking the time out to explain the basics interaction and relationships to them. In the real world, our kids have to talk to and navigate relationships with other people, including total strangers. So your kids should know how to clearly communicate with both kids and adults and even advocate for themselves if necessary.