Children are taught many skills as they grow older, but some of these are better learned earlier than later.
Putting your children through the public school system certainly prepares for the myriad challenges they will face as adolescents and adults in a world characterized by complex social and bureaucratic systems, but they may not always learn some basic life skills that they need to get by. According to Fatherly.com, these are the skills parents need to ensure their child has by the age of 10.
Drill your children on your home address and your telephone number until they can recite it by heart. This is to ensure that if they ever need to reach you in an emergency, they know where to go or how to call you. Have them write it down in a notebook they carry around if they have trouble memorizing it.
Basic navigation skills can help your children maintain some degree of autonomy. Have them draw a map of the route they take to school every morning and walk one day with them and see if they can follow the map accurately. Learning to understand the spaces around them will help them if they ever get lost.
Part of giving your children an allowance and teaching them to handle money is also teaching them to spend it wisely. Saving up money can benefit them for life, so have them save anywhere between one-fourth and one-half of their allowance. Once they've saved up enough, open up a savings account in their name.
Every child needs to know how the small coins add up to the bigger ones. Show them how much change they can make from a dollar, and ask them to replicate your demonstration. If they get it right, give them a few coins as an incentive, and practice regularly.
As interactions and information exchanges begin to occur primarily on the Internet, your child will need some good e-literacy skills, in addition to merely being able to write an e-mail. Help them research the difference between real articles and fake articles, and also teach them to beware of dangerous people online.
Sweeping, vaccuming, and mopping are all useful life skills to learn before the lethargy of the teenage years set in. Aiding your children in learning how to organize their space and sort their things will help them be more organized in general as well.
Some basic hygiene habits need to be set in place before your children reach the age of 10. Instill in them healthy habits such as brushing their teeth thoroughly twice a day and flossing in between. Show them how to completely clean themselves in the shower and to protect their skin from the sun when going outdoors.
Children who can keep themselves occupied or be alone with their thoughts will save them from anxiety in situations where they are left to themselves. If they can play by themselves and find things to keep their minds busy, they will give you some time to yourself as well.
Knowing where to keep their elbows, where to put a napkin, how to excuse themselves, and how to use cutlery are all skills that can be taught from a young age. In conversation, too, teach them to say "Please," "Thank you," and "Excuse me."
Teaching your children when to wear sweaters and woolen clothes and when to dress down for warmer weather is something to be done before they turn 10. Not just dressing appropriately for the weather, but also learning how to match clothes and pair colors is useful knowledge.
Explain to your children the situations in which they should dial 911. For milder situations, teach them how to treat a burn with running water or a swelling with a cold compress, or how to stop bleeding from an open wound by applying pressure, and how to pinch their nostrils during a nosebleed.
A large proportion of the world's population is unable to swim or stay afloat in water. While most Americans believe that they can swim, a large number of them lack some of the basic skills that could keep them alive in the water. Make sure that your children get acquainted with the water at a young age.
Being able to care for someone or something other than themselves will help children be responsible and understand the impact that their actions can have on another life. If a pet like a dog, a hamster, or even goldfish is not feasible, have them take care of a plant.
Riding a bike is a great way to exercise the body and develop important motor and coordination skills. Once you learn, you never forget, so start your children off with training wheels and have them grow accustomed to pedaling around before switching to the more difficult two-wheeled experience.
As the world grows more digital and interactions are increasingly had online rather than in person, people often grow comfortable hiding behind their devices rather than deal with real-life people. Engaging your children in conversation about their day or about other topics of interest can help them gain basic conversation skills.