8 life skills every Singaporean kid needs to learn

So you've potty trained them and taught them how not to talk with their mouths full. But because you're raising a Singaporean kid, there are other skills they need to be armed with. Read on, laugh along, and then tick them off your checklist!

1. Topping up their MRT card in under 30 seconds

Chop chop, kids! Because 40 seconds is way too much time to take when you’re late for school in the morning. And because the grumpy old lady behind won’t let you dilly-dally.  Essential life skills for Singaporean kids begins here.

2. How to stick on a plaster, and other first-aid techniques

Because they’re going to fall, hard, all the time, every time. And you’re not going to be there at every single incident. Go over the location and contents of a home first aid kit with your child. Explain each item and its purpose. Have him handle the items, creating imaginary scenarios, and incorporate the supplies stored in the kit.    

3. How to ace at being the teacher’s pet

“Sit in the front seat of your classroom ok? The teacher will love you then.” Hands up if you remember this one. It’s a Singaporean thing for parents to mould their kids into becoming kiasu. “Carry your teacher’s books till she reaches the Staff Room, be the first to volunteer for anything school-related, and take notes whenever the teacher is talking (the questions may come out in the exam).”

4. The art of chope

Tissue paper packet? Move over. In Singapore, this is a survival skill you cannot run away from. Be quick, swoop in to place a packet on the table at a hawker stall (or anywhere, actually) and… chope! The table is yours, and nobody will get into your space. Now if your kid isn’t chope-savvy yet, get him to it… or be left behind.

5. How to order kopi like a pro

Kopi O, Kopi Si, Kopi Kosong, Kopi Siew Dai….. some terminology that will help them order the coffee they want. Once your child gets the hang of it, he’ll be able to rattle off the words in the right combination to get that perfect cup of coffee.

6. Queueing up

From a mean bowl of laksa, to the opening of a new store, McDonald’s Hello Kitty toys, Korean pop concert tickets… the list is endless. A kid who is taught this skill from young, will go far in life in Singapore. Very far.

7. How to cook something apart from Maggi Mee

A friendly staple that will get them through school, NS, and even Uni.

8. Life skills for Singaporean kids bonus: cleaning their spectacles

There are special ways to take glasses on and off, special places to keep glasses, and special ways to wash glasses. Kids need to learn how to do all this for themselves. And because so many Singaporean kids wear specs, this is a must-have skill. So, wipe on, wipe off, kiddos!