10 Life Skills You Should Teach Your Kids by Age 10
Your young children are more capable and self-reliant than you know! Check out these life skills your child should develop by age 10!
The world we live in today is full of challenges and obstacles that your kids will eventually have to overcome. Even though civilisation has begun to rely more and more on technology, there are still a number of practical life skills that no child should go without.
In a recent study conducted by the popular online security company AVG Technologies, researchers found that 58% of kids aged 3 to 5 are capable of operating a smartphone properly. However, they also found that only 15% of the same age group are capable of preparing a suitable breakfast for themselves. Obviously, making breakfast isn't a skill they'll immediately require, but if they can't make a suitable meal in order to feed themselves, what other life skills are they lacking?
Growing Leaders, a nonprofit organisation in Norcross, Georgia (USA), was founded on the basis of promoting leadership qualities in children. Tim Elmore, the founder of Growing Leaders, says, “I see many parents doing everything for their kids instead of letting them figure out how to fend for themselves." He and his organisation have found that there are a number of valuable life skills children are capable of learning by age 10. These are 10 of the most important:
1. How to do laundry
Whether they learn how to hand-wash or load the machine, by age 10, your kid should feel comfortable handling laundry duty. Tons of high schoolers and college kids still have no idea how to do a simple load of laundry, or how to separate the colours from the whites! It's a simple task that your kids should learn to deal with by age 10. They don't have to be masters of laundry, or solely responsible but they should at least know how to get their clothes clean.
2. How to plant a seed/garden
Having a green thumb is a natural gift, so to say that every child will grow up being as skilled as a botanist would be a stretch. However, it's a resourceful tool that can lead to a very healthy hobby for your kids. It's also a way for them to get in tune with their earthy side; a chance to get outdoors; and a good way to teach kids about how plants and life works.
3. How to wrap a gift
You'll probably never need to teach a kid the joy of receiving a gift, though, you'll probably need to teach them about the joys of giving a gift. Furthermore, there's nothing like a gift that's nicely wrapped. It adds character and shows you put a lot of work into the gift-giving process. Even if your kids are just learning the basics of gift-giving by this time, like removing the price tag; how to tie a bow/ribbon; cutting the wrapping paper, etc. it's still a valuable trait to learn. Not to mention that if they truly master the process, your gifts under the Christmas tree will look a whole lot nicer!
4. How to hammer a nail
We're by no means suggesting letting your child play with a hammer and nail. However, if you're ever handling a bit of maintenance work around the home and your kids see you working with tools--for example, a hammer--consider teaching them a valuable lesson about elbow grease. Manual labour is always a valuable lesson, and they'll learn a handy skill that can help them to be more self-reliant in the future. Once again, we aren't condoning kids running around with hammers, but when it's convenient and safe, teach your children how they can grow to be handier through the use of tools!
5. How to compose a letter
Snail mail is by far the least common form of communication nowadays. With the abundance of computers and cellphones making it easier than ever to keep in contact with one another, there are few out there who write handwritten letters anymore. While it may not be a common form communication anymore, it's still a valuable life skill and can teach them at a young age how to properly mail something, which they'll undoubtedly be doing the future. It's also a great opportunity for them to practice handwriting and general composition.
6. How to make a simple meal
The aforementioned number of kids who lack the ability to prepare food for themselves is pretty eye-opening. It's not important for your kids to be able to cook themselves an omelette or bake a pie by age 10, but they should at least be able to make a bowl of cereal sans mess. They should be able to help you in the kitchen too, and by asking them to help in the kitchen, you're actually teaching them about the process of how food is made which can lead to them mastering this life skill.
7. How to navigate and read a map
Your kids are blessed to live in a world with GPS enabled devices and apps. In fact, the world is so saturated with products that navigate humans, that I'm sure a percentage of kids aren't even aware what a compass does. Don't let your kids be spoiled by these apps and devices. Teach them, at the very least, how to read a map properly and how to work a compass by age 10. You don't need to throw them out in the woods with both and let them figure out how to get home, but these are valuable life skills that can help them if they're ever in a pinch or lost as adults.
8. How to treat a wound
By now your kids know that when they're injured, they need to resolve the issue. They may even know where your family keeps the first-aid kit. But, can you comfortably say that your kids know how to properly treat a wound in the event that there are no adults around? It's a valuable life skill that obviously has its health benefits, but it also supports self-sufficiency.
9. How to clean the bathroom
Sure, it's dirty work. But it's hard work and kids can always learn from a little hard work. By age 10, your kids should understand how to at least to contribute to the household duties and cleaning the bathroom is one that they can easily assist in. For example, teach your kids to clean the toilet lid, seat, or base. Anything helps, and it teaches them responsibility. It may seem like a tedious life skill, but cleanliness is next to godliness!
10. How to comparatively shop
Understanding how to shop on a budget, shop with coupons, or compare prices and products is a skill that your kids will use often...just further down the road. By age 10, however, they should have a basic understanding of comparing products and understanding which products are cheaper. To be cost-efficient and conscientious is one of the best qualities you can have as an adult, so to instil the importance of money-saving and value to your young children is always a wise choice.
Original article on Parents.com
Be sure to check out theAsianparent Community for more insightful stories, questions, and answers from parents and experts alike. If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them in our Comment box below.