Home Skills Every Child Should Know

The three basic skills everyone learns is reading, writing, and arithmetic. Every child everywhere on the planet learns them first in school but that’s just about the beginning. There are hundreds of other skills and the number is growing by the day that children need to master to get a sense of control over them and their environment. While some of these skills are simple and easy to learn, others can be fairly complex. Here’s the list of skills that career planners and child psychologists often recommend for a child by the time they are 10.

kids adaptability

Adaptability and Resilience

Resilience and adaptability go a long way in making your child self-dependent. This is achieved best when you let your child do things on their own. You don’t have to feed your child with solutions every time they ask for it.

There are strategies to empower your child. Motivate them to do on their own while intervening only when they get stuck. They must be ready to face challenges whenever they encounter them. Teach them the correct method by all means but let them do it on their own.

You can motivate them with stories and examples of brave and courageous kids.

kids empathy

Empathy and Perspective Taking

A child often complains when coming back from school. They often land up with problems and accuse their teachers or friends. Teach the child to visualize the problem from the perspective of the teacher or the friend. Explain to them the emotional reaction of others to the same problem. Let them realize how their behavior could have hurt others.

Thinking from others’ perspective doesn’t come naturally to children. Read them the stories from a book and discuss the feelings and motivations of different characters. Ask them questions and give them cues.

When a child develops empathy, they become more responsible rather than a chronic fault finder.

kids going out alone

Go Out Alone

Unless your child is very small, you may encourage them to go out to nearby places once in a while. They should no navigation. They should also learn and know the basics of traveling. Your child should know things like how to ride a cycle and how to use public transport.

Whenever your child is going out alone encourage them to use the google map. Let them know certain basic things like what to do when they feel lost, where to seek help, whom to call, and so on.

Teach them how to buy a metro ticket or a bus ticket. Let them know where to board which stops to get down. Your child will feel fairly confident with these skills.

kids with manners

Good Manners

Children learn what they see and observe. They learn their first lesson in manners in the family setting. If you can model proper manner yourself, your child easily learns them by imitation. “Please”, “Thank You” and “Sorry” are the three words that will endear your child to everyone. They should know what to say, when. The other words in the list include “May I”, “Excuse me”, and “No, thank you”. These are the six most important phrases in the civilized world. The rest can follow from there.

kids interacting with adults

How to Interact with People

We may have needlessly filled the mind of kids with stranger danger. Whether that does any good is not known, but it certainly makes the kids fearful. Everyone we know today was at some point a stranger to us. Instead, teach them to do things, not unlike adults when meeting a stranger. Teach them the difference between good and bad strangers and how to identify a good stranger from a bad one. And also teach them how to interact with good strangers.

Teach them how to politely ask for an address or enquire about the right platform to wait for a metro train from a stranger. Explain to them how much to talk and what to talk to a stranger. If you do not help your child develop this skill, they may not feel confident and comfortable in public places.

kids making connection

Make Connections

According to Galinsky, true learning occurs when we learn to see and make connections observing disparate things. When we begin to form patterns we make more connections and begin to decipher the sense and meaning of the world. Children begin making these connections quite early through observations of household things like toys and pets. They begin making connections through simple acts like choosing what to wear appropriate to the weather. You can help your child discover more connections while doing things like reading stories to them.

kids communication skills

Develop Communication Skills

A healthy social-emotional skill for a child is necessary to grow up and develop as a mentally healthy adult. Children should be given high-touch personal interactions frequently. This would help them understand others and communicate with them. Children develop these skills at a pace unique to each child. Nevertheless, healthy interactions help them learn how to listen and how to interpret social cues. Let your child express something they want, even if that may sound silly to you. Try to understand them and encourage them to express. Show interest in your child when they speak. Listen to them and respond to them.

kids self learning
A diverse group of preschoolers in a classroom

Self Directed Learning

A child whose reason for reading is the school or parental compulsion may not probably grow up to be a self-directed learner. Some children are instinctively driven to learning. They never get bored in life as adults because they have discovered a skill in them. Your child can learn to take interest in learning provided you are ready to motivate and help them. If needed, limit television time. Give them a lot of interesting books to read. Let them get involved in play and exploration. Let them see your behavior and model theirs on your enthusiasm and curiosity for learning.

Legacy Food Storage
kids home alone

Learn to be Alone

Very young children cannot be left alone, but if a child hasn’t learned to be alone for about half an hour between 8 and 10 years, they may likely encounter severe anxiety, if left alone. The social life we have with work stratification and family compulsions require a child to learn to be alone. Give your child a quiet and cozy little corner, few toys and fun things, a comfortable chair, and a work table where they can enjoy alone time. Gradually, your child will begin to love their personal space and freedom.

kids reading compass, kids reading maps

Use of Maps and Compass

With an increasing focus on STEM education, no child should be left behind. One of the key skills required under STEM education is spatial awareness. Even otherwise, this is a basic skill each child should know by the age of 10. You can encourage your child to mentally map their playground, neighborhood, and school. You can challenge your kid to guide you to their school. You can encourage him go on a hike and follow directions using the Google map.

kids saving money

How to Save

Unfortunately, no school teaches this critical skill to your child. Saving money doesn’t come easily to even adults. If the child doesn’t appreciate the value of saving, he may likely grow up the same as an adult. Ask your child to save half of their pocket money. Once the child has saved enough, start a savings account for them. Show them how to monitor their account online and how to save every month. Let them know it is easy to build an attractive fund to purchase their play station with the money they have saved.

kids writing a letter

How to Write a Letter/email

The current generation is unfortunately losing the critical skill of letter writing. Emojis and Selfies have overtaken these skills which are much relevant even today. If their school hasn’t taught them how to write a formal letter already, you can certainly teach them. Let them know the format of a formal letter and tell them why and when we need to write formal letters. Let them know why it is important in business communication. Let them know there are times when we need our emails written formally.

kids shaking hands

A Confident Handshake

Confidence is a huge part of today’s life where this critical skill makes a world of difference in school, work, business, and profession. A confident handshake reflects the state of your inner self along with eye contact and attentive listening. If you cut off people, you miss an opportunity to connect to them. You need to tell your child the importance of a healthy social life that comes from your inner confidence so as to build trust with others. You can begin by teaching them how to handshake. The first step is making eye contact, facing the person you’re greeting while your toes point towards them. Smile and hold the other person’s hand, neither too soft nor too hard followed by shaking the hand up and down three times while maintaining eye contact and smiling.

kids on computer

Sensible Web Consumption

You may have asked your kid a hundred times the dangerous content they ought not to watch online. You may not have perhaps told them how to sensibly consume web content. Help them identify and distinguish fake news from a genuine one. In a recent study it was found that in 10-18 ages, less than half of kids know or can identify fake news stories. No wonder, a majority of the kids have lost their trust in news media. Teach your kids the skills like critical reading and reading comprehension. These skills alone will make them wise enough to navigate through the confusion. You can also involve your kid in activities like “find the mistake” in web articles. You can ask your kid to read multiple articles on the same topic. You may teach them how to identify legitimate sources.

kids with manners
55513637 – cute funny little girl eating spaghetti at home

Table Manners

This critical skill will help your child years later when they join a responsible work organization where business meetings are a routine. Table manners are not taught theoretically with lectures. They must see and observe it at home and when dining out in a restaurant. They must know, a napkin goes in their lap. They must not make a sound while eating. Chewing with an open mouth, interrupting, reaching out for food is all no, no. They must know how to handle a fork, a spoon, and a knife and which goes where when you are done with your meal.

kids first aid skills

First Aid Skills

If your child hasn’t learned the first aid skills in a school or in the scout group, then they are probably missing out on an essential skill every citizen is expected to have. With this skill, your child would be able to handle emergencies without getting nervous.

They must know when to dial 911. They must know if clothing catches fire, they must stop, drop, and roll. They must be able to handle nosebleeds by pinching nostrils. Running cold water over a burn and using ice on swollen injuries are the basic first aid strategies for a child to know. They must know how to give artificial respiration and pump the chest when emergencies are of a serious nature.

kids cleaning room
Tween girl sitting on bedroom floor organizing wooden toys into a knitted storage bag

Keep their Space Clean

The first thing a child learns in school is “cleanliness is next to godliness”. How smartly do kids practice this adage is important for them and for you. Children will begin to value the space they possess and keep it organized when they begin practicing cleanliness. Ask them to declutter their cluttered room once you have shown them how you can do it. Let them experiment with dusting, mopping, and sweeping. When they see the difference between an untidy and well-organized room, they will want to keep their space well organized.

kids talking on phone

Reaching Out

Children often panic or experience absolute shock when they feel lost and abandoned. Have your kid memorize your phone number and the home address. This is important for their safety. A ten-year-old kid should also know your email and cell numbers of both parents. You can use various strategies to have this information stick by having the information displayed prominently around the house, using the rhyming games, or into a song.

kids talking to adult

Carry a Conversation

A troubling feature of modern society is increasingly less face to face communication at the expense of increasingly more online communication including texting and chatting. The current generation of teenagers may have probably lost the face to face communication skill that is critical for their all-round development and success in life. Only face to face communication ensures honest and lasting relationships. This is a critical skill that counts for your success in college admissions and job interviews. Encourage your kid to go out to interact with friends. It helps to be strict with them when you need to ban devices when they are at the dinner table.

kids mindfulness

Mindfulness Practices

Most kids remain over-stimulated or look for exciting things all the time. Studies have gone on to show that mindfulness practices can help your child remain focused and attentive. They will also be more respectful. They will experience less stress and their hyperactive behavior will minimize. All you need is to ask your child to sit still, breathe slowly, and focus on breathing. You can continue this practice every day for a pre-defined time frame beginning with at least five minutes. Soon it will develop into a habit.

kids caring for older adult
Not many elderly people get long-term care insurance. It’s expensive and many hope their kids will look after them instead.

Care for another Living Being

Children learn to be empathetic when they love a pet. The most important thing every human should learn is to respect life. When kids develop this skill early in life, they will grow up to be responsible and sensitive adults. If you do not already have a family dog or a family pet and you are not ready to give in to your kid’s demand for a family dog, there are other easier options like a goldfish or a hermit crab.

kids overcoming challenge

Meeting the Challenges

Life is full of challenges. Those of us that are resilient never get worried by challenges. This is the most important trait to develop since the early years of life. It helps your child bounce back from failure and continue trying. Children learn this trait by participating in events and doing different activities. The parents also need to create the right environment that can make them feel safe. They should never be discouraged. They need to be motivated by supporting stories on persistence. Allow your child interesting things they are passionate about. If your child loves adventure, let them climb a tree or ride a bike. Offer them new challenges when they are ready no matter how simple that may look to you such as tying shoelaces. Encourage them to try more times when they fail. Focus on efforts, not on results.

kids critical thinking

Critical Thinking

The world we live in is getting increasingly more complex by the day. Each day we receive and analyze tons of information and make our decisions based on them. This is where we need critical thinking. Critical thinking is the ability to think rationally and clearly. It is the ability to comprehend logical connections between the ideas. You can develop the skill of critical thinking in your child by letting them enact open-ended play. This is known as role-taking. The child should have the time to play each day alone or in the company of friends. The child can take on the role of a firefighter or a super cop or any other role of their choice. They can play games like board games, building structures, or outdoor activities like hiding and seek or tag. A child learns several aspects of critical thinking while participating in these games such as trying out their ideas, finding problems, trying out solutions, make guesses, take risks, and several other elements of critical thinking.

While most of the skills a child learns come to them naturally as their mind and body develop, the parents are required to be responsible to enable their kids to learn some of the critical skills so that they grow up to be confident and well-developed individuals to face the challenges of life.

There are hundreds of other skills your child should have such as imagination, creativity, being able to tell a joke, knowledge of the inventors and discoverers, and other successful people. The important thing is to identify your child’s interests and passions early and help them develop those skills.

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