I don’t consider myself old-fashioned or out-of-date. I mean, I’m all for the comforts of life that come with modern technology. (Yup…cell phone and all!) However, I was shocked to realize that a number of the life skills that I learned from my younger years are virtually unrecognizable by younger generations. Many of these skills come in quite handy in today’s day and age. In light of this, I decided to write about some Not-So-Old-Fashioned Skills to Teach Children.
1. How to hand wash dishes: In the days of convenient dishwashers, hand washing dishes are going the way of the dinosaurs. Go through a few blackouts, natural disasters, etc. and you’ll come to realize how important it is for our children to know how to wash their dishes by hand. It’s also a great way to help younger children develop motor skills as well as a sense of accomplishment for a job well done. In addition to learning how to hand wash dishes, you could teach children…
2. How to write a letter: I remember growing up in elementary school when our teachers asked us to write thank you letters to the cafeteria staff, our school principal, the office workers, etc. We thanked just about everyone our teacher could think of and we, in turn, improved our writing skills in the process. It helped us develop skills in being thoughtful and kind to others. It also fostered a sense of gratitude in our hearts. It seems that the art of letter writing has gone the way of texts, emails, and everything brief and electronic. Teach your child to write a good, thoughtful letter to someone. Hopefully, the character that you help build will carry on throughout the years.
3. How to cook from scratch: While I cook many meals from scratch right now, there was a time when I took the easy route and made heatable meals a regular part of my busy routine. (Thanks to my local discount warehouse.) I decided to change my habits when my nephew came to visit and said that he really liked the “homemade” meals I made him because it was made from scratch. (Guilt, guilt….) I realized that he had no idea of what true homemade cooking in my home actually was–that he thought my microwavable dishes were truly homemade. I decided to change my ways and I made more dishes from scratch. Include children in the cooking. Teach them how to use the stove and the oven. (No, not just the microwave oven. (: ) It comes as no surprise that meals are yummier. This is also an incredible skill that helps you to control the ingredients that go into your body. It also teaches cost-effectiveness as children grow up and get out on their own to cook for themselves. (: In addition to teaching children how to cook from scratch, they may learn…
4. How to serve others: I’m really big on service. When people live their lives full of service, it fosters feelings of happiness, gratitude and compassion. Children need to be taught to do service for others. This could be doing kind deeds for their family, teachers, friends and the community. Do not skip this important skill and habit to teach your children. In addition to teaching children how to serve others, we may teach them..
5. How to sit down together for a family meal: Yes, in today’s day and age, families are busy. School, sports, work and extracurricular activities often dictate the family schedule and causes family members to eat at varying times. Eating together as a family is a rarity. Schedule in specific times when your family will sit down to a dinner together without distractions. Televisions, cell phones and all electronic devices need to be turned off. Emphasize healthy, positive conversation between all family members. This is a time to strengthen family bonds as well as teach children social skills they need in the world outside. If your family doesn’t do this at all, start with at least one meal per week. You’ll see a difference in your family’s cohesiveness over time.
6. How to manage money: It is extremely important that children learn how to manage their money from an early age. It is also important for them to learn how to earn it…that it doesn’t just hop easily from your wallet into their hands. Have them earn their own spending money. This could be done through chores, bottle collecting, babysitting, or whatever means they may find to earn. Children who do this learn a proper appreciation for the things they have and they learn valuable skills that they may take into their adulthood. As they become parents, they may teach these skills to their own children. In addition to learning how to manage money, children may learn…
7. How to have a conversation: Nowadays, children play less on the playground and they spend more time on video games. They also converse more through short texts, messages on social media, etc. and they have fewer opportunities to interact and develop face-to-face social skills. It takes away the interaction which helps in the communicaiton process. Not that any of the electronic means of communicating are bad, but it is important for our children to gain proper conversational social skills that will help them to get along in life. Purposely hold good, quality conversations with your children. Make sure you hold family conversations during mealtimes (see #5.)
8. How to persevere: My husband’s grandmother just passed away at the age of ninety. Looking at her life, it’s amazing to know just how much she’s persevered through. Perseverance is a necessity in our society. If children fail at small tasks (like throwing a ball or losing a simple game,) they may not learn how to persevere through challenges in the future. It’s important to encourage them to pick themselves up and keep going. Sometimes this may be encouraging them to practice more. Sometimes it may be encouraging them to try it again. Sometimes, it may be giving them challenges. Whatever the case, look for opportunities in everyday life to teach your children to persevere.
So, there you have it, My Sweet Friend…8 Not-So-Old-Fashioned Skills to Teach Children.
I’m curious…what skills do you think children need to learn?
Thanks for joining me today.
Have an awesome week!