Spring has arrived but it sure doesn't feel like it. I'm thinking this weather has pushed my daughter into her room a bit more which has blossomed into a whole makeover event. I love it because at almost twenty-two years old watching her take the initiative to make her space her own makes me extremely proud. I know this isn't forever and before I know it she will be decorating her own place.
As I watch her work and I see her progress I've been thinking. What good is being Book smart or having lots of money if you have no common sense? I am sure some would say well I can either read about it or just pay someone to do it for me, but why not just try using your best judgment? Trying to solve whatever issue presents itself by being creative and thinking outside the box? Seeing her make progress in her plans reminded me of how important it really is to teach our children daily Life Skills.
I remember when I first moved out on my own at eighteen years old I knew nothing. I mean sure I knew some basic things and I had helped my mother around our house but now everything was just mine. My responsibility, my failure or triumph. I had no one to lean on if I dropped the ball.
One of my first DIY failures and lessons was putting up curtains. I had no tools so I used a regular knife handle as the hammer, nails and a regular twelve-inch ruler to measure. Since I had the skills of a seamstress I used some regular string from one end of the window to the other to gauge the straightness of my rods. I improvised everything, there was no Google. And when I made the hole too big from banging the nail too hard and the sheetrock split, guess what I used to stuff the hole and make it tight again? Cotton balls, Elmer's glue, and toothpicks!!!
I just had a problem, very little money to work with, no book gave me the answer so I used my head... Life skills.
Today there is a Hack for everything which is great but how do you think we got those in the first place? Because of someone like me, who had little money, no book and had to use what was at hand to make a tough situation better. So how do we as parents teach our little ones these skills? When is the right time?
Early is my first response and no time like the present is my second.
- have them help you around the house
- buy them kits that encourage learning how to measure and use their hands
- play games in which you give them a few materials and ask them to create something
- teach them how to work with substitutions, for example, no paper clips then fold the top left corner of your papers down, you don't want them playing ball in the house, have them roll up socks instead and have them roll those around
- any chance you get, work on problem-solving
With the development of using substitutions and problem-solving in time they will apply those skills to any task that comes their way and as they mature no obstacle that they encounter will disturb their balance. They will have the ability to improvise and not allow things to upset them as much. Another opportunity to implement Mindfulness and avoid tantrums.
Teaching our children daily Life Skills helps in other ways as well.
- it comes in handy in dealing with unexpected changes in plans
- helps in coping with life's disappointments
- helps in working in difficult environments
- helps in relating with what may be perceived as difficult people
There are so many advantages the list can go on and on but starting out with basics and early is the best advantage of them all. Try it out and see and watch how in no time you will have a little or not so little helper in the house. You will have more time for yourself because you won't have to do everything for your child. Don't forget to come back and share with me that one switch you made or that small creative nudge. I would love to hear the results.
Always stress-free xo,