What Life Skills Can I Teach My Kids?

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Posted by: Sue Atkins

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In this episode:

What Life Skills Can I Teach My Kids?

Why Dads Matter in Divorce

Can Taking Lessons Outdoors Tackle the Children’s Mental Health Crisis?

Listen to the Expert Interview

 

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What Life Skills Can I Teach My Kids?

Learning isn’t just about mastering spellings and times tables. A lot takes place outside of the school and formal environment – particularly now, and spending some time teaching practical life skills at home will help set your child up for the future.

UNESCO and WHO list the ten core life skill strategies and techniques as:

problem-solving, critical thinking, effective communication skills, decision-making, creative thinking, interpersonal relationship skills, self-awareness building skills, empathy, and coping with stress and emotions.

There is no definitive list of life skills.

Certain skills may be more or less relevant to you depending on your life circumstances, your culture, beliefs, age, geographic location.

Communication and interpersonal skills. This broadly describes the skills needed to get on and work with other people, and particularly the ability to communicate effectively either in writing or verbally.

Decision-making and problem-solving. This describes the skills required to understand problems, find solutions to them, alone or with others, and then take action to address them.

Creative thinking and critical thinking. This describes the ability to think in different and unusual ways about problems, and find new solutions, or generate new ideas, coupled with the ability to assess information carefully and understand its relevance.

Self-awareness and empathy, which are two key parts of emotional intelligence. They describe understanding yourself and being able to feel for other people as if their experiences were happening to you.

Assertiveness and equanimity, or self-control. These describe the skills needed to stand up for yourself and other people and remain calm even in the face of considerable provocation.

Resilience and ability to cope with problems, which describes the ability to recover from setbacks, and treat them as opportunities to learn, or simply experiences. REALLY RELEVANT during and after this pandemic.

It is also true that different life skills will be relevant at different times in your life. For example:

When at school or university, you’ll need study skills. These may include understanding how to organise yourself for study, do research, and even write up a dissertation or thesis. These are not skills that everyone will need, but writing skills are likely to be useful in a variety of careers and jobs.

When buying a house, you may need to employ negotiation skills, and you will certainly need plenty of patience and good temper. These skills are also likely to be high on your ‘essential life skills’ list if you have children!

You’ll need to work on your employability skills to get a job, and will also need to think about how you apply for a job, and how you might cope in an interview;

When you have a job, you may need to develop leadership skills, especially if you need to lead teams or groups.

I was thinking practically like – learning to cook and following a recipe, learning to change a fuse, or change a tyre if your kids are older, learning to tie shoelaces, learning to tell the time, put up a shelf, putting up a tent, working the washing machine, learning about earning, saving and giving money – see my interview with Louise Hill of goHenry the money management app for kids, learning to change their bedlinen, learning what to do in an Emergency – like dialing 999, wrapping a present, riding a bike, sewing on a button, writing a thank you letter, touch typing, cleaning and polishing shoes, washing the car.

 

 

 


Campaigners and the Archbishop of Canterbury are calling on the Government to fund outdoor learning and embed nature into the curriculum.


Answer :

See my blog Why Dads Matter in Divorce

The days of being an ‘every other weekend’ Dad are no longer the norm.

Dads are so important to the balance of raising a happy, confident, resilient, independent child. Many studies have suggested that it’s not the divorce that damages children but the amount of conflict they experience. So finding a way through the anger, hurt and grief is important and finding a way for Dads to stay actively involved in their child’s life is crucial.

As the long-distance parent, Dads must work hard to maintain their relationship with their child. They may feel angry that this task falls on their shoulders since they may not have initiated the divorce in the first place and it’s easy to feel like a victim and spend their time and energy blaming their ex.

But I don’t advise that as it’s far better to focus on what you can do to stay involved and active in your child’s life. Being a long-distance parent doesn’t mean that a dad has to automatically disappear from their child’s life. It just requires some creativity and cooperation to pull it off successfully. It also may require tenacity, determination, and patience.

Here are a few tips to help :

Remain interested and involved in your child’s life. Make it a point to know the names of the adults who interact with your child: teachers, friends, out of school activity teachers or coaches, other parents, neighbours, etc. Similarly, know the names of your child’s closest friends. Take an interest in their homework, their hobbies, their worries, and be proactive in persisting even if they appear a bit distant.

….

Co-Parenting Positively After Divorce. Conversational Cards

A divorce or separation can be a difficult time for everyone, including your children and other family members. Although you are no longer together, you are still parents and it’s vital that you put aside your differences and focus on raising your children to be happy, confident & resilient, together, despite living apart.

Use these cards to help you communicate more effectively so you can bring up your children free from anger, resentment, and animosity.


The Divorce Journal for Kids

Separation and divorce are traumatic events for families.

This journal is designed to help children express, explore and understand some of the strong emotions that they may be feeling and to help them process the divorce for themselves.

Keeping a Journal is a very simple, but powerful way to support children.

As caring adults, we can help by simply acknowledging & listening to how a child may be feeling, without trying to “fix it”.

This Journal is designed to support open and honest communication and to help children feel heard, understood and supported during a time of great upheaval.

 

Don’t Stew – Ask Sue Parenting Q & A

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