By Jackie Edwards:
There is growing recognition of the importance of life skills, as 88% of young people, 94% of employers and 97% of teachers report that they are as or more important than academic qualifications. From gardening to sewing to learning how to fix things around the house, teaching your children practical life skills is one of the most effective ways to ensure that they achieve success later in life while also instilling in them green practices that will make the world a more sustainable place to live. Shown to increase confidence and communication as well as being a great way to help children retain the academic information they are learning, life skills are a great way to help your children prepare for their future. There are a few ways that you as a parent can help them during the process.
The Benefits of Learning How to Take Care of Yourself
A 75-year study conducted at Harvard found that children who were given chores did better later in life. In fact, chores were the best predictor of whether or not kids were more likely to become happy, healthy, independent adults, showing just how important it is for kids to learn how to take care of themselves. By teaching them practical life skills, you are ensuring that they can care for themselves emotionally, physically and financially in the future, which is important as they grow into adults. You can begin incorporating these skills into your everyday sustainable activities with them and assessing where their interests lie. If they have a green thumb, for example, teach them how to cultivate their own garden and then, later, how to cook their own food from it. If they’re more into building things, you might develop a hands-on, real-life learning project at home that allows them to DIY their own sustainable recycling system, or even how to build a beehive in order to help the local ecosystem thrive.
Life Skills Promote Social Skills
Learning life skills works in two ways. First, it allows children to build confidence, motivation, resilience and communication. By constantly learning how to do things themselves, they will gain a sense of accomplishment that allows them to become better global citizens. However, there are increasing benefits of learning how to develop these skills in a societal way. Not only will they learn how to more effectively communicate their thoughts and emotions in a situation, but they also will be able to effectively communicate what they have learned in a way that can be taught to others now or in the future. As they work to become better global citizens through learning these life skills, they can share their knowledge with others in a calm, respectful manner. Eventually, they will be able to share the importance of going green, conserving Earth’s natural resources and the importance of a zero-waste lifestyle.
Giving Children the Gift of Confidence
While watching your little one grow up and stray further and further from their dependence on you might be hard, teaching them life skills is one of the most effective ways to instill a solid sense of confidence in them. By allowing them to grow into adulthood in a way that fosters communication, independence and understanding of the natural world around them, you are raising children who ultimately will contribute to making the world a better place.