Life skills – to be honed during this pandemic

The pandemic gave us the gift of time to stay at home and spend that extra time with our families.

A silver lining to the Pandemic:
While most of us were home with our families, working from home, schooling from home and more.
We save large amounts of time that was typically a piece taken away from our social life, shopping time, movie time, travelling etc.

While this scenario continues to be the same in most parts of the world, its not too late to put this saved time to use by teaching our children some life skills. Here are some fundamental skills that you can get started on:

1. Cooking skills – Allow them to help you in the kitchen. Example: teach them to boil water
safely, make a sandwich, or as simple as be your sous chef by peeling vegetables using the
peeler. Age-appropriate activities can be taught in the kitchen. If they are teenagers,
empower and encourage them to make a meal a week for the family, even if its only a small
dish in an entire spread. Let’s impart this without any gender bias.

2. Nutrition – Food on table is a blessing during such times. Have a conversation about
appreciating food. Explain why we choose to eat one food more than the other (not bad or
good food), but more in terms about moderation. Start conversations about the best way to
choose them.

3. Cleaning and laundry – Show them how to separate the dirty clothes into 2 different piles,
explain why you separate the laundry and what will happen if a dark or red piece of clothing
ends up in the white pile and washed. Put one pile into the washing machine and have them
help you do it. Do this similarly for their play area, pin up a chart, or put on a song to have
them clean up the house and help you organise.

4. Sewing at least a button – This activity not only improves motor skills, concentration and
instils patience, it also teaches about sustainability and makes a case of saving money.
Instead of throwing away your clothes, you can learn how to fix them. Next time a button
falls off their favourite shirt, please consider getting a needle and thread and giving it a go.
The worst they can do is sew a shoddy button, but it imparts the best outcome of saving
money and contributing towards saving the Earth.

5. Basic First Aid – While stocking your first aid kit, ask your child if they know what each item
is for and how to use it. This way they know the use of it Allow them to experiment briefly
under your supervision of how to use it. This way they are aware of supplies during an
emergency.

6. Time Management: Teens and kids thrive on structure, but time management takes
practice. When many young children head to college or leave their home for the first time,
they often have very little idea about how to manage their time responsibly. Homework gets
forgotten, classes get missed, work shifts get missed and oversleeping can be a problem too.
Start them young. Talk to them in the morning and tell them how you have their day
planned, then as they get older allow them to draw up their own schedule.

7. Budgeting: It’s never too early for a child to learn to be financially responsible, even if the
child doesn’t have a real bank account. Parents can give their child a set amount of money that they can spend each day, week, or month. Maintain a mock bank by writing down in a
notebook how much they earned and spent. If the child observes their mock bank account
balance going up and down, it becomes a reality check for how they spend their money.

We recommend focusing on more enjoyable and practical life lessons that your children can benefit from when you have some downtime.

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