As moms, we always have our kids’ educational best interests at heart. Although we hope their schools are doing a good job of teaching them reading, math, science, writing and more, we know in our hearts that we were our kids’ first teacher—and we still have plenty more to share.
With that in mind, check out the list of vital life skills that we can teach our kids—lessons that will help fill in any learning gaps they have acquired along the way:
To Be His or Her Own Advocate
Although you have probably spent plenty of time sticking up for your kids—from making sure they get enough playing time in a soccer game or talking to their teachers about any learning challenges—the fact is, you won’t be there all of the time to advocate for your kiddos. It’s important to teach your kids to stand up for themselves or to speak up when something does not make sense or they feel a sense of unfairness about something. To make the process easier, you can role play with them and pretend to be various people who your kids have to address about something. Teach them to be polite yet firm and reassure them that it’s OK to be their own advocate.
An Awareness of Driving Laws
If you have a teenager who is driving, he or she probably has a good handle on your local driving laws, as well as the basics of driving. To help ensure that your teen is an even more knowledgeable and aware driver, teach your young driver that laws vary from state to state. For example, visit the Driving Tests website together and show your son or daughter how rules are different; a good place to start is with Massachusetts, since it is one of the most visited states in the country and is an important region for your teen driver to become familiar with. Going over different driving laws will broaden your teen’s horizons and will help him or her realize that not every city or state is like yours.
Basic Money-Managing Skills
Your child has probably seen you use the ATM machine a zillion times, but does he or she know how to make a deposit or withdraw money? Teaching your kiddo how to use an ATM is one of many money-related skills your child should know. How to fill out a deposit slip, how to write a check and balance a checkbook are also important topics to go over with your children, especially since many schools no longer teach personal finance. It is also important to go over the pros and cons of credit cards, especially with teenagers. Explain how they can tempt you to buy things that you cannot afford and then be stuck paying them off for months or even years. Also encourage paying cash for everything and teach them how to save up for a needed or desired item.
Kitchen Skills 101
Believe it or not, your teenagers who still want you to make them a PB&J will someday be on their own, so the sooner you start teaching them how to get around the kitchen, the better. Actually, young kids will often eagerly want to learn about basic cooking—including how to prepare and serve simple meals, how to safely store leftovers, and how to use the microwave and the importance of never placing tin foil or other metals in the appliance.