Teenage is one of the most crucial times in everyone’s life. It is the stepping stone stage when one starts to learn more about the world, gain new experiences, more freedom, and more responsibilities. So to prepare a teenager for that, it is better to start teaching them some important life skills, when they are pre-teenage: 10-13 years of age.
There are quite many life skills, that help us in an emergency situation. Many people (even adults) become helpless at moments like this when they don’t know that certain life skill. Children can actually learn a skill or a language quicker than adults. So it is better to impart knowledge to them on some life-saving skills at the right age.
Food is one of our life essentials. So knowing how to cook, becomes an essential skill to learn. As kids, all would observe their parents preparing food. There would be a curiosity as to how it is done, so parents can help encourage that curiosity initially by asking the child to help prep the meal.
The child can first start out by gathering all the ingredients, washing them, and prepping for the meal. They can do this for a few days until they get confident enough. After they get a hang of it, they can move on to preparing a sandwich or noodles. Then move on to the next tasks at hand such as pouring idly batter into the idly molds, putting an omelet, putting a dosa or a chapati in a tawa, and grinding a chutney.
Just knowing to make these dishes is enough for a pre-teen, so that in case they have to be alone at home sometime in their teenage and they are hungry or their younger sibling is hungry, they can make these easy-to-make meals. As cooking involves a few hazardous substances like fire, knives, etc make sure that they don’t do it unsupervised in the starting stage.
As kids, all would be interested to learn cycling. It is not only a fun activity, but also a good skill to know. Kids would be driving around with training wheels and pre-teenage would be the perfect time to remove those training wheels and let them start to cycle by balancing themselves on the cycle. This balancing act paves the way to later learning to ride a moped, motorbike, or scooter as an adult.
Cycling enables the child to travel easily to a nearby store or a supermarket to pick up groceries and such items. This can help save some time for the parents, as their child can take care of these small errands.
have helped save my brother, when he was a small child and he had fallen inside a swimming pool by accident. And this is one such skill, they say that once you learn, you will never forget it, even if you don’t practice it continuously.
Swimming is also a great way to stay in shape as it burns a lot of calories. And a great way to chill during summer. So this life skill is not only a necessary one but is a fun way to stay fit and healthy too.
4. First Aid
Knowing how to administer First Aid for themselves and for others is another important life skill. Teach your child the basics of First Aid. You can start by showing them how to put together a First Aid kid and explain each and every item and how they can be used. Let them know where you keep a First Aid kit in the house and also you can make a compact version of it and ask them to keep it always in their school bag.
Start by showing how to clean and tend to a cut or scrape. You can demonstrate how to apply antiseptic ointments or powders and then secure the wound with a plaster or a bandage. Show them how to be hygienic and throw away used cotton balls, bandages, etc in a closed dustbin.
While these are basic things that they can do by themselves, certain situations would require an adult. Hence teach them about Emergency numbers and also how they can quickly ask a neighbor or friend for help if they find themselves in such a situation. Please write down some Emergency contacts and ask your child to keep them safely with them or even better, to memorize those numbers.
Pre-teens can be taught how to do basic household chores like sweeping, arranging plates and other utensils on their respective shelves, and washing their own plates and cups. Also, you can teach them how to keep their room clean: making their bed, arranging their wardrobe, ironing their uniforms and clothes, dusting their room shelves, doing their laundry, and keeping their study table neat. This will help in bringing some discipline into their lives and teach them about cleanliness, being responsible for their own belongings and room, and being hygienic.
6. Home Monetary Management
Most kids start saving money in a piggy bank at a young age. By the time they are in their pre-teens, it is better to encourage them to learn more about saving money and managing their pocket money. Also tell them about the monetary situation at home and about the budget allocation for their toys/clothes/extra-curricular activities etc, so that they would know not to demand more or overspend their allocated limit. Money management is very important in adult life and it is better the child knows about various saving schemes and proper management in their pre-teen.
7. Social Skill
Teenage is when some kids start getting adventurous and rebellious. So it is better to inculcate good social skills in them in their pre-teen years. Teach your child about good manners and sharing. This will help them in starting good friendships in their school and outside. They should know the importance of being a team player and getting along with their classmates.
Teach them how to respect other child’s boundaries and opinions. This will reflect a lot in their adulthood as well. And if you get to know that your child is bullying others or being bullied, talk to them gently and let them know that you are there to help them overcome it. Also, it would be a good time to teach them about good and bad touch, if not already taught at a younger age.
8. Basic Plumbing and Electrical Repair
At everyone’s home, there is no dearth of sudden plumbing and electrical emergencies. Pre-teens can start learning some basic repair work in these, like changing a bulb, changing a tap, fixing a leak by using M-seal, etc. Also, teach them all the safety measures when fixing an electrical emergency. You can also show them how to change a fuse, and how to fix a fan regulator or a switch. These skills will give a very good helping hand at a later stage/ when they move out to live in a hostel or a PG, for their college or work.
9. Travelling Alone
Pre-teens can start traveling alone locally at first. Teach them how to travel on a bus or train, and give them all the necessary information required like which bus/train goes to which areas. Autos or cabs may not be safe as of now to travel alone, so better they stick to public transportation. Once they start traveling by local bus/train, you can acquire a monthly pass for them and they can travel by themselves to their tuition/friend’s house. Safety is of utmost importance, so teach them all the safety measures they need to take and also how to ask for help from fellow travelers.