At school, we are going to teach your child to read, do math well, have a good understanding of the world and how it works, and to get along. We will also help your child learn how to cope with adversity, be perseverant, and be empathetic. But there are a million and one things we simply will not have time or energy to teach your children. These are the things only you can do. Some of the things your children will be better off if you teach them are:
1. Cooking. If you teach your child to cook, they will be better at math, reading, and non-academic executive function skills like following directions. Additionally, in a world where most tasks are never finished, cooking gives you and your children a sense of accomplishment. When the meal is served and the clean-up is done, the work is done. Children need these small successes to build perseverance.
2. Lend a hand. Teach your children that whenever they see someone struggling, they should lend a hand. Maybe someone has dropped everything. They can help pick it up. Or Maybe a friend cannot fit everything in their backpack. But your child can help carry something. The social capital your children gain by being helpful is priceless. Everyone wants to know someone who helps others.
3. Teach them to use public transportation. Children who can navigate a bus or Metra schedule are using a lot of skills all at once. Most of these skills only get better with practice, and are hard to make better without practice. It will also help your children feel more independent, full of leadership abilities, and confident in themselves.
For more ideas of skills parents truly need to teach their children, click the link below from parenting.com.
Erin Rae is the Curriculum Coordinator at Lockport 91.