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COVID-19 and the lockdown procedures that come with it have been hard on everyone. For kids, quarantining and social distancing can be especially difficult. Even children who are homeschooled may have had to stop their extracurricular activities or co-ops where they see friends. It can take a severe toll on the mental health of kids and teens alike.
If your kids or teens are still not back to their normal routine, and you’re all feeling drained and dissatisfied, it could be the perfect opportunity to teach them some life lessons – instead of just educational ones.
Everyone should be able to have a grasp on some basic life skills by the time they’re an adult. Now might be the best time to teach some of those skills to your kids, not only for life after lockdown but to use as they grow and become independent.
Let’s look at a few of those common skills that can allow you to participate in some hands-on learning with your child and get away from the chaos and stress associated with the pandemic.
How to Maintain a Home
It might be hard to think about it now, but there will be life after lockdown – and your teen will eventually leave home. They’ll move into their own places and have to handle everything that comes with owning or renting.
So, why not teach them some home maintenance skills now that they can carry with them into adulthood?
Homes are in constant need of maintenance and care, from routine checks on appliances, plumbing, and electrical systems to bigger remodeling efforts. Teaching your kids how to repair basic things like a clogged toilet or squeaky door will help to make them more self-sufficient. But, it’s also a good idea to teach them when they should contact a professional. Things like electrical problems or major plumbing issues usually shouldn’t be DIY’ed.
When you teach your child how to maintain and care for a home, you’re turning them into lifelong learners. They will naturally be curious about doing more, fixing more, and maintaining more on their own. It will help them to become a hard worker, resilient, motivated, and a problem-solver.
Not only are those great skills to put on a resume, but they are skills that will help them out of the workplace, too, when it comes to getting things accomplished in their everyday lives. When you make learning these things fun and show your children what they can do, you’re can set them up for success and get them excited about the future.
How to Complete Everyday Tasks
When you do laundry, wash the dishes, or even balance your checkbook, you probably don’t give it much thought, right? But, at one point you had to learn to do all of those things. Maybe you taught yourself or maybe one of your parents showed you. Now, it’s your turn to “pass that torch” in preparation for your teens’ future life after lockdown.
These everyday tasks might not seem very exciting, but they’re necessary life skills that will end up making your child’s life easier when they’re all grown up and out on their own. Some of those mundane-but-necessary skills include:
- Washing clothes
- Making a budget
If you think you might have a hard time motivating your kids to learn these skills, get them interested through things like chore charts or use other incentives to help them see how rewarding getting things done can be. For teens, you might consider giving them an allowance for doing certain chores, or link chores to specific privileges.
How to Care for Themselves
Self-care is important, but we’re not talking about that for the sake of this article. Instead, we’re talking about basic, everyday care that everyone should know about and be able to do now and in their future life after lockdown.
Kids should learn to adopt healthy, hygienic habits at an early age. Once they do, it’s not hard for them to become lifelong habits, and things they don’t even need to think about to do. So, while such habits might seem simple and second nature to you, that’s because at one point someone took the time to instill them in you. It’s important to do the same for your kids.
For example, you can encourage healthy dental habits by helping your children to:
- Regularly brush and floss
- Eat fruits and vegetables
- Avoid sugary drinks
In spite of all your efforts, some parents find that their teens don’t always take the time to brush. If that’s the case, a few hygiene-related articles featuring pictures of gum disease and rotten teeth may convince them.
In addition to positive dental habits, teaching your children to take care of their whole body is something they can use forever. Talk to them about the importance of exercise and eating right. When kids are young, their natural habits of play are a great form of exercise. But, teens need to know that moving their body is still important if they want to stay in good shape.
Of course, mental health care is just as essential as physical care. In fact, one of the most important things to consider about kids who have poor hygiene is that not bothering to shower, bathe, or brush their teeth can sometimes be a symptom of depression or another mental health issue that may need to be addressed.
At the very least, giving your teen a few resources on how to de-stress and find some peace can be extremely beneficial. Whether it’s telling them to take a few deep breaths to calm down, or encouraging them to talk to someone, mental health should always be a priority.
Keep these life skills in mind as you and your kids are “stuck” at home together. Don’t despair; there will be life after lockdown and it will come soon enough for your teens. Teaching them how to prepare for their future now can make a big difference in how they handle themselves when they leave the nest.