They’ve reached double figures and are in the final year of primary school. What life skills should you be teaching your child now to ready them for the big leap towards independence and responsibility that big school brings?
- Using a payphone
What would your child do if separated from friends and without a mobile phone? Would they know where to purchase a phone card, find a payphone and know your phone number too?
Equipping children with a phone card to carry at all times, showing them where the payphones are situated in your home town and memorising their home phone number will make them more confident in an emergency.
Most children (and a fair few teenagers) of our acquaintance appear to believe in the laundry fairy. Clothing discarded throughout the house miraculously re-appears clean and folded in their drawers. Teach younger children to put all their dirty clothing in the laundry basket straight after getting undressed. Let them help you sort the laundry by colour and type and show them the right wash cycle to use. By the time they start secondary school they should be able to take responsibility for their own washing and avoid last minute wails asking for a clean PE kit with 10 minutes until the school bus goes.
- Time management
Secondary school usually comes with a large school site and up to 25 different classrooms in a single week. Learning how to judge how long it takes to get from class to class, prioritise their homework and organise their break time to enable them to still eat lunch as well as hang out with friends are all important skills (especially if they don’t want a visit to detention).
- Self care
Hopefully by now you have won the battle over regular handwashing and teeth cleaning, but when their bodies start to change, they will need to take responsibility for their own cleanliness to keep them fresh and confident. Professor Scrubbington’s range of bath time products for children have been designed to empower kids to take charge of their own bath time. Leave the baby wash behind and get them their own big kid products, such as our kids deodorant.
- Navigating friendships
Primary school friendships can be simple affairs, fall outs are common but short lived and parents get involved if anything more difficult occurs. At secondary school, friendships can become a lot more tricky. Children need to learn how to recognise the signs of a toxic friendship, how to manage conflict and, most importantly, how to be a good friend themselves.
- Reading a bus timetable
Many young people rely on the taxi of mum and dad or the school bus whilst at primary school, but moving up to secondary could involve one or more bus journeys on their own. Teaching children how to use a bus timetable and learn their bus routes could save you having to head off on a rescue mission across town if a bus is late or cancelled.
Unless they want to live on Pot Noodles at University, they need to master the basics of cooking and primary school is a great age to start. According to the BBC Good Food website, 8-11 year old should be capable of helping plan meals and follow simple recipes with some supervision. Why not give your child one night a week where they have to help you in the kitchen until they are confident enough to take responsibility themselves.
- Money management
Learning how to budget and handle their own finances will be invaluable when they leave home and good habits start young. Pocket money can be a great teaching tool for children and you can introduce a two piggy bank system; one for spending and one for saving and allow children to determine how much they want to save each week. Get children to identify a specific item that they are saving for and ask them to calculate how long it will take them to hit their target.
- Finding their way home
A reliance on tech, like smart phones and sat nav has started to erode navigational skills across the generations. When was the last time that you tried to find your way around a new town with no smart phone in hand? Teaching children basic navigational skills like identifying landmarks or reading a map could be invaluable if lost in a situation with no phone signal.
- Speaking up for themselves
Whilst a child is at primary school, parents are involved in their school and personal life, they stand in the playground at pick-up, arrange playdates and sort out problems. When a child starts secondary school, they are suddenly left to fend for themselves. Teach children to be confident to stand up for themselves and speak out if there is a problem. A lot of this is down to self confidence, so encourage activities that boost a child’s self esteem.
If your children have yet to try Professor Scrubbington's Magically Foaming bath time products, then now is the perfect time to give them a go. Our Magically Foaming 3 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner and Magically Foaming Hand and Face Wash are perfect for first timers.