4 Key Skills to Teach Your Kids at an Early Age

When we think of childhood, we often consider it to be a magical and carefree time, free of responsibility. While it is important for kids to have plenty of time to play and use their imaginations, childhood is also a practice round of sorts for the real world. In order to help kids be as ready as possible for adulthood, it’s important for parents to teach young kiddos a variety of life skills. Here are four skills that will serve kids well as they grow older:

Learning to Manage Time

You probably know at least one adult who has no concept of time management. From always being late to appointments to having difficulty finishing a project at work in a timely manner, a lack of time management skills can negatively impact both the person and everyone around him or her. To help your kids avoid these issues, start teaching them about how to manage time at an early age. For example, show them that in order to be ready for school by 8 a.m., they must figure out how long it takes them to get dressed and eat breakfast, and plan accordingly. Since grasping the concept of time starts with being able to read a clock, it’s important to teach kids how to tell time. To help, you can find engaging and fun printable worksheets about telling time online.

Learning Good Manners

Good manner are one of the most important things you can teach kids at an early age. Even babies can get used to hearing "please" and "thank you" from their parents. The more you exhibit good manners, the more your kids will pick up on them and become kind and caring to others.

child moneyLearning Money Management

Teaching kids about money should go beyond showing them what different coins look like and how much each one is worth. To help kids grow into financially savvy teens and adults, it’s important to also explain the importance of saving money, the pros and cons of debt, and how to balance a checkbook. Also, allow kids to learn some tough money lessons on their own — like if they insist on spending all of their allowance on a toy, let them do it, but then don’t loan them more a few days later if they find another toy that they want even more.

Learning to Problem Solve

To make it through the day as efficiently as possible, busy parents often do a lot of tasks for kids. From tying shoes to helping a bit too much with homework, it can be tempting to take over instead of watching kids struggle to complete something. But in order to get ahead in the competitive adult world, kids need to learn on their own how to solve problems and think critically about things. This often means stepping back and letting kids master tasks on their own — even if it takes more time than you would like. You can also encourage this skill by helping kids find the answers they need rather than always telling them. For instance, if a child asks "why do I have curly hair?" instead of answering ask "why do you think you do?" suggest that he or she research the question and tell you the answer.