Dealing with Adversity
At some point in your child's life, they will face adversity caused by someone else. It may be a peer at school or even an authority figure. Children face adversity because of:
- Social or economic status
Studies show that children of color have better outcomes when their parents talk to them about racism and prejudices. Knowledge is power, and when you equip your child with ways to respond in various situations, they are more likely to move past life's adversities and thrive.
You can help your child understand that adversity is not a reflection of anything wrong with them. Walk through scenarios with your child and have them practice responding firmly but kindly.
Children feel stress just like we do. The difference is that over time, adults have developed coping techniques that help them self-regulate feelings and emotions. It takes time and practice for children to develop these skills.
You can practice self-regulation by responding to your children with patience and purpose instead of impulsivity. First, coach your children so that they understand how to identify different feelings. Then, teach them coping mechanisms for each one.
If your child gets frustrated at school, they can practice deep breathing to calm down and slow their heart rate. While they may not understand exactly how or why it works at first, over time, the coping mechanisms become second nature.
Growing a Garden with Your Kids
Whether it’s fruit and vegetables or flowers, learning how to garden is a valuable life skill. Let your child go shopping with you for soil, seeds, and other supplies. Teach them to know how long it takes plants to grow and bloom. Teach them how long it takes fruits to ripen for harvest.
Children can help with the harvest, and clean the produce afterward.
How to Cook
It can seem so much easier to let your children play while you cook. It's faster, neater, and better organized without the help they want to offer. But cooking is an important life skill. No matter how old your children are, they can help you in the kitchen.
Toddlers and younger children can help wash fruits and vegetables, stir ingredients in bowls, and sprinkle seasoning onto food before you cook it. Older children can help measure ingredients, slice vegetables, and follow recipe instructions.
How to Sew
This may seem like a simple skill, but not everyone knows how to sew. Purchase a needle, thread, buttons, and some spare fabric. Let your child practice sewing buttons on the fabric.
You can even cut small holes in the fabric and ask them to sew the hole back together. Teach them how to knot the string when they are finished making a repair and how to store the sewing supplies safely.
Learn First Aid
When your child is hurt, you are likely to clean the cut or scrape, apply ointment, and seal it with a Band-Aid. Teach your child about each first aid product you use and why wound care is important. Teach them how to clean a cut or scrape with soap and water to remove dirt and then apply each product independently. As they get older, you can help them learn other first-aid skills like CPR and how to call 911 for help in emergencies.
Teach Fire Safety
Talk to your children about what to do if there is a fire. They need to know how to safely put out a fire, but they also need to know how to get away from a fire. You can talk about the stop, drop, and roll technique if they are on fire. Take it a step further and help them understand how to get out of your home using all of the windows and doors in case a fire traps them in a single room.
How to Balance a Checkbook
While most people don’t use checkbooks anymore, this is still a valuable skill. It’s simple addition and subtraction, but your child also learns about money and how much things cost.
Have them keep track of birthday and holiday money and allowance on a sheet of paper. Any time they use the money to buy something, have them list the expense and subtract what they spent. Over time, they can see where their money went and have a better grasp on the value of money.