Raising children to become successful, happy adults can feel like a challenge at times. But it is not impossible to bring them up to become educated, independent thinking individuals. There are many things you can do that will direct the situations faced in daily life towards a positive learning experience. Here are a few ideas of what you can do to encourage your child’s learning opportunities on an everyday basis, especially if they are in elementary school.
Involve Them in Adult Errands
Don’t leave your child or children at home with your partner when you have errands to do. Take your kids with you. Involve them in the planning process. Give them each assignments that they are responsible to carry out. Let them see what it is like to have to make decisions alone, and to work together as a team. Give them a small amount of money to spend, and assign them with a group of items they need to buy with that amount.
You could ask each child to plan one meal, and then to find the ingredients needed for the meal within their budget’s constraints. There are many fun ways to teach children about different subjects and life skills.
Include Them in Discussions about Adult Topics
When you are discussing politics, finances, or any other adult topic, include your children. Don’t assume that they are too young to worry about it. Don’t assume they will assimilate these skills later on either, or glean them from someone else. It is amazing to learn of the large number of adults whose parents never taught them about basic life management, simply because the topic was awkward or difficult to teach. Allow your children the advantage of going into adulthood with a firm grasp of why they need to be involved as citizens, and what they need to do to provide a home for themselves and then manage it.
Share Your Struggles to an Extent
If you are having a tough time, let your children know about it. Don’t give them so much information that they will become worried or deal with stress because of it, but involve them enough that they learn that life is not always easy. Your children will grow personally and in empathy when they see that you are human and that you deal with challenges just as they do.
Ask for Their Opinion in Problem Solving
If you have a situation that needs to be figured out, let your child take the lead and offer their insight. For example, if you have brought your child along on errands, discuss with them what order you should complete the errands in and why. By providing your child with the opportunity to solve these common, everyday situations, they will stretch their minds and think about each situation from several aspects.
When deciding on errands, your child will have to take into consideration if there will be anything that needs to be picked up first due to time constraints on store hours, or picked up last due to the fact that it needs to be immediately taken home after its purchase and refrigerated. This may seem simple, but to a young mind it is an opportunity for growth.
There are many ways to teach your children through daily life experiences. Use your creativity to weave lessons into the situations you face each moment. You will be satisfied when you look at your full-grown child who is ready to face the world because of the lessons they have learned from you.