SpiritedKids™ have difficulty with time management, organization, money, and their relationships. These daily life skills are tricky for them to navigate, which can cause frustration for the adults who love them.
When a child is learning to talk and walk, the adults around them naturally adjust their expectations. If a child is learning to tie their shoes, they’re offered support and cheerleading to learn the new skill.
If we release the expectations of what our SpiritedKids™ should be doing based on age and rather focus on helping them to acquire the tools they need to gain life skills, with practice, they’ll achieve them.
Here are five life skills to begin teaching your SpiritedKids™ today:
1. Time Management: Keeping track of time is a challenge for SpiritedKids™, so an alarm is a useful tool to help them focus their attention and provide reminders to do daily living tasks such as shower and eat meals. While at first you can set the timer on your smartphone, remember you are trying to nudge your child towards independence. Teach them how to set alarms on their device too.
Time management also includes scheduling to minimize the forgetfulness that often accompanies SpiritedKids™. A calendar is a useful tool for tracking everything from homework to sports to outings with friends. Keep the schedule in a space everyone in the family can see and model using it every single day.
2. Independence: With your child, set a few goals, and begin to transition them towards independence in these areas. Perhaps you make their lunch or pack their school bag every day? Write up a list, post a note at the front door, and use a timer to build a routine your SpiritedKids™ will remember. Daily habits will soon help them to manage tasks on their own.
3. Organization: Creating dedicated areas, with labels, for your child’s stuff helps keep SpiritedKids™ organized. Consider the things your child struggles with the most, and make a plan to simplify these tasks. It’s an excellent idea to involve them in identifying their areas of frustration, too.
4. Financial Literacy: The impulsive nature of many SpiritedKids™ can make handling money a challenge as they move towards adulthood. Help your child begin to learn money management with an allowance. Teach them to save and budget for an item they have their heart set on while still keeping money available for daily spending or ‘bills’ (e.g., a hot chocolate after hockey practice).
5. Healthy Relationships: Make a habit of talking with your SpiritedKids™ about their friendships; which ones make them feel good and which ones frequently lead to tears or anger. These conversations are important to help them learn to identify relationships that enhance their lives and to discuss ways to handle tricky situations in advance to help self-regulate their behaviour.
Teaching your SpiritedKids™ these five daily living skills will help them grow into independent adults who are successful at home, school, and in their communities.
ThriveKids™ can also help, through their integrated programming. Visit ThriveKids.ca to find out more.