By the time your child starts kindergarten, you have probably made sure they know how to hold a pencil, recognize letters and maybe even write their name. And by the time they’re heading off to college, you want them to know how to do laundry, how to manage their checking account and maintain their car. But what about those in-between years? What life skills should they know before they head into high school?
Beyond the sex talk and teaching them about Internet safety, these are some valuable lessons tweens need to master before becoming teens:
- How to talk on the phone - Middle school is the time many kids get their first phone, but they probably use it for games, apps and messaging, so they need to learn how to make and receive calls, something we learned much younger because of landlines. Tweens need to know there are calls they must always pick up - like from parents and grandparents - and those to never pick up - those that say “scam likely.” They also need to be okay with sharing their phone location with you, not just so you can track them but to help find the phone when they misplace it, because they will.
- How to maintain friendships - Scheduling playdates and extracurricular activities is up to parents of kids in elementary school, but in middle school that starts to shift. They’ll start making their own plans for sleepovers and hang outs and will find new friends on their own. Hopefully they’ll learn to have a close best friend or two and not get monopolized by one single friend. As a parent, try to listen and support and let them find their way, knowing some old friendships will be gone, and that’s okay.
- How to forage for food - Until this point, you’ve been in charge of serving your kid meals, snacks and feeding them any time they want to eat. But what they say about teens wanting to eat more than you’ll want to prepare, cook and serve is true, so it’s time for them to be able to fend for themselves, sort of. Tweens need to learn how to open the fridge and not just stare blankly inside, but see they can wash and eat an apple, or pour a bowl of cereal and milk, or even make a grilled cheese without setting off the smoke alarm.
Source: Scary Mommy