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Lifeskills - Responsible Choices And Effective Expression

When their school going years are over, what do you want your children to be able to do? Apart from study skills, what from study skills, what other skills should your children have? School learning focuses mainly on information acquisition, which is just one of the many skills children need.

What about social and interpersonal skills, the ability to be creative and use their imagination, the ability to lead and inspire confidence? Can any school teacher promise that your child will grow up having a sense of compassion and tolerance towards others? A child education is more than the sum total of his academic achievement.

Responsible Choices

No matter how young or old your child is, you can help him to become independent. Include your child in simple decision-making; it will let him know that his opinions are important. Make it a point to ask him what he thinks. Start with manageable questions like 

"What books do you want to borrow from the library?" If he picks a book that's too difficult for him to read, he'll learn from it and the next time he'll pick something more suitable. If you must intervene, suggest some books for him to read along with the books he chooses for himself.

It may seem like a trivial matter, but it is important that he feels empowered to do a task on his own and take a step towards being independent. After all, you can't be there with him all the time and he has to learn to make smart decisions for himself. This skill take time and practice to develop so take any opportunity you get.

Start by letting your child have a say about what movie the family watches, pick out some of his own clothes and choose the food he eats when you're out. He'll learn to make choices and take responsibility for them.

Effective Expression

If you have more than one child, let them each have a say so they can get used to taking turns and being heard. Don't disregard what the younger children have to say; they may be young but they have definite opinions and often know exactly what they like and dislike.

Whenever you have a conversation, look upon it as a chance for you to exchange ideas. Ask questions about what he thinks and feels. Initially, you have to be patient as it will take time for your child to get used to voicing his opinions. If he is shy about speaking up, encourage him.

Ask leading questions like "What was your favorite part of the movie?", "What did you enjoy in school today?", " How was football practice?" Talk about a variety of topics. Don't just focus on asking him about his schoolwork. If you take an interest in his other activities, you're showing him that you'd like him to cultivate interest outside of school.

Tips To Help Your Child Practise Being Polite..

For Toddlers

  • Say "please" and "thank you", Toddlers can be taught how to say "thank you" for being served, whether by strangers or Mum and Dad. They will need constant reminders though, and should not get a requested item until they've said "please".
  • "Hello, Uncle". Introduce your kid to neighbors, the postman or your favorite supermarket cashier, and encourage him that introductions help put people at ease.
  • Role-play. Play fun games with your toddler. Role-play a conversational and get your child to practise saying "thank you" and "please" - and reward him.

For 4 to 7s

  • "I'm sorry". Older kids should be quick to apologize - and say sorry specifically. Eg "I'm sorry I took the pencils without asking first."
  • You can do it. Teach your preschooler to be cheerleaders to the kids around them. Always tell them if they've done right. For example, "It was kind of you to help Rose pick up the pencils she dropped on the floor."
  • Share and share. You child can be taught to understand the importance of sharing. She learns this best by seeing how you do it. Look for ways you can share your food and extra clothing with others, and let your child participate in this kind act.

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