Lockdown Lessons for Kids – Things Kids Should Know
Lockdown lessons for kids – things kids should know, include everyday things that kids should know before reaching adulthood. Some they can do now, while others are more geared for adult life. They are skills that parents can easily teach to equip kids for their futures. But they are also skills that when learned at young ages will be the good habits that will last a lifetime. And, best of all, many are skills that kids can learn and do now to help their families with household chores, for example. Some involve social skills training, to have better family and peer relationships. While others involve more esoteric things such as teaching values and character building.
Why is Lockdown in this Title?
I’m writing this blog during the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020. Our nation is essentially in lockdown. We are encouraged to practice social distancing, stay at home or social isolation, and go out only for essential needs. Schools are closed, shops and restaurants are closed, as are all but essential businesses. Hospitals are working overtime to care for the sick. Government is scrambling to find a cure and get the nation back in business.
Many parents, if they haven’t lost their jobs, are working from home. Schools are resorting to digital learning; with parents required to act as teachers. Kids can’t see their friends, go to public parks, or experience life as they knew it previously. Though this situation is hard for all, it is leaving families with some extra time on their hands. Most are trying their best to remain positive and model that attitude for the children.
Lockdown Lessons for Kids – 40/50 Old-Fashioned Skills that Kids Need to Know
This list of 40/50 Old-Fashioned Skills that Kids Need to Know appeared recently on Facebook. Though it was posted as having 40 skills, when counting the items on this list I found that there were actually 50 of them!. I had seen it a few times before, but never with an author listed. I think it is appropriate for the time that we are in now with this dramatic change in life as we know it. I also believe that as parents and kids work together on teaching and learning these, a stronger family bond can be realized. I’m taking the liberty of breaking this list down into several categories with ideas and suggestions for teaching and implementing these skills in kids’ lives. [If anyone knows the source of this, please let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org]
To Google or NOT to Google?
Once I had these skills broken down into the categories that follow, I then had to make the decision to give tips on how to teach each one, or just suggest that you Google each one. I’m sure that you can find them all on Google with better directions that I could possibly give. And, the way I do something may not be how you do it, or how your mother or grandmother did it. Above all, I don’t want to get into trouble with anyone. However, I do feel that some items on this list require a passing comment from me.
I taught my daughters how to do laundry from young ages. Both learned how to do it, but weren’t always agreeable about doing it. “Isn’t that your job, Mom?” However, when the older one went off to college, she called home early in the first semester laughing. When I asked what was so funny she said that her dorm mates were clueless about how to do their own laundry, especially the need for and how to separate lights and darks. If you know how to do laundry, you’ll understand that. If not, Google doing laundry.
Showing them how to wash dishes was easy; emptying the dishwasher was harder. You’d think that having that dishwasher would make kids thrilled to not have to wash dishes. Somehow it always ended in fighting over whose turn it was to empty it. How spoiled we have become!
They did learn how to iron shirts, but when older found it easier to buy the no-iron kind. Teaching cleaning was more of a challenge and required them to start small and move up to the harder chores. We started with dusting and progressed from there. I found that they weren’t always enthused about learning these skills, but accepted it because I wasn’t giving up. The more they did clean, the better they got at it. Consequently, both were glad to know how to clean when they had their own places.
How to do laundry
How to wash dishes
How to dust
How to iron a shirt
How to vacuum the stairs
How to clean the refrigerator
How to clean the bathroom
How to clean the kitchen
Most household fixes were taught by my husband. He handled things like how to hammer a nail, hang a picture, or use a fire extinguisher. He is generally able to fix just about anything, so he was the go to guy for that. When each daughter was moving into her first apartment, he purchased a tool box and filled it with everything he thought they would need. Anything beyond that, they called Daddy. Even now, when we visit our daughter in Las Vegas, she has a Daddy Do list ready for him. And, he even has a workbench loaded with tools in her garage.
Sewing and gardening were my areas of expertise. Sewing on a button was the easy part. However, when trying to teach them more difficult sewing skills they said it was easier to have me do it. They both have sewing machines, which I gave them for their first homes. And, both have basic skills if needed, such as hemming and minor repairs. I think that there are probably pros handling any sewing needs now. In short, I gave them the basic skills; whether they use them or not is up to them.
Gardening is something they watched me doing and learned by helping. For example, they learned about weeding, mulching, watering, and everything else that is required for a garden, whether flowers or vegetables. As a result, they have both enjoyed having beautiful gardens where they live.
How to sew on a button
How to garden
How to fix something
How to hang a picture
How to hammer a nail
How to use a fire extinguisher
How to change a light bulb
How to open, close, and lock windows
How to care for a pet
How to put air in a bike tire
Household Finances and Communication
My husband typically was the finance guy for teaching these skills to our kids, while I was more of the communication person. Both knew how to budget and handle a checkbook prior to heading to college. They learned how to answer the phone and take a message. More importantly, as new technology came into our home they learned how to use that technology with kindness, caring, compassion, and empathy. In addition, they learned the value of when a personal letter or note was more appropriate, rather sending than a text or email
How to budget
How to wait and save for something
How to balance a checkbook
How to write a letter
How to address and stamp an envelope
How to make a phone call
How to take a message
How to write a check
How to fill a stapler
Manners and Mealtime
I’m definitely the go-to person for teaching manners to my kids, as well as all those who have been in my social skills classes. Thank-you notes, introductions, conversation skills, table manners, and healthy eating are all part of my children’s educational materials. Manners and social skills are so much more than dining skills, such as not having a fry up your nose or spaghetti hanging off your chin. See my curricula and books for young children at my website: https://coolkindkid.com/curricula/ or https://coolkindkid.com/books/
How to write a thank-you note
How to introduce yourself
How to converse with an elder
How to set the table
How to have good table manners
How to make scrambled eggs
How to read a recipe
How to plan a healthy meal
How to make a salad
How to make a smoothie
Out and About
Changing a flat, reading a map, and checking tire pressure was a “Dad” skill. All things related to cars were his area of expertise. Pumping gas is another matter. I’m a Jersey Girl, and the motto here is “Jersey Girls Don’t Pump Gas!” So if you live in New Jersey or Oregon, you will have to go to Google for this one. I had to fly to Vegas for my daughter having foot surgery a few years ago; 4 times. I asked her to fill up the tank prior to my visits. I think she thought that was easier than trying to teach me how to do it.
I was the one helping the kids select a thoughtful gift. They found that making gifts was fun and creative. They really liked that, so be sure to have your kids try it. However, before selecting a gift to make or buy, it’s important to spend some time finding out what that special person would like.
How to find a book in the library
How to select a thoughtful gift
How to read a map
How to pump gas
How to change a flat tireHow to check tire pressure
Instilling Values and Character Building
Lockdown lessons for kids – these are things kids should know that will have a positive impact of their lives as they are growing up and as adults. They are the things that you as the parents establish for your home and family. Teach and model the values that are important to you. Build character in your children by showing them why you want them to learn and live each. Above all, the goal is to raise kind, resilient, responsible, happy members of society.
How to apologize to someone
How to notice the needs of others
How to ask questions to get to know someone better
How to seek counsel from someone more experienced
How to give someone the benefit of the doubt
How to admit a mistake
How to weigh pros and cons
401 Ways to Get Your Kids to Work at Home “
by Bonnie Runyan McCullough and Susan Walker Monson
© Barbara Gilmour