Teens need their personal space and autonomy to do things their way. Lockdown has curbed their independence as they remain cooped up indoors with the family. While the lockdown restrictions have been eased out, the general directive is to self-quarantine as far as possible. Other than the online school, tuition or activity classes, your teens may be having a lot of time on their hands. So, there is no better time than now for them to pick up some skills and also stay engaged productively.
Here are ten skills that your kids can learn during this self-quarantine phase:
Your teens can learn the basics of cooking and some easy recipes, and also how to use cooking utensils and kitchen appliances. This will help them to reduce their dependence on parents, cooks or takeaways for meals, no matter where they are in the world!
2. Medical Care and First Aid
The knowledge about first aid, over-the-counter medicines and home remedies for common colds, pains, aches and injuries is an important life skill for your teens. They should also know the phone numbers of your family doctor, neighbourhood hospitals and emergency helplines. This will prepare them to handle healthcare matters in the family.
3. Financial Literacy
Introduce your teens to money matters. Give them an idea about the family budget, financial documents, bank account and insurance policies. Let them do some cash or digital transactions under your supervision. This will sharpen their money management skill.
4. Home Management
Groceries, laundry, repairs, wardrobe organization, garbage disposal, making beds, cleaning dishes – various errands keep the home running smoothly. You can involve your teens (even boys!) in these activities so that they can manage the home in your absence or when you are sick.
5. Repairs and Maintenance
Your teen should understand that some basic emergency repairs and maintenance activities can be handled at home. Replacing the light bulb, cleaning kitchen appliances, sealing small cracks in the walls and changing a flat tire are some examples. They should also know the mobile apps or phone numbers through which they can book a home service provider if the need may be.
6. Computer Literacy
Computer literacy skill is as important as reading and writing skills today. Today’s children have easy access to computers and technology. So, let your teen learn to operate the computers and keyboard commands, improve their typing speed, work on MS Word/MS Excel/MS PowerPoint, draft professional e-mails, write blogs, etc.
7. Career Skills
If your teens have already decided their career path, then they can use this period to build foundational skills. Enrol them in robotics, coding, photography, graphic design, web development, acting, sports or any other class as per their career choice. You can find online classes regarding your teen’s interest here.
They can also consider free, beginner-level courses available on YouTube, Udemy, Coursera, Khan Academy, Udacity and other online learning platforms for self-learning.
8. Foreign Language
A foreign language is not only fun to learn, but it also builds cultural awareness and comes handy when applying for offshore education or job prospects. Your teen can learn Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese, German or any other popular language. Check for online foreign language classes here.
9. Health and Fitness
Teens tend to lose interest in physical exercise as their focus shifts towards studies, friends and other age-appropriate stuff. The ongoing pandemic would have taught them the importance of good health. Leverage this opportunity to motivate your teens to take up workouts, yoga or any other exercise routine. They can also learn to read about different food groups and food labels on packaged foods to make healthy food choices.
Today’s teens live under undue academic, peer and career pressure. They are also vulnerable to modern-age problems such as body shaming, cyber bullying, drugs, etc. Mindfulness skill can train them to ground their thoughts and emotions, manage stress, and keep a positive attitude towards life. They can learn to meditate, make positive affirmations, and write a gratitude journal every day as mindful techniques.
What skill would your teen like to pick up from this list?