When you get a new TV, with lots of buttons on the remote, and plenty of features on the menu, it requires some skill to figure it all out. The same is true about a new operating system or cooking range. However, the skills you use to deal with these challenges aren’t “new”. You learned a lot of the basics, like curiosity, exploring, observing, trial and error – when you figured out your first TV or device. It’s all thanks to certain skills you learned growing up, ingrain themselves in you. Sending your kids to summer camp in Bethesda can help them learn some life skills they’ll need to figure things out and navigate life’s challenges.
What is an Important Life Skill?
A life skill is a trait or ability, like reading, learning to do basic math, and discerning friend from foe, that kids must learn earlier on in life. So, what exactly is an “important life skill”? At a very basic level:
Back to our TV remote example: Today’s tech-savvy generation will likely beat any adult in a race to figuring out how that TV works! That’s because young children learn a lot more about technology at a very early age. They then learn to apply those skills to other situations – like helping dad setup and program the new home thermostat; or getting Siri or Cortana to serve as navigator on the cross-country family vacation road trip. With improvisation, a life skill once learned is easily applied to different situations.
How is a Life Skill Applicable Beyond the Classroom?
A life skill is critical for kids beyond the learning environment. That’s because life requires more than the ability to write or read, or to solve math quizzes. For instance, teachers, chaperons and educators, overseeing kids at summer camp in Bethesda MD, teach their camp groups how to use their reading skills to understand trail signs. That’s an example of how a skill, learned in a classroom, can be adapted to a real-world application. Some of the life skills that kids must learn include:
Good Communication Skills: Pre-schooling and higher education teaches kids how to write and speak well, and how to pronounce words properly. However, good communication skills require a lot more – especially how to express themselves in stressful situations. Some great communication skills you should teach your kids include:
Social skills are likely one of the most essential of life’s skills that you’ll impart to your child. The best way for them to learn those skills is by encouraging them to embrace social situations. Invite them to family gatherings. Have their friends and school mates over. Enroll them in group activities, such as participating in at summer camp in Bethesda.
Physical and Mental Wellbeing: It’s important for children to learn some basic skills that’ll serve them later, to take care of their physical needs. These skills include:
Daycare centers or preschools may teach some of these skills, but they’ll learn many of them – like good potty habits, and showering and bathing techniques – at home. They’ll also pick up some, like washing clothes or changing bed linen, by watching parents and caregivers at home.
Street-wise Skills: These skills can help young kids become street savvy, especially as they grow older and spend more time independent of adult supervision. Good skills to teach your kids include:
Formal learning environments, like schools and caregiving centers, typically take young kids on field trips to teach them safe use of roads, and how to navigate transit networks. Young kids also learn basic mapping skills at summer camp in Bethesda. Most of these skills are, however, practiced, reinforced, and perfected, during outings and visits with family and friends.
Good Money-management Skills: We talked earlier about how important a life skill learning math is for young children. Money-management skills build upon that basic skill, and sets your kids up for financial independence. It’s nice to teach your child some of the following financial skills as early as possible:
Most schools and educational institutions teach kids about financial matters. However, there’s no substitute to real-world experience, and that’s what parents and guardians can do to ensure their kids learn these life skills. Make your child accompany you on grocery shopping trips, or when going Back to School shopping. Teach them to read utility bills and credit card statements.
And, if you do your banking online, it may also be a good idea to have them sit by when you log-on and navigate through the banks’ website. Explain what various sections of the website are (Balances, Owings, Interest, Investments etc.), and how those factors impact the family’s finances.
Life’s Problem-solving Skills: Often, life does not throw problems at us that have a specific checklist of solutions. Kids must learn to deal with those challenges, as and when they come, by cultivating some life skills early on in life. Good life skills to teach your kids in this category include:
These are challenges that young kids will face, not just while they’re in school, but also in their professional and personal lives as adults. Improvising skills, like how kids learn to build a fire at summer camp in Bethesda MD, if they don’t have matchboxes or lighters, can help them adapt one life skill to solve another of life’s challenges. For instance, they’ll use what you’ve taught them as kids, to stand up to an uncouth colleague at work (bullies), or ask for a promotion or raise when a boss unjustly overlooks them (short-changed).
Critical Thinking Skills: It’s important for children to learn how to think on their feet; to think for themselves; and to make decisions based on their own thoughts, and not be swayed by other people’s opinions. These skills include:
One way to encourage critical thinking, is to hold frequent discussions with your kids on current news headlines. Ask how they would handle specific situations that they’ve heard or read about online, on TV or in newspapers. Role-playing, or playing out hypothetical situations, is also great for developing critical thinking in kids.
Life Skill-building Action Plan
Throughout this post, we’ve highlighted critical life skills that kids should learn at a young age, and suggested some ways that adults (teachers, parents, relatives, guardians, caregivers) can help youngsters build those skills. As an adult, however, it’s important for you to build an action plan of the most critical life skills you believe your child must learn.
For example, if you live in a rural setting, you may not wish to spend much time teaching them about navigating a subway system. Participation in a field trip or a summer camp in Bethesda, can also impart important life skills, like roughing it out in the outdoors, working as a team, and collaborating with friends to accomplish specific goals. These are life skills that kids will then leverage, throughout adulthood, to adapt, improvise, and adjust their responses to varying challenges that life throws at them.
MCCA has been recognized by the Maryland State Legislature for its commitment to Montgomery County issued a quality programs and special needs child care Proclamation in 2016 to MCCA for its commitment to Montgomery County child care for more than 50 years. MCCA was also selected as a 2018 nonprofit finalist for a MOXIE Award for boldness and innovation
MCCA is the oldest nonprofit licensed child care provider in Montgomery County and started its work in 1968 as a Community Action Project of the War on Poverty. Recognizing the need for quality child care programs in their neighborhoods, a group of local activists formed an association to establish centers in Montgomery County that would serve a diverse population and establish high standards for child care. Now, more than 50 years later, MCCA’s dedicated and expertly trained staff continue their tradition of providing high quality child care and play-based education for children.
Families with school aged children who can afford their child care expenses during the school year often struggle to afford the all-day programs they need when school is out for the summer. The Richard Krampf Summer Adventures Scholarship Fund was established to help provide children a safe and stimulating place to spend their weeks when school is out. Please contact an MCCA Director for details on how to apply.