On this week's Parenting With Playdate Planet radio show, I talk with social entrepreneur and author Marlaine Cover about teaching chidren life skills. Our children are taught reading, writing, and arithmatic by trained academics. But how are they supposed to learn about being a good citizen, nutrition, balancing a budget, time management, and all the other important life skills that we all need to thrive in society? Unfortunately, these skills were never fully embraced by the traditional academic environment, and they are becoming less and less of a focus as schools race to keep up with the new curriculum standards. Yet, these basic skills remain fundamentally critical. So it falls to us as parents to teach these things to our children.
What do we do if we don't know all of this content? Or, perhaps, we do know how to manage our finances, but we're not sure how to impart this information to our children? Marlaine's answer is to seek out the advice and support of experts in these various fields who are committed to helping parents and children. I think that's a great start, but a lot of us don't have the time or energy to proactively seek out guidance on teaching each important life skill.
I wish that schools did a better job incorporating these skills. Why not teach math through the prism of balancing a budget? Or teach a science unit about the human body and nutrition and have students plan a weekly menu and exercise schedule?
What do you think? How do you make sure your kids are learning the life skills they will need as adults?