Skills that teenagers can develop during lockdown

Skills that teenagers can develop during their stay at home

Life skills prepare us to face the tough times in life.

With lockdown 4.0 in force, children continue to be home and attend online classes, whereas working parents have gradually started going to their workplace.

As educational institutes might take long to start operating normally, it is crucial that we teach our children get used to this way of living, learning and working.

Adolescence is the period of transition between childhood and adulthood. Teenagers need to be made more self-sustainable and independent by harnessing life skills. They are equally important as the routine academic teaching in school. 

Some skills that can be acquired while at home are:

Motivation: As a parent, you can help your teenage child to explore their goals in life and help with the right guidance to achieve those goals.

Planning and execution: It is important for children to be able to plan a task, organise it well and execute it as per the planning. Activities like rearranging books in a rack, planning the meals for the day, setting up the dining table etc., are small tasks that require planning and organisation.

Independent living: Self-reliance can be built by learning basic cooking skills, time management and money management skills.

Academics: Children can plan their studies well, make notes and manage the curriculum in a stipulated time. Parents can support by sharing experiences and study techniques.

Physical fitness: Parents can develop a fitness regime for teenagers to exercise. With an increased screen exposure, it is important to incorporate a fitness regime and some non-screen recreational activities like painting, gardening etc.

Reflection and self-regulation: This is the best time for parents to talk to their teenage children on how they feel about staying home, teaching them to acknowledge their emotions and be able to appropriately express themselves. 

Social skills: Though we all have to follow the social distancing norms, making video calls to friends and relatives can help nurture social relationships.

Values: Parents can teach children to take care of grandparents, talk to them about gender equality and try to build empathy in teenagers for the underprivileged.

First aid: Teach them quick home remedies. Emphasize on self-care and grooming skills. Also teach girls the importance of menstrual hygiene.

Let the lockdown strengthen our bond with our children; let them be loving and caring. Their behaviour depends a lot on how much we understand them and how we reciprocate.

(The author is a developmental paediatrician)  

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