Family: Teaching Life Skills

One of my favourite kids books of all time is Sean Covey’s ‘The 7 Habits of Happy Kids’. In this book there are seven stories based on Stephen Covey’s ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. Sean Covey is one of Stephen Covey’s son’s. The characters are cute, the stories are enjoyable, short and a good example of one of the seven habits.

Last night, Jaden wanted to hear the story ‘Pokey and the spelling test’. The theme was Put First things first, based on the work first play later concept. This story was about a little character called Pokey who loves to play with his friends, and decides to put off studying for his looming spelling test. The consequence of Pokey’s procrastination is that he failed his test, which really saddened him because no one likes to fail tests. With the help of his little friend Allie, Pokey is reminded that he needs to put first things first. Doing a little bit of study each day means that he would pass the spelling test at the end of the week. Lucky for Pokey, he is given a second chance and spends time each day before playing to study his spelling words. On Friday he passed the test!

At the end of each story there is a little summary and a few questions for parents to ask their children and provoke discussions, just to make sure the lesson is learned!

Most children and teens are optimistic and excited about life. They want to do everything right at the moment they come up with the idea, and living with such enthusiasm can be both wonderful, invigorating and exhausting for parents. Wonder is an amazing aspect to the life of a child, and we want our children to feel free to experience and experiment to their hearts content, but at the same time we want to build life skills around our kids and teach them values and morals that will serve them well in their lives long term.

As a homeschooling mum we use the ‘Put first things first’ rule all the time in our household. I usually tell the kids we have to eat the frog first, get the worse things done first, so that we can do the subjects they are happier to do. If you have to eat a frog, you may as well get it done at the start of the day so that it doesn’t become this terrible looming job that needs to be done at the end of the day. English and maths may not be the same as eating a frog, but to a child who would rather do anything but these subjects, including taking out the rubbish, it means that we have to make sure we get them out of the way, so that we can move forward to better things we can do.

This evening Jaden chose ‘Goob and the Bug-Collecting Kit‘, which focuses on the concept Begin with the end in mind. I was happy and hoping he chose this particular story as I have been trying to teach him recently about goals and how to work out all the different aspects he needs to consider and do to achieve them. I’m looking forward to seeing what story he decides on tomorrow. Obviously we could read the book cover to cover, but with this book I like to let him be part of the decision making process.

Till next time,
Chat soon,

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