Increase Your Child’s Independence Skills This Summer

April 27, 2018

 

As summer is approaching, it is important to help your children or teens to continue developing their independence skills.  While your children are at school, they are constantly developing their independence skills by:

  • Writing their homework on their assignment notebook

  • Putting away their backpacks

  • Transitioning from class to class

  • Ensuring their work area is neat

  • Turning-in homework on time

  • Checking their grades

  • Balancing school work while being involved in extra-curricular activities

  • Developing self-advocacy skills and asking for help when necessary

  • Cleaning their backpack, lockers, and lunch bags

 

These are some of the skills that are being reinforced on a daily basis while being at school.  In the summer time, it is important to continuously reinforce these skills. Children and teens who develop these skills have a better ability to self-advocate, be responsible, and be assertive with decision making.  Therefore, those who have acquired these skills are more likely to transition to adulthood with ease. These skills could be reinforced at home by ensuring that they do specific chores that are age appropriate for them.  To give you some ideas of expected chores according to age click on this link.  Age-Appropriate Chores For Kids

 

For younger children, there are various applications that can be used from your mobile device to ensure that they do their chores.  Some of these applications are:

  • HomeRoutines

  • Chorma

  • Tody

  • BrightNest

  • Unfilth Your Habitat

  • Chore Checklist

 

These applications may help with making sure that you are positively rewarding expected positive behaviors for completing chores.  It also allows for you to be consistent and accurate.

 

Additionally, it is important that children and teens develop their social skills.  While they are in school, they are expected to:

  • Collaborate with peers

  • Problem-solve situations with peers

  • Interact with adults and communicate their needs and wants

 

Therefore, it is important for them to socialize with peers their age and adults.  As a clinician and school social worker, I have noticed that children spend endless amount of hours on their devices and lose track of time.  While it is important for them to develop their technology skills, it is crucial that the amount of time that they spend on their devices is monitored.  Also, they need to spend time socializing as it is a norm within school settings and in future jobs and relationships that they develop. I will provide some possible ideas to ensure that your children and teens continue to grow their social skills.  Some of these ideas are:

 

Children

  • Local Park Districts have different activities

  • Local churches often have free events for children

  • Set up a play date with other children

  • Allow your child to make friends with children in your neighborhood (With your permission)

  • Go to parks and meet other children and parents

  • Attend a local pool and give your child time to socialize

 

Teens

  • Allow your child to have a sleepover (While you’re monitoring it)

  • Find a local place where your child can volunteer (e.g., food pantries, clothes closets, or shelter) or find a job (e.g., babysitting, receptionist, or work in retail)

  • Allow your teen to do summer camps at their middle school or high school

  • Go to a library to meet other peers

  • Go for a walk at the mall and expose your teen to different scenarios

 

Ensuring that your children and teens continue to develop these soft skills will allow them to be successful later in life!

 

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