With schools and activities shut down, it may be tempting to assume your older kids and self-sufficient and will take care of themselves. However, they may be finding it difficult to be away from their friends, their normal routine, and even school. Here's a great way to connect with them: Teach them some of those grownup life skills that can be tough to find time for amid the demands of "normal life." Here’s some of what parents are talking about with their older children.
Mechanics and Shop Class: Move to the garage for lessons in shop and mechanics. Teach your tweens and teens how to change a tire, check the oil in the car, do a tune-up, and even wash the car. Bikes need TLC, too. Learn how to grease up the gears and replace the tires to keep everything in tip-top shape (YouTube videos help!).
Shop class at home will teach kids to safely use basic tools (hammer, nails, screwdrivers, handsaws, etc). Make things like like squirrel boxes, bird feeders, ramps for skateboarding or even a treehouse!
If your teen is old enough and you’re brave enough, take your child out for a test drive. Parents have found it a good time to tackle some beginner driving lessons in a nearby empty parking lot or conveniently uncrowded street. Prepare for them to get their license or permit once things open back up.
Home Economics: Dust off your sewing machine! Parents are teaching their children to sew clothes for themselves and other basic stitching skills to rescue a loose button or fix a minor tear. Some families have also been busy sewing masks and then donating their work to area hospitals.
Balance your checkbook: Cha-ching! Kids of all ages are learning about money. Some families have developed a reward system connected to chores, while others talk about money and the ways to earn, spend, save and give. Teens are taught to balance the household checkbook, as well as ways to earn good credit and invest in the stock market.
- Tips for raising financially responsible kids
- 9 steps for teaching kids mindful money habits
- Financial education resources from credit union BECU
Jasmin Thankachen is a contributing writer and Eastside mom to two boys, ages 6 and 8.