By Dr Puja Kapoor
Everyday skills and practical knowledge could be instilled in a teenager by using the free ‘excess time’ and turning it into a memorable moment.
This difficult time of COVID 19 could be easily turned into family bonding and experiential learning by following the points given below.
Money management: Teenage is the time when a child is intelligent enough to understand the concept of money. Money management can be practically explained to a teenager by making them pay various bills like electricity, water, school fees, etc., through online payment. This will introduce the monetary significance attached to various utilities, and thus their importance. Also, they would learn how to operate online payments and the dos and dont’s attached with them.
Cooking skills: The teenager should be introduced to the kitchen and culinary skills, so that they could feed themselves in any unfavourable circumstance. The activity should be focussed on easier and interesting food at the start. Later, if they find it interesting, regular cooking recipes could be introduced.
Handling of small household emergencies: Introduce them to the operating system of the household, like changing of gas cylinder, changing of bulb, fixing of small water leakage in the bathroom, non functioning of flush, etc. These small tasks will ignite curiosity in the child and help them to be independent in near future.
How to maintain mental health: Children generally perceive and follow what they see in their surroundings. This is the time when parents would be looked upon, on the management of this critical time. Parents should talk to them about the difficulties they, along with various other people, are facing, and how they all are handling it on a day to day basis. This would make them hopeful in any unfavourable condition.
How to organize the messy stuff: This extra time of lockdown could be used to develop the taste for cleanliness and organisation of the room in a teenager. Take their help in organising their room and help them appreciate the difference between the clean and messy room.
General concept of taxes: Every day, there is hot discussion on the economic crises due to COVID 19 and how to deal with it.This is an ideal time to introduce the concept of taxes(income tax, sales tax, GST etc.), loans, interest rate, etc.
Management of time: Importance of time is of utmost importance. The child should be asked to make a calender of their daily activities. They should be asked to analyse how much time they have ultilised in doing various chores.
Nurturing of a hobby, interest: Excess time during lockdown could be used to nurture the talent, interest, which could not be followed due to lack of time previously. This will create a feeling of well-being in this depressing period.
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Nurturing of reading skills: Books are considered to be man’s best friend. This time could be utilised for developing the skill of reading. For this, parents have to set themselves as example, and help them to develop the taste, by deciding on the initial books according to the taste of the child.
Rekindling the relationships: This time can be utilised to call favourite cousins, aunts, grandparents, friends, who could not be attended due to lack of time. Face to face virtual talking ,and recalling the old good times spent together will bring positivity in life.
(Dr Kapoor is a pediatric neurologist and the co-founder of Continua Kids)
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