Preparation 2: Helping Children Prepare For Life

Preparation And Planning Are Life-Skills

On , they list five key planning skills and preparation skills…

  • 1. Think big picture first: ‘Teach your kids how to “begin with the end in mind,” as author Stephen Covey says. Once they can see what they are striving for, it will motivate them.’
  • 2. Fill in the steps: ‘Once they can see the end, or the big picture, they can determine the smaller steps they need to take in order to achieve what they are working toward.’
  • 3. Set a deadline: ‘The concept of imposing a deadline on themselves will serve your children better than having deadlines set for them by other people.’
  • 4. Gather the essentials: ‘Some of the tasks, or smaller steps, will require materials…Teaching your child to gather the items needed to complete the job will help him or her show up better prepared for the task at hand.’
  • 5. Prioritize and take action: ‘Teach your kids to plan their tasks in order of importance and to discipline themselves to do the most important thing first. Then, move to the next task only after completing the first one.’

Ways And Methods To Help Children Plan

For younger children and maybe children with special needs visual aids are a great help. For older children certain apps and programs may be of benefit.

Here are some great ideas from

  • 1. Family Calendar: ‘Help your child learn to take responsibility for future events in a fun and engaging way by having a family calendar in the home. Allow the child to personalize the calendar with doodles, stickers and writing down their events themselves. If they are too young to write themselves, sit down and write the events out with them. These events could include extra-curricular playdates, sleepovers, deadlines, birthdays, etc.’
  • 2. Checklists & Graphic Organizers: ‘Have various checklists around the house for the child to help assist them in activities or routines they may struggle with (i.e., morning routine, doing laundry, etc.). Graphic organizers are another wonderful tool to help promote children’s plans. It provides a creative way for the child to identify the steps needed to achieve the desired outcome or reach a goal. Graphic organizers can help the child navigate tasks required both in the classroom and at home more easily.’
  • 3. Baking or cooking with your child: ‘Baking or cooking with your child is a fun way to improve planning skills. The recipe ingredients and instructions act as a natural “checklist” or “graphic organizer” that helps you achieve the end goal. To simplify this for younger kids, create a checklist that includes the steps necessary to be successful in cooking and baking (i.e., turn the oven on, gather ingredients, mix ingredients, place on pan, put in over, set timer, etc.). Visual checklists that use pictures instead of words for younger children can also be incredibly useful!’
  • 4. Board & Card Games: ‘Board and card games that require some strategy can be an excellent way of promoting planning skills in your child. With these, they have to identify the steps that will help them achieve their goal of winning. If the planning ability does not come naturally to them at first, turn the experience into a teaching opportunity. Educate them on identifying the steps necessary to win. Then, continue to play the game regularly. Over time, with repeated experiences, the child should be able to identify what steps they should take on their own.’
  • 5. Have your child plan an event: ‘Have your child plan an event with your assistance. Your child will learn how to take on future responsibilities and the steps required to keep those around them entertained. Maybe the child can plan a family outing. Have the child decide what activities the family will do together and how the family will get from “point A” to “point B”. Your child could also plan a sleepover with their friends and decide what activities the friend group will do and how they will get set up.’

Thomas Jones, ‘is a child psychologist with keen wit about children development. In university, he received rigorous academic training, focusing on children’s mental health and emotional condition. During his career, Thomas has also dedicated himself to family education as a public speaker and guest expert on local.’

He goes through many family apps that can be used by you and your older children to help prepare and plan things in your everyday lives. They can be found here…

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