Some of the most important skills your children will ever learn are good job skills. Most of their adult life will be spent working, and so the sooner they can develop these skills, the more ready they will be for adulthood. You might be wondering how you can possibly teach these skills at home, but it is much easier than you think. Here are a few tips to get you started…
Household Chores Don’t Build Job Skills…
Obviously the easiest way to teach responsibility and the value of earning money is through household chores. As parents, this is our go to and typically our only attempt at helping our children understand the world of work. We assign a chore like making the bed or taking out the trash. We even attach some money to the assigned chore. And unfortunatly, we have the assumption that this will somehow teach our children job skills.
While it may help teach some responsibility, it most likely will not provide your child with any useful job skills. While future employers are looking for responsible workers, they are looking for so much more than that. According to the Center for Career Development, some of the top job skills sought after by potential employers are:
- Effective Communication
- Working Well With Others
- Good Problem Solving and Decision Making
- Being Organized
- Ability to Retain New Skills
Looking at this list, it is quite easy to see that a simple chore list is not going to teach a child the skills he needs to be successful on the job. So how can we effectively do this at home? Well, that depends upon the skills your child already has. For children that are typically developing or very nearly typical in their development, building a business can provide these skills in a fun and practical way. For our children that may not be developing at age level, work boxes are a great way to introduce job skills.
Work boxes are a great way to teach job skills when your child isn’t yet ready for more complex tasks. These are fairly easy to put together, and usually consist of items you already have in your home. The idea behind work boxes, is to use repetition to build a skill. It could be that you will work to build hand-eye coordination, or maybe you will work on sorting colors, shapes, numbers or letters. The nice thing about work boxes, is they teach a skills that would be required in a repetitous job such as those jobs found in factories. However, they also teach academic skills.
Build A Business…
Another great way to build actual job skills is to take a craft or hobby and turn it into a business. This is especially nice for students that have a particular interest that they love. Etsy and Ebay are great places to get you started, as they don’t have large start-up fees, and they are fairly simple to use. If you are wondering how you would help your child build a business, there are curriculum resources available, such as Kingdom Code, that can help you. Some ideas to get you started include:
- Pet Sitting
- Lawn Maintainance
- Selling Crafts
- Making Dog Treats
- Selling Items That Have Been Repurposed
- Greeting Cards
Teaching job skills to your child doesn’t have to be difficult. Simply taking something they love to do and using it to build job skills is an easy way to do this. If your child is too young, or not developmentally ready for this, work boxes are great. Remember to keep it simple. Over complicating things is only going to frustrate you and your child. But, keeping things relaxed and fun will help keep your child motivated.