Developing life skills is essential for your son. The capacity to be emotionally resilient, socially competent and equipped to deal effectively with everyday life challenges is needed in a constantly changing environment.
At Trinity Grammar School, life skills are an integral part of learning experiences from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 6. The School focuses on social skills, boundaries, awareness of bullying and resilience.
Parents have a vital role to play in supporting their son’s capacity to develop life skills. Here are five ways to help your primary school son develop life skills.
One way to help your son develop life skills is to model friendship. Your son looks up to you as a role model and will learn many social behaviours from observing a parent. Encourage your son to develop and be part of an inclusive group of friends at school and not rely on one friend. You can support and facilitate their friendships outside school hours through a variety of activities.
Encourage your son to nurture friendships and manage conflict resolution as independently as possible.
Have regular conversations
Seize the opportunity to chat with your son. Make an effort to overcome distractions that prevent or interrupt your conversations with him. Regularly catch up with your son about his day and keep the conversations positive to encourage dialogue. Use leading questions, rather than yes/no questions, such as ‘What was the best thing you did today?’ or ‘What happened during …’? Be aware of your son’s day-to-day activities and school timetable as a starting point. If you suspect that there is a bigger issue at school, it is important to liaise with the school and not take matters into your own hands.
Build resilience to failure
Failure in any aspect of school or outside life should be seen as an opportunity to build resilience. You can use the acronym F.A.I.L. (First Attempt In Learning) in conversations with your son. It is important for boys to understand that they can learn and grow by reflecting on their performance or behaviour in situations. Discuss lessons that he can learn from the experience and what he could do differently next time the situation arises. Parents can have a powerful (and long-lasting) effect on how their children respond to failure and how resilient they are in life.
Establish a ‘Netiquette’ agreement
Establish a home ‘Netiquette’ agreement with your son. Things to include may be:
- Screen time limit - set time for use and duration.
- Keeping the location of devices in common areas of the home or monitored closely.
- Asking your son to share his usernames and passwords with you.
- Rules about what websites are ‘out-of-bounds’.
- Common sense guidelines around online behaviour.
Be careful when sharing your credit card details and username/passwords with your son; using giftcards for online apps and music purchases may be a better option. An important part of the agreement should include consequences and loss of privileges for breaching any agreements made.
Teach your son independence in handling tasks that he can manage which are appropriate for his age. You can encourage your son to pack his school bag and ensure he packs essential items for the day. This may include his lunch box, school books, homework, sports gear and musical instrument. Urge your son to take pride in his appearance and look after his belongings. A calendar or planner can be used to prepare for school events. It is important to respond positively, and not with surprise, when independence is demonstrated.
At Trinity Grammar School we work in partnership with parents to develop your son’s life skills, building his capacity to deal effectively with the challenges in everyday life.
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