The COVID-19 pandemic taught kids adaptability, tech skills, and resilience. Now that many places are easing into a “new normal” of school, college, etc. it’s important to prepare them for this. Summer offers more time and flexibility to do this. Here are 10 skills kids can focus on during this time.
1. Learn self-defense
Sign up your kids for self-defense, and try to find a class that teaches them how to disarm an armed attacker. It could save their life.
2. Learn CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation)
"And if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people...." (Quran 5:32)
What could be a more useful skill than one that helps preserve life itself? Check out your local Red Cross to find out where and when the next CPR class is being offered.
3. Anger management
Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was renown for his calm temperament and his ability to control anger. A man once asked the Prophet to advise him. He gave only one piece of advice: Do not become angry. The Prophet repeated this more than once (Bukhari).
This is especially important given the amount of stress and pressure the pandemic brought for everyone, including children.
4. Better time management
The COVID-19 pandemic taught us that work and school can be done remotely - provided we use our time wisely. As we readjust to going back to the classroom or office, we can use this opportunity to develop better time management habits.
There are great resources on and offline that can help. An internet search under “time management for kids” provides many resources and ideas.
But don’t just expect kids to read and watch how it’s done. Help them draft a solid schedule that allows for fun and flexibility over the summer.
Also encourage them to evaluate their time at the end of the day. Umar Ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Hold yourself accountable before you are held accountable and weigh your deeds before they are weighed for you.”
Kids should know how to boil and fry an egg, make macaroni and cheese, and bake a pizza safely. But beyond that, knowing how to cook is a great skill once your kids have to leave the nest and begin life sans home cooking. Moreover, with the amount of chemicals and questionable ingredients found in so many foods on the market today, knowing how to cook is a healthier option as well.
This is another money-saving skill to learn. Knowing how to sew a button and mend is the minimum kids should learn. It is also a Sunnah, as the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, used to sew his own clothes and mend his own shoes (Musnad Ahmad).
7. Writing a business letter
Teaching your child how to write a business letter is simple, and your son or daughter will thank you for it once he or she reaches college and the workplace. You can find samples online, but one great reference book is Writing Business Letters for Dummies by Sheryl Lindsell-Roberts. Once you've looked at a couple of samples, practice writing one. For instance, have your high schooler write to a teacher requesting a recommendation letter for college.
Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, emphasized teaching children how to swim. It is not only great exercise and fun, but it could also save your life. Check out your local park district or gym for lessons.
9. Managing money
Help your kids avoid problems like debt, impulsive shopping, and overspending by teaching them money management skills this summer. If you already don't, start giving your child a weekly allowance. Then, help him or her draft a budget of how to spend and save. Also, make sure they give to charity.
10. Keeping house
This means overseeing the efficient functioning of your home. Make your older children in charge of managing meals, getting laundry done, mowing the lawn, and keeping the place clean for one week. Parents and other siblings are helpers. This will give your kids an appreciation of how hard it is to run a household, as well as training for the job in the future. It will also teach them valuable leadership skills, as well as the importance of teamwork.