The recent news that 12 young boys and their assistant coach who were missing in a cave in Thailand have been found has highlighted the importance of learning life skills (Missing Thai boys found alive in cave; July 3).
These are lessons that are not found in textbooks.
Unlike in the past, the children of today are more sheltered. Some life skills which may be useful are:
- How to set a monthly budget and handle their limited financial resources. Teens should be taught how to come up with a list of "needs and "wants", be allowed to decide when and where to buy their items and make adjustments to their budgets if necessary.
- What do to in an emergency situation. Teens should learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation, how to use an automated external defibrillator as well as how to administer first aid.
- People skills and to be gracious and polite. Teens need to know how to treat other people with respect and kindness, and to say "thank you" when receiving help from others.
- How to manage their time. Teens should understand the need to schedule their time, be punctual or inform organisers if they cannot make it to an event.
- How to take care of the house. This includes how to do laundry and treat stains.
With these skills, teenagers learn to be independent and resilient besides being book smart.
They can take responsibility for their actions and be useful citizens who contribute to society in many ways when they grow up.
Kok Mei Hui (Ms)