I have been working on life skills with some of my teenage students for awhile now. In the process, I have come across some scenarios which have made me realise that there are often details we do not think about when we teach our children certain skills.
1- Using The Elevator When you teach your kids how to use the elevator, have you ever thought about what would happen if they got trapped in the lift? Do they know what to do next and how to deal with that situation? If you haven't, maybe from now on, you can also try working on teaching them what to do in such emergencies. Some additional points to take note of would be the safety measures during an emergency, and expected actions when a lift is UNDER MAINTENANCE. (Remember to introduce the terms at their level of understanding).
2-Using the vending machine I have been working with one of my students on buying a drink for himself from the vending machine. He had reached the stage where he could do it independently. One day, when we went down to the vending machine, we realised it was OUT OF ORDER. He was not familiar with the term OUT OF ORDER and he decided to complete all the steps required to get the drink. Initially I tried stopping him but then decided to step back and let him find out the outcome for himself. After completing the last step, he realised that the machine was not dispensing any drinks and he ended up being frustrated. In the end it was a learning experience for the both of us. From that day onwards, I started introducing the term OUT OF ORDER and what the expected action was, in my lesson plan.
3- Buying things from shops When we teach our kids how to buy items from the shops. we usually start with the money skills. We work on how to pay the total amount and collect the right change. However, have you ever thought about teaching the consequences of not having enough cash with you? One of my parents was concerned that her child may unwittingly just pick the item up and leave the shop if he did not have enough cash. It's best to pre-empt our kids on what to do if they do not have the required amount to purchase the item and discuss other alternatives in such situations.
We might think that these are little details that we can always start on later but I believe, for our kids, it's never too early. And we should never make any assumptions.