Have your tween help with younger siblings. This may seem obvious. But it can become a habit for some parents to do all the work. Don't forget to let your tween pitch in. Feeding the baby, changing diapers, preparing simple food for toddlers, helping a sibling tie their shoes, and playing with a younger sibling all tie in to the lesson. Leave your tween 'in charge' when you are fulfilling another task, such as cleaning the kitchen. Of course, you'll still need to supervise. But this helps them learn how to care for younger children. Let them know you trust them so that they are confident in their choices and actions. You can observe without making it obvious.
Enroll your tween in a babysitting class. The Red Cross and other organizations offer babysitting classes for tweens and teens. These can usually be taken on the weekend or in the summer. Some classes will be more extensive than others. So do your research and choose the one that best fits your tween. The enrollment fee is generally low and your tween can become certified in CPR and learn other important child safety tips. In addition to what is learned at home, this type of class helps ensure all bases are covered. Even if your tween never ends up babysitting, CPR is an important technique to know in many situations. The child care lessons will come in handy around the tween's own siblings or later in life if the tween has kids.
Teach your tween household safety and first aid. The babysitting classes mentioned above will likely teach some important household safety tips. But there are also safety tips geared toward each individual's home. Your tween needs to know where all the windows and doors are and which would be a good escape route in an emergency. Are there any sealed windows or doors? Let your tween know. Is there a dangerous area, such as steep basement stairs? Is there a safe place (like a hidden room) your tween can hide in if there's ever an intruder? If not, come up with a safety plan. There should be a safety plan for every scenario you can think of: fire, break-in, injury, flood, and more.
Provide babysitting scenarios for your tween. You can be the child and allow your tween to take care of you. Then, reverse roles and let your tween be the small child. This hands-on lesson can help make it easier to prepare your tween for babysitting. Be sure to use a variety of scenarios and age ranges to test your tween's skills. Another thing that helps is to allow your tween to observe live scenarios. Ask them what the parent should do and see if their solution was a good one. If the parent did something other than what they suggested, ask them if they think the parent a good choice or not and why.
The main keys to preparing a tween for babysitting are variety, practice, safety, and consistency. Follow these four points and you'll tween will be ready to babysit in no time.
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Career preparation begins early and it should start in the home. One of the most common jobs for tweens is babysitting. Chances are your tween either has siblings or knows someone in or outside the family with smaller children. Tweens are, of course, too young to babysit without supervision. But they are at the perfect age to learn some of the basics. Preparing tweens for babysitting is a simple and necessary part of growing up. Doing so teaches them both career and life skills.
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
In order for tweens to be ready to start their first job as teens, they need practice. But without actually being able to work, how can they get that practice? As a parent, there are a variety of ways I help to cultivate career skills in my tweens. From household responsibilities, to volunteering, playing games, and more, get proactive in developing your tween's career skills today. They may not be thrilled with some of these ideas at first. But in time they will grow to love them and thank you in the future.
Get tweens involved in activities and clubs.
This is a simple way to teach your tween the teamwork it takes to succeed in their future career. It also can teach organizational and leadership skills. Recreational sports, dance, drama, band, choir, science, and other educational clubs and activities are available in most areas. Check with your child's school or homeschool group first. If the programs don't exist there, private organizations and churches often offer many activities.
Volunteer programs can help encourage and enhance career skills.
From helping the elderly, to feeding the homeless, caring for animals, and more, tweens can get involved in many volunteer programs. Call around to various organizations in your area to see who needs help. Remember to ask about age requirements. Not all organizations or opportunities are available to minors. Some also may require that an adult volunteer along with the tween. This can actually be good, as it gives you and your child some rewarding time together. Teaching kids to volunteer not only gives them valuable career experience, but also helps encourage compassion.
Let them take charge of certain things at home.
Responsibility starts at home. Chores and other household tasks teach your child important career skills that can be used throughout life. I like to treat my kids as team members and let them help in certain household decisions. Although this is not a job, it does help kids prepare for making choices in life, which strongly applies to career-related skills. Deciphering choices that lead to certain outcomes is a much-desired trait in the workforce, as is the ability to be part of a collaborative team. Being a 'mommy's helper' and watching over younger siblings and even pets is one way tweens can take charge. Just be sure they know the rules and also have proper supervision.
Family field trips geared toward interest can help cultivate skills.
No matter what your child is interested in doing as a career, there is always a related destination. Even if your child changes career thoughts often, it's still possible. For instance, if your tween wants to be a firefighter, visit the local firehouse. Some cities even have firefighter museums. If your child wants to work with animals, visit local shelters, zoos, and wildlife reserves. The main idea is to enrich your child's life with various activities and destinations that may enhance her career choice. Even if your tween changes her mind about career directions, the field trips will still add to overall experience.
Educational books and other media are useful.
Surround your child with opportunities to read books related to his career and life interests. If books are easy to access, even kids who do not prefer to read will eventually start picking them up. Also offer a variety of educational computer games, movies, and TV shows to show from. While it's not a good idea for a child to watch TV or play on the computer all day long, in moderation, these things can be good. When a child enjoys doing something, it can be easier for the knowledge to sink in, which is always a good thing.
*I originally publised this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans network. She is your brand healing, soul healing, marketing & content superhero to the rescue! Running a network of websites, tackling deadlines single-handedly, and coaching fellow writers, brands, & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is her top priority.
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