Who really cares about life skills anyways?
Well we all should.
I have learned over the last several months that I have been helping too much.
I have not allowed my son to show me all the skills he had. I jumped in too quickly.
He processes slower and if he didn't give me a response "quick" enough I would jump in and either answer for him or do the task for him. (To be honest I am still working on this if we are all being honest here)
My goal for my son and all people I work with is independence. So in order for that to work they need to do the tasks themselves and we give them feedback (after the initial teaching of the skill of course).
There are 4 crucial steps for Behavioral Skills Training:
1. Teach the skill explicitly; describe the skill, why it's important, when/where to use the skill, then repeat this step as necessary.
2. Model how to do the skill; show the person how to perform the skill.
3. Have the person practice the skill over and over; this is such an important part -continued practice of the skill.
4. Give them feedback on how they did; you should provide positive praise for doing the skill correctly and corrective feedback for incorrectly doing the skill.
Over the years I have heard parents say things like:
"I don't have to worry about that because they will be living with me forever."
"They can do enough to get by."
"I just feel so overwhelmed teaching them all these skills."
It can be overwhelming for sure. We have to teach so many things for just one skill at times.
The younger we can teach these independent life skills the better it will be for them.
It is always good to be aware of what skills they should be doing at their age. Then you need to figure out a plan of how you will teach this. Take one thing at a time. When we expect them to do these things as we encourage them you can be amazed at how they can step up and do it.
If we cave and don't expect it and don't hold them accountable, they won't reach those independent goals.
It is ok to slowly let go like we have done for our other children who don't have disabilities or with our siblings if we have only had one child.
Our kids CAN.
Our kids WILL.
Just let them show you!
How are you helping and teaching your kids daily independent life skills?