University of Illinois Extension

Lifeskills for Today's Kids

Carol Wilcoxen, Family Life Educator

Lifeskills and everyday safety issues affect young people as much as drugs, sex and illegal activities. You can help your grandchildren develop basic skills for a lifetime.

Manage Conflict

Many schools have taken on a Zero-Tolerance policy to help reduce violence. Students are expected to keep safety in mind and control their anger. When you learn conflict management skills and then teach them to your grandkids, you are making a difference for a lifetime.

Understand Technology

How are your technology skills? The more you know, the more you can guide your grandkids. Computer games, websites, and chat rooms can be positive. However, they can also be negative. Predators lurk on websites and chat rooms, making them inappropriate for youth. In addition, technology has made people of all ages less active. Limit the amount of time the children can use the computer. Learn about this technology and help your grandchildren use it wisely.

Play Safely

Skateboards, inline skates, bikes and scooters can all be hazardous if kids don't wear protective gear. Experts say that you can reduce the risk of injury by wearing a helmet, kneepads, elbow pads, and wrist guards. Set rules for wearing protective gear and consistently enforce the rules. This consistency will help your grandkids consider safety in other situations. Remember, you have a lifetime of experience to share with your grandchildren. Model good lifeskills, and they will learn from your example.