Mama Mantra: Teach Your Kids The Basics

Posted April 1, 2022 by Prairie Wife -

Teach your kids the basics…

If you asked your school-age children (ages 5 and up) to tell you what your address is, could they do it?

If you asked your children to tell you what the phone numbers of your immediate family are (mom, dad, older siblings) could they do it?

What about YOUR full name, do your kids know that?

As a first-grade teacher, part of our curriculum was to teach our students their addresses and phone number. But, a few weeks of working on this isn’t enough for kids to remember it forever!

Nowadays we aren’t writing letters to people. To call each other we simply turn on our smartphone and hit the person’s name…or even simpler, look for the small picture of them.

So it’s no surprise that kids (and let’s face it adults) no longer know the basics.

But it’s a safety issue that I felt we needed to address here at

Your children need to know their address, and their parent or guardians’ full names AND have a few of their close family members’ phone numbers memorized as well.

If your children become separated from you, the information above will be vital to helping them to get back to you.

Phones get broken and lost, if your child doesn’t know your phone number, and isn’t near anyone that DOES have it in their phone, hours of panic could occur!

Also, as our kids get to be high school age they’ll need to know this information to fill out all the forms that are required for sports and field trips…and if you’ve been filling out those forms FOR your kids…here’s a gentle nudge to stop.

Filling out paperwork is another basic skill that has been lost over the years.

From around 5th grade on I have my kids fill out their own paperwork as much as possible (yes even at the doctor) so that they know what to do when they leave home and are on their own.

Yes, they will need guidance and prompting at first (pro tip if you have a copier at home make a second copy before they get started) but it’s a major time saver when they get the hang of it.

Speaking of paperwork, another basic skill your kids need to know is how to sign their names.

Many schools no longer teach cursive, and nothing is okay about a 15-year-old having to print their name on their learner permit because they don’t have any idea what a signature is.

So how and when do you find time to teach your kids all these basics when you’re already way too busy doing ALL THE THINGS?

In the car.

Turn off the tech and radio and practice saying your name, address, and phone number over and over.

What about their signature?

Turn on an art or doodling app before you begin to drive, write their signature for them, and have them trace it over and over as you travel to practice.

Is there a basic skill I left out?

Let me know in the comments!

NOTE: I debated about adding basic manners to this post…but I think that’s a topic that should have its own article.

First Photo Skyla Lee Photography

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Categories: Life As It Happens, Parenting, Prairie Life

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