What Do Kids Need to Learn from This Crisis?

Teaching kids life skills during crisis-Dr. Ivy Ge
Kids need to learn and grow while schools are closed. However, academic learning is NOT the only thing kids need to learn in this crisis. How about resiliency, resourcefulness, and money management skills?

What Do Kids Need to Learn from This Crisis?

Teaching kids life skills during crisis-Dr. Ivy Ge

Kids need to learn and grow while schools are closed. Most parents are stressed and worried whether their kids are able to keep up with schoolwork, and not fall behind. 


However, academic learning is NOT the only thing kids need to learn in this crisis. What can kids learn at home outside of academic learning?  


How about resiliency, resourcefulness, and money management skills?


During this pandemic, many of us are anxious and angry. There are so many things out of our control. How are you coping with the pandemic? Can you find a way to help your kids process those negative emotions and find hope in crisis?

  • 1. Teach them how to process those negative emotions and maintain our focus on what we can control. 

  • If you’re not sure how to hand emotional stress yourself, here is a well-known psychologist, Dr. Martin Seligman‘s 3 P’s resilience model


  • Personalization is thinking that the problem is yourself, instead of considering other outside things that have caused it. Realizing outside factors have caused a bad situation allows us to reduce the blame and criticism we put on ourselves.

    Permanence is thinking a bad situation will last forever. Those who think setbacks are temporary have improved ability to accept and adapt for the future.

    Pervasiveness is thinking a bad situation applies across all areas of your life, instead of only happening in one area. People who think bad situations are pervasive feel that all areas of their life are impacted. This can make it hard to carry on.

    Understanding these three perspectives help us understand how our thoughts, mindset, and beliefs affect our experiences. We can start becoming more resilient and learning to bounce back from life’s challenges. 

  • Explain your learnings to your kids and encourage them to express their feelings through drawing or writing. By addressing these 3 P’s , you can help them build resilience and grow, develop their adaptability, and learn to cope better with challenges.

  • There will be a time when they have to meet such challenges alone. You want to make sure they are well prepared for those challenges. 

  • 2. Teach them how to cook simple meals, how to do laundry, and the best way of folding clothes. 

  • These essential life skills will not only boost the kids’ self-confidence, it also provide a big help to the parents. Depending on your children’s age, start with very simple tasks and gradually build up their skill set. 


  • If you don’t know how to start cooking with your kids, The Humbled Homemaker provides 20 easy recipes for kids to make all by themselves. They will be making mess in the kitchen, you’ll have to accept that and find ways to contain the mess to make an easy cleanup. Some kids are discouraged easily. Be there to give guidance. Over time, they’ll master the new skill. Once kids learned to cook themselves, they’ll also be more receptive to eating healthier and balanced meals. 


  • Teaching kids do laundry isn’t as difficult as it sounds. OverTheBigMoon shows us these steps to make it happen: 


  • Step 1.  Create a child-friendly laundry area. To make the laundry room more child friendly, you’ll need the following items ready: sorting bins, step stool, and easy pour detergent.  

  • Step 2.  Teach them to sort the dirty clothes.  Kids need to collect their laundry during the week. On laundry days, sorts clothes into 3 loads: whites, darks, jeans/shorts. 

  • Step 3.  Teach them to use the washing machine.  Make sure they take the time to go through all the settings, buttons and explain how they all work and what they mean.  

  • Step 4.  Teach them to use the dryer.  Start by explaining what all the buttons and knobs are and what they mean and how to turn them. Then show them the lint catcher. Explain that this should be cleaned with each load.  

    Step 5.  Teach them how you’d like them to fold the clothes.  Some key points include: 

  • – How to turn socks, shirts, etc right side out.
    – Pair socks
    – Lay t-shirts out, so they won’t wrinkle.
    – Pair pajamas
    – Folding shorts & pants.  

  • 3. Encourage kids to be resourceful by thinking outside the box.

  • One of the most famous and simple approaches to teaching problem solving was developed by mathematics educator George Polya in 1945. He identified four principles that form the basis of all problem solving:

    1. Understand the problem.

    2. Devise a plan.

    3. Carry out the plan.

    4. Look back.

  • Include kids in the decision-making process on family matters. Listen to their points of view and explain to them why their opinions are sound or not. Your goal is to raise independent and socially responsible adults. This crisis provides the perfect opportunity to start those life lessons. 

  • All of us were more creative when we were younger. Create small challenges to help your children build confidence and resilience. Allow your sons and daughters opportunities to be proud of overcoming something themselves.


  • 4. Explain to them the value of healthy spending, and make wise financial decisions. 

  • According to Forbes: these top money lessons can be learned at each age group.

Ages 3-5

The Lesson: You may have to wait to buy something you want

Ages 6-10

The Lesson: You need to make choices about how to spend money.

Ages 11-13

The Lesson: The sooner you save, the faster your money can grow from compound interest.

Ages 14-18

The Lesson: When comparing colleges, be sure to consider how much each school would cost.

Ages 18+

The Lesson: You should use a credit card only if you can pay the balance off in full each month.

  • If your kids are old enough to understand the current crisis, invite them in the conversation on family budget and strategies to maximize the value of money. There are many eBooks on money management for kids that you can check out from your local library to improve their financial literacy.


If you want your kids to succeed in the future, help them become self-confident, resilient, and resourceful. These life skills are what benefit them in the long run, not algebra 2. 

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Dr. Ivy Ge

Dr. Ivy Ge

Doctor of Pharmacy, author of The Art of Good Enough. She writes to inspire women to design their own fate. Her writings and interviews have been featured on MSNBC, Thrive Global, Working Mother magazine, Parentology, and The Times of India.

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