Have you ever hear the statement “Have something to show for yourself?” Yes, you have. Well, that can be said for children. Life skills include documentation which are items that can “show you off”. What documentation you might ask? This by no means is an exhaustive list of documents, but it’s a start. You choose which ones should be of importance to your child, and by all means sit down with your son and/or daughter and explain the importance of each document along with their uses.
1. A Resume – “Don’t leave home without one.” Most parents think little of a resume for their child, but currently this is one of the most requested documents in a person’s working life. So, when should a child have a resume? Glad you asked. It’s never too early to document success, so around 10 years old is a good age to begin the resume development process; also, involve your child, and let him or her know why he or she should have such a document and what would be the uses for it. Children’s resumes can get away with much more than an adult’s resume, i.e., make it an infographic resume, or add some graphics.
2. A Summer Learning Log – This is a wonderful document for a child to have because it’s a document that can go along with a resume. There are so many wonderful activities in which children participate during the summer months. So how does a parent set up a summer learning log? Suggestions are using an Excel spreadsheet or Microsoft Word document to include date of activity, activity, location, group/team/organization, length of time, position, or classes. Spruce up your child’s summer learning log with bright or soft graphics. Sample Learning Log.
3. An Award Portfolio – Do you have a box or binder of your child’s award certificates? Make sure those documents are “ship shape.” Keep them smooth even if you have to iron them out. Award certificates showcase a child’s successes. Make sure you have scannable copies to send out along with your child’s resume. If your child has trophies, take pictures of those trophies, insert the pictures in a software program, convert them to PDFs, i.e., Portable Document Files, to also go along with your child’s resume. Make sure you have a title for each trophie.
4. A Book-It List – A Book It List is a constant road to self-education and enlightenment. Books your child has read are conversation pieces. Reading gives your child words and expands their vocabulary. A book empowers a child to venture beyond their environment. Friends can be made through books, i.e., joining a book club. Exploration into other cultures without leaving home can be done through books. Books can give a child encouragement and boost their self-esteem. Want to give your child a break from the social media frenzy? Give him or her a book. Books are calming and can make the mind travel to different places. Books can stretch your child’s imagination.
5. A Biography – What is the difference between a resume and a biography? I’m glad you asked. A biography is a detailed account of a person’s life that is documented by someone else. The basic details of a biography include:
- Date and place of birth
- Family information
- Lifetime accomplishments
- Major events of life
- Contributions to society
- List of References
6. List of References – A child needs people who knows them apart from Mom and Dad; people who can speak to a child’s character, areas of improvement, strengths, and interests. A list of references is a necessity for a child. References will be needed for job applications, college applications, applications to competitions, etc. A child does not need to be at a loss trying to think of whom to call to provide a reference. To ensure a good mix of people to consider as references make a list of individuals that fall into specific categories, i.e., teachers, pastor/priest, coach, business owners, and even other children (children can be brutally honest).
7. Contribution Letter(s) – This type of letter speaks to societal contributions of a child. The contribution(s) can be as small as volunteering at community events to helping at fundraisers. It’s never too early to obtain these contributions “kudos” in the form of letters, emails, or thank you cards. Mom and Dad, don’t be afraid to request these for you child.
8. A “Kiddy Contract” – A contract is a documented agreement between two parties detailing an offer/service(s)/behavior along with the payment for the offer/service(s). Also, a “Kiddy Contract” can introduce children to the world of business since most businesses enter into contracts to assist in implementing services. A contract can detail:
- Length of offer/service(s)/behavior
- Name of the parties
- Payment for the offer/service(s)/behavior
- Payment due date for offer/service(s)/behavior
- Location of the offer/service(s)/behavior
- Lines for signatures for both parties
Now that you’ve been given the explanation of what constitutes a “Kiddy Contract” here are some types of “Kiddy Contracts”:
- Allowance Contract for Teens
- Behavioral Contract for Teens and Tweens
- Technology Use Contract
- Curfew Contract
- Home Chores Contract
- Driving Contract
- Homework Contract
- Pet Care Contract
- Drug, Tobacco & Alcohol Contract
Check out where to get some of these “Kiddy Contracts”:
9. Coloring Books and/or Pages – Yes, every child should have at least one coloring book. How soothing it is to color and relax. Not only does a coloring book allow a child to relax, but coloring provides a wonderful break from technology. Coloring, believe it or not, helps one to focus. Coloring inside of the lines can be hard. Check out these 13 Benefits of Coloring for Kids.
10. Mission Statement – WOW! This is different. Yes, it is. A mission statement will help keep a child on track concerning what is important to him or her, and what goals he or she have their eyes on. Documenting a mission statement is a wonderful thing to do and will assist in creating somewhat of a life roadmap outlining career, interests, and values. So how does a child get started in writing a mission statement? Check this out, click here.
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