When was your last time holding and looking at a map? When was your last time reading a recipe from a recipe book? Photo credit to Freepik We have taken the convenience that the technology offers us for granted! Whenever we encounter an issue, we would undoubtedly pull out our gadgets. What do we do? We refer to our best friend, Mr Google! Mr Google can even do your calculations! While you imagine how convenient your life has become, you need to be aware that most of us are losing some essential skills. As we use our brains less frequently, our brains are less effective with small details. However, just as our body muscle, we need to constantly use and exercise our brain muscle to enhance our concentration and learning capabilities. The scenario can be worse for our children as they are born in the age of technology advancement. Everything is at their fingertips and they are not maximising the use of their brain muscle at such a young age. You might be thinking that this doesn't seem to be a big deal, but our children are indeed losing some crucial life skills that might come in handy one day. Read on to find out more about the 8 essential skills that our children are losing in the digital age. What Are The 8 Essential Skills That Our Children Are Losing? #1: How to read a map Photo credit to Pexels Have you ever wondered how our parents travelled from one place to another in the past? I had and I asked. They replied to me that they travelled across the states by just reading the road signs and a map. Even if they got lost, they would explore another route until they reached the destination with the help of a map. However, we have an absolutely different scenario today. Since we have the GPS navigation software app, why bother looking at the map? Simply set our destination and off we go. While we make use of the navigation app, we are actually downgrading our brain ability to recognise routes and to pay attention to small details. We simply put ourselves on autopilot mode and follow along. What if our gadgets stop functioning suddenly? What if we are stuck at a place where the connection signal is poor? Can you now see the importance of knowing how to read a map? Our children need to acquire the ability to read map symbols and to navigate a route with a map. Find out more interesting activities to develop map skills for your children. #2: How to read a recipe Photo credit to Pexels Learning how to prepare a dish now is easy as we have the access to a variety of tutorial videos on the video-sharing platforms. Despite the convenience of the cooking tutorial videos, we need to teach our children how to read a recipe. As recipes offer a great introduction to instructional texts, recipes provide our children with the opportunities for purposeful reading. They will learn to read the ingredient list and step-by-step instructions. They will also develop their vocabulary on ingredients, cooking methods, measurement, and temperature units. How about starting off with some scrumptious dairy-free and egg-free peanut butter cookies? Click the link above and get your children to read the recipe first to gather the ingredients and also to follow through the steps to make lovely peanut butter cookies for Christmas. #3: How to make a budget Photo credit to Pexels Despite the variety of money management apps available nowadays, most of the children nowadays do not know how to make a budget. Budgeting involves not only recording your expenses, it also requires you to plan and manage your money wisely. Our children need to be educated on the importance of saving their money for emergency and investment purposes. They must also know the need of reviewing their expenses record so that they can further reduce unnecessary spending and build up their emergency and investment funds. #4: How to fix something instead of replacing it Photo credit to Pexels Whenever your children have their belongings broken, what would be their first reaction? Most of them would demand a new one. We can help them to change their mentality. Simply get them to ask themselves, 'Can the item be repaired before replacing it?' By cultivating the "fix-it first" mentality, they will learn to save the environment and their money. They will reduce more waste and expenses from purchasing a new one. For instance, their stuffed toys can get a second life with patches, buttons, and other decals. Their clothes can also get a makeover by adding some other details and seams. They will definitely gain a sense of accomplishment whenever they are able to revive their belongings. How do I know it? I have experienced it before and it certainly feels better than buying a new one. #5: How to have good table manners Photo credit to Pexels Whenever I am having meals at shops and restaurants, I constantly observe individuals and families on their dining manners. Sadly to say, most of our parents nowadays are feeding their children with smartphones fixed in front of them. This breaks my heart every time I witness these scenarios. We parents should really replace smartphones with educating our children about politeness on the dining table. Our children need to know that they should focus on eating and interacting with other family members whenever they are on the dining table. They should learn to distribute and share food with their elderly. This leads us to the next skill that our children cannot afford to lose. #6: How to take notice of needs around you Photo credit to Pexels During the era where we do not have social media, we are more observant and considerate towards others' needs. We would most likely to discover what our family and friends' needs and offer what we have to help them. Nowadays, we are still interested to discover more about our family and friends through social media. It is just that we are more focused on what others have and enjoy and think of ways where we would get the same. This mentality of comparison is ruining both us and our children. What should be done is to educate our children to be more considerate towards others and also towards themselves. Develop a sincere relationship with others and themselves to know their own and others' true needs. With this, our children will be happy and contented with their lives as they learn to appreciate and give. As Winston Churchill says, We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. #7: How to read an analogue clock Photo credit to Pexels Can you tell the time that the clock is showing in the picture? Then, can you imagine some children do not know how to read analogue clocks? As it seems easy for us to tell the time from an analogue clock, some of our children cannot tell the time on the clock faces. Here's why. Children nowadays are used to seeing a digital representation of time on their smartphones, computers and even watches. So, have an analogue clock at home and teach your children now on how to tell the time from it. #8: How to find the word meaning from a dictionary Photo credit to Pexels What would you do if you are stuck with a word that you do not understand? You would certainly look up the meaning from the internet. While it is true that we can rely on the internet to understand a word, it is equally important for our children to learn how to find a word from the dictionary. Our children need to learn dictionary skills such as knowing the entry point and exit point of a word to find the definition, pronunciation and even syllables of a word. With the information available in the dictionary, your children can improve their writing, spelling and vocabulary. Essential Skills Are Never Too Old-Fashioned to Learn No matter how advanced the technology is, we should cultivate these essential skills among our children so that they would challenge and exercise their brain muscles more frequently. Mind that we should never be over-dependent on technology to the extent that we live our lives on autopilot mode.