BeyondTutoring will be featuring a periodic series on developing life skills within your child. This is the first in our series.

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Packing lunch is a skill that most kids will eagerly pick up more or less on their own. Some children are a little slower on the pickup, so here’s where this how-to comes in. Start out by having your child stand by while you make her lunch. Talk your way through it. “Okay, I’ll take out the bread. Here’s the peanut butter. Here’s how I make your sandwiches.” Keep that up, every day, until your child is giving you the instructions.

Once Junior is ready to give it a go, make sure you have everything handy, to cut down on the frustration complications as much as possible. If your child is too small to use a sharp knife, make sure any fruits or veggies needed are cut up in a plastic box before the child starts putting things together. As always, meet your child’s requirements for praise and minimize the aggravation when things don’t work out quite right. Practice makes perfect.

If it’s too much to ask your child to pack lunch every day, start out with only once or twice a week, and try to do it the night before, rather than waiting for the morning rush. As with all new skills, just make sure the momentum is in the right direction and work your way to confidence as slowly as necessary. And even after your prince or princess has become the Lunchbag King or Queen, figure out a way to slip in that encouraging, love-you-note from Mom and Dad when the Monarch isn’t looking.

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