Here are some important basics your kids need to know—and how you can teach these skills at home.

  • How to pay attention. Kids have an amazing ability to tune out anything they don’t want to hear. That’s frustrating enough at home—but it can be even worse at school. Before you talk to your child, speak her name. Make sure she’s looking at you when you speak.

  • How to wait for something. We live in an instant society. Teach your child that some things are worth waiting for. Set a goal for something your child would like. Make a chart to keep track of progress as you try to achieve the goal.

  • Planning a job and carrying it through. Teach your children to finish what they start. Say things like, “Baking cookies was fun—but the job isn’t over until we wash the dishes.”

  • Knowledge of time. Teachers need to set deadlines—and students need to learn to keep them. At home, give your child a set amount of time to finish a job. You can turn this into a game, perhaps playing “Beat the Clock.”

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