Kiwi kids lack important life skills - survey

  • 26/01/2017
Children using tablets

Kiwi kids might be spending too much time in front of screens, as new research suggests they lack basic life skills like making their own breakfast.

Research by cereal maker Sanitarium found nearly all surveyed kids aged five- to seven- years old could operate a cellphone and a TV remote, but about two thirds of them struggled to make their beds, or their breakfast.

However 99 percent of the parents surveyed said being able to make your own meal is an important life skill.

The results show that in the morning rush, kids are missing out on the chance to learn resilience, independence and basic problem solving.

"Children these days are so invested in social media and the advances in technology, they've forgotten how to do the simple things," psychologist Sara Chatwin says.

Nearly half of the parents with children aged five to 15 said they don't want the mess to clean up, are in a hurry, or haven't yet had a chance to teach their kids how to make their breakfast.

A third said they wanted to make their child's breakfast to be sure they were eating healthily.

"By allowing children to take part and get involved with the simple things like cooking, do some chores and preparing small meals, you're ensuring that your children have some of the basic skills," Ms Chatwin says.

"It's all very well taking over (as a parent) to get the job done quickly and well, but this detracts from children's simple skill knowledge and learning."

The survey found:

  • 78 percent of children aged five to seven could operate a cell phone
  • 29 percent of this age group make their own lunch
  • 49 percent of all kids surveyed usually ate a nutritious breakfast every day

The survey was conducted online among 1000 New Zealanders. There were 340 parents with children aged between five and 15 years old.