10 Life Skills to Help Children Succeed

Skills to Help Children Succeed in Life

Life skills go hand in hand with the development of children, leading them to be successful throughout their lives. Starting from infancy and throughout the teen years, you can invest your time and energy into making sure your children develop a strong set of life skills to help them in day-to-day living such as chores, good personal hygiene and other responsibilities.

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As our future generations grow up, learning essential skills should be happening both at home and at school. However, lessons at school have been mostly reserved for academics, especially with the rise of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) subjects and initiatives. Life skills and character building are just as important as academic skills.

The following are some of the most important life skills that children should know and how to incorporate them into their daily routine.

1. Independence

Many parents limit their children’s independence in order to keep them safe. While this is a good thing parents also need to give children a chance to explore the world around them and make choices for themselves. Even if they make the occasional bad choice, this is essential so thathey can grow into independent adults. Learning from mistakes is some of the best learning we do. If you start early, giving your children leeway while teaching them safety skills at the same time, they will be ready and confident when the time comes. It’s always tempting to jump in and save them, but try to limit that to the real emergencies. If they fall while riding a bike and get hurt or get a bad grade because they left an assignment at home, next time they will do better, especially if you are supportive and help them think it through. They will also learn that they can survive these mistakes, which is helpful.

2. Communication

Developing the abilitto exchange thoughts, feelings, and information is critical, as the world has grown more interconnected and interdependent. Effective communication skills on an individual as well as a group basis enables your child to more easily achieve the things he or she wants from life.

There are several fairly simple things parents can do to help their children become good communicators such as encouraging proper pronunciation, building their vocabulary, and teaching them to speak in front of others. Any activity that calls upon your children to listen to or give directions, even playing pretend can help them become great communicators.

3. Critical thinking

The ability to think critically is more important than ever given the enormous amount of information young people must make sense of in our complicated world. Generally, critical thinking is regarded as the ability to think independently, clearly and rationally and to be able to reflect on an idea or problem, apply reason and make logical connections between ideas.

You can help develop your child’s critical-thinking skills at home by asking them questions that push them to think more deeply about their positions on things. For example, a simple question like, ‘How do you know this?’ can encourage your child to reflect on their statements, assess where they got their information, and provide evidence to support their point of view. 

4. Self-confidence

Self-confidence is most easily taught by us stepping back, rather than teaching. Yes, the first time your child folds a t-shirt it probably won’t be folded the way you like it done.  Early on, simply “barrelling on” and making a contribution that’s seen as valuable is enough.  Over time, your child will see how you fold t-shirts and copy you, or may ask you to teach them how to do it. Either way, they’re on their way toward being willing to try something that might work or might not, and being OK with failure, and using failures as a springboard to success.

5. Organization

Developing good organization skills is a key ingredient for success in school and in professional life. Whether being organized comes naturally to you or it’s a little more work to get into that frame of mind, it’s important to remember that anyone can be organized – it’s a skill that can be learned and used as a strategy for success in school and elsewhere in life.

As an organized worker, you can put routines and strategies in place at home to help your kids build this aptitude and getheir lives under control.

6. Coping

Kids will generally face a number of challenges during the course of their school lives including overcoming disappointment of missing being picked in a team; working their way through difficult learning situations and meeting with rejection. How stressful these situations will depend on their own spirit, the support they receive and their coping skills. The good news is that coping skills can be taught, or at the very least, encouraged, if adults know what to focus on. Coping strategies include parking problems for a while; normalising a situation and accepting and moving on. Some kids will use coping strategies quite naturally, while others need parental input to help them cope with seemingly minor challenges.

7. Problem-solving

To get ahead in a competitive world, your child will need to be able to think critically — to observe, analyze, and come up with smart solutions to complex dilemmas. 

We can’t fix everything. Nor should we try. In order for kids to learn how to think and come up with solutions to everyday issues, they must be allowed to do so. Our role is not to come in and change everything for the best for them. We again are doing them a disservice by not allowing them to pick themselves back up. Whether they forget their homework at home or run out of gas, they need to experience those problems in order to know how to fix them. As adults, we must condition them to be independent thinkers and grant them permission to explore their own potential. Unrestricted behavior as it relates to life’s “hiccups” allows moments to figure out how to be successful. Failure must be a part of life in order for success to be a result of it.

8. Technology and coding

Technology has exponentially become more and more prevalent in today’s society as we are living in the digital age. If we want our children to be successful in the future, schools should teach the foundations of coding. As technology continues to grow, children will inevitably be exposed to it, and will need to know how to navigate it. Teaching this in school also prepares students for higher education, careers, and provides access to technology to those who may not have immediate access to it at home.

9. Creativity

Go places like parks or museums or historical sites. Explore together. Go to the library and get books. Have lots of paper and paint around. Make things together. Watch documentaries; read the news and talk about it. Make up stories. Build things. Help your child see the world as full of fascination and possibility. Help them understand how much ability they have to create.

10. Moral characteristics

In order for our children to be successful in the future, they will need to know that their behavior and choices will impact their success. Moral characteristics such as respect, self-control, responsibility, honesty, empathy, etc.

Skills to Help Children Succeed in Life

Are there other skills to help children succeed in life?

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