Life skills that prepare kids for their future

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Parents and teachers share a common goal – making sure children can become successful adults. While the specific skills they need may vary from occupation to occupation, there are a number of life skills that should be universally taught, such as problem solving and effective communication.

Helping children learn the following traits can prepare them for a successful future!

1.      Problem solving

Problem solving is an integral part of critical thinking. From a young age, children can learn how to observe and analyze a problem and create smart solutions. Answering the “why’s” and “what if’s” help kids think through all sides of an issue, using thought and exploration to solve problems. Engage in thoughtful discussion by encouraging children to think creatively, use their imagination, and explore the world around them.

2.      Love of learning

A love of learning can turn even the most difficult subject into an interesting, fun, and rewarding challenge. Encourage children to follow their passion and pursue their interests. Signing up for clubs and activities that reflect their favorite subjects or enrolling in engaging electives can make school a place they look forward to going to each day – and create a lifelong love of learning.

3.      Communication

The ability to effectively communicate is a life skill that helps children succeed both personally and professionally. Encourage kids to practice verbal, non-verbal, and even written communication outside of the school environment. Asking for assistance in a store, making eye contact when speaking, or practicing a firm handshake are all ways to improve communication skills.

4.      Goal setting

Learning how to set achievable short-term and long-term goals more can help make your child’s day more productive – and successful. Begin by working as a family to create goals for the school year; write down goals using the “I Will + What + When” format. If a child’s long-term goal is to get straight A’s, an achievable daily goal would be “I will finish all my homework first when I get home from school.”

5.      Don’t forget practical life skills!

Practical life skills, such as learning to cook a meal or getting up and out of bed on time, are an important part of success as well. Foster your child’s independence by giving them age-appropriate tasks and duties. Kids in Kindergarten can begin helping pack their school lunches or put away their laundry, while older children can be responsible for their own laundry or school materials.