Life Skills and the Importance of Teaching Them Life skills are the capabilities we need to effectively manage everyday challenges, whether at work or school, or even in our personal lives. Life skills are usually taught by parents, either directly by teaching the child a certain skill, or indirectly through the child’s own the observation and experience. Life skills programs are offered when family structures and relationships turn unhealthy as caused by parental negligence, divorce or any other similar issues, or due to risky behavior of the children, such as substance abuse. While educators, employers and governments are still in the process of creating a definite list of life skills, the following are the core concepts they are working on: Adaptability Given the high rate of change in this world, the ability to adapt is crucial to success. Students must learn to quickly examine what’s going on around them and adjust instantly–all while staying focused on their goals.
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Initiative The entrepreneurial spirit sprouts from initiative–the willingness to present a new idea and taking risks to make it work. The changing economic arena is in need of entrepreneurs. Students must learn to set goals for themselves, build a path toward those goals, and get their plans in motion.
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Interpersonal Skills Human beings are intrinsically social, always finding tribes where they feel they belong. Technology now lets people belong in several tribes–coworkers in the office, other students at their school, Facebook friends, and so on and so forth. In the said environments, social skills are extremely important. And while these environments become more collaborative, so does the relevance of social skills. Productivity The American worker reached an all-time high during the last recession. Obviously, those who kept their jobs were able to do so partly because they produced more than they were expected to in the past. The rise in productivity among workers in the U.S. shows that more has been produced by fewer people, indicating that the job market is even more competitive following the recession than during its height. Workers with lower productivity have been left behind. Leadership Leadership is a set of related skills that blends all the other life skills. Good leaders have solid social skills, take initiative, and are highly adaptable and productive. They can identify goals, inspire others to also work on those goals, create a group where all members contribute based on their abilities, settle conflicts among members, educate them to accomplish their goals, help members fix their individual problems and enhance performance, and give credit where it is deserved. Parenting itself can consist of life skills that may be learned or come naturally to any person. Educating a person in such skills can be done in line with educating parents to become better adults for their children.