As a mother I am always on a look out for something extra when it comes to the health of my children or their education and learning. Think of those health drinks- the ones that promise an extra dose of nutrition to boost your child’s health. Or those summer camps and art & craft classes- the ones that are categorised as ‘extra’ curricular activities. But what about those extra life skills that our children need to lead a successful, content and happy life?
Life Skill? What’s that?
Life Skills are skills that we can help young children learn that will prepare them to be successful in their life. Children don’t naturally know how to make good choices. Life skills help children know what to do in everyday situations as well as how to make good decisions about more abstract, long-term choices. If you work with your child to teach her life skills, you prepare her to manage peer pressure and make good decisions as she grows into adulthood.
The term ‘Life Skills’ refers to the skills you need to make the most out of life.
Life skills run the gamut from the concrete skill of deciding what to wear to the more abstract decision about choosing friends. Basically, any skill that is useful in your life can be considered a life skill.
While there may be many wonderful life skills for kids to learn and practice, there are a few that are particularly important:
5 Basic Life Skills Your Child Must Learn
Let’s accept it, we are all born creative. Each one of us. And this holds true specially for children. But the problem today is that with so much academic & peer pressure, social media presence and stressful schedule, creative thinking is something that’s not usually emphasized or developed enough in the growing years of our children. While we focus so much on creative thinking in toddlers & preschoolers, it slowly fades away as children get exposed to a more organised & structured environment. The irony here is that our creative thinking is the only factor that makes us superior to machines or super-computers. Thus, nurturing your child’s creativity as a critical life skill becomes even more important. It leads to problem- solving, promotes independent thinking, desire to take initiative and strong sense of optimism. Simply saying, it opens doors to enormous opportunities for your child.
How about encouraging out-of-the-box thinking in our kids by asking them to play the same game in a different way? Or simply by brainstorming new ways of playing with a set of blocks? Or by engaging in role-play activities? The idea is to help them evaluate their own ideas and work around with their logical & emotional bent of mind.
2. Critical Thinking
In today’s information-plagued times, more information is available at the touch of our fingers than we could ever need. And that’s where critical thinking is important. Kids need to learn to ask questions, to analyze information and recognize facts. If they learn to ask questions properly, which means asking the right questions to pare down to the facts, then they can filter out the right information and use it by turning obstacles into opportunities. Critical thinkers make rational, ethical and responsible decisions by employing effective problem-solving strategies. As Parents, we must encourage our children to ask questions and challenge statements to ensure their veracity and truth.
The ability to communicate information accurately, clearly and as intended, is a vital life skill and something that should not be overlooked. You would have seen so many people in the work place who are frankly clueless about how to write good emails. They also are horrible at handling themselves in a formal or professional setting and are bad communicators. Communication is critical in so many corners of life. Kids, who learn how to explain themselves succinctly & clearly regardless of the situation and who can use these communication skills to work well with others, are better able to transition into a working environment in the future. From being able to speak with wide variety of people to maintaining good eye contact to demonstrating a varied vocabulary coupled with effective listening skills – communication as a life skill needs to be nurtured in our kids.
This skill focuses on a child’s ability to work and play with others. Collaboration is the ability to be connected and yet be unique in one’s own best self. It is about possessing strong social awareness and value healthy relationships. This skill is vital because great success in life often depends upon an individual’s ability to interact and work well with others, so they can cooperate with one another in achieving a common goal. Kids who learn self-control through team activities, how to encourage their teammates, how to help others and how to manage time are better prepared for work environments wherein these skills are invaluable.
While teaching kids the academic-front of life is one task, nurturing them to grow up as compassionate, kind and empathetic beings is totally another ball game. Volunteering for simple deeds of kindness would not only give satisfaction & joy to your child but also help them grow up as selfless responsible citizens. Contribution is the intentional and purposeful service to others or the planet without the expectation of anything in return. Instilling basic values like kindness, gratitude and empathy should be an integral part of our nurturing.
“Formal learning can teach you a great deal, but many of the essential skills in life are the ones you have to develop on your own.”
~ Lee Iacocca
These are just a few of the many life skills that kids need to do better when they move into adulthood. Kids who gain these often tend to be more confident and competent. At Dolphin POD, the key 21st century skills – Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, Contribution which they refer to as “Consciousness Quotient” are imparted through real-life experiential learning.
Dolphin POD is a world class-learning centre that provides a fun, interactive and inspiring education unlike anything children receive anywhere else. Their carefully curated content and methodology based on neuro-scientific methods is aimed at making children smarter, healthier, happier and better equipped to operate in the constantly evolving, ambitious and cohesive society.