Importance of Life Skills Education

Human beings are social entities and require certain basic skills to live through their daily lives. These skills that can be either learned from individual experiences or acquired by undergoing a set training session, help individuals to not only live life but also to make the most out of their lives. As we grow from our childhood days to mature individuals, we realize that life comes with lots of challenges and issues daily that need to be handled well and positively so that we can lead a good satisfying life. 

What are life skills?

These are a set of mannerisms that facilitate human beings to acclimatize and optimally deal with the problems and demands of routine life. Some key life skills in kids, as defined by the World Health Organization that help them shift through a normal day are: –

  1. Critical thinking
  2. Creative thinking
  3. Empathy
  4. Self-awareness and self-control
  5. Decision making
  6. Problem-solving,
  7. Communication skills
  8. Interpersonal relationship
  9. Stress management, and
  10. Managing emotions

Why is it important to instill life skills in kids?

Kids today need to be smart and intelligent, whether it is their personality, their dressing or their attitude. The ever-changing global scenario and environment, the technological transformation and the way it is impacting our everyday lives and even education, our daily living, it is essential that life skills in kids be developed from a young age itself. Here are reasons why you should get started with the development of these key skills in your child early in life: –

  1. To effectively solve and resolve problems after thorough consideration of available options and come up with practically applicable solutions. They learn the art of making choices and being responsible for their decisions.
  2. Develop and enhance their communication skills and abilities. This, in turn, helps the kids develop their confidence levels, self-esteem and start to become self-reliant.
  3. Learn to participate and work collaboratively in a team. Important life skills in kids help them in appreciating that man is a social animal and he needs to interact positively and cooperate with each other to lead a well-deserving life.
  4. Kids start to value ethics and moral values; can distinguish between bad and good behaviors and discover the beauty of being empathetic and considerate in their behavior towards others. They slowly start to realize how important it is to appreciate and thank others.
  5. They develop the habit of taking responsibilities for their actions and words rather than indulging in fault-finding in others around.
  6. They learn to manage their emotions, their expressions, and their speech, control their anger and negative outbursts in public place, etc.

Teaching key life skills to kids, and that too from an early age ensures that you help develop a winning attitude in kids which makes them independent and positive towards life. No situation or no man is tough enough that they cannot handle them appropriately and with maturity. 

Teaching and inculcating smart skills in kids

Life skills in kids are not necessarily inborn or innate. These are skills that can be learned and reinforced by repeated and regular practice. Some of the smart skills in kids that today’s children need to know well include – money matters and economic sense, consumer skills, personal hygiene, social media skills, lifestyle and healthy food habits, study skills, and social skills. While basic life skills in kids are important for positivity and enthusiastic attitude, smart skills make them fit for the 21st century. And believe it or not, these are skills that can one can begin to teach as early as when the child has just about started to walk and talk. 

The concept of global citizenship is catching up fast and the faster we start with our kids to imbibe this concept, the better he will be prepared to face the world tomorrow. That much desired winning attitude in kids needs to be developed gradually which over a period ensures that your child is thoroughly trained to take on the world and challenges of life with positivity, zeal, and eagerness.

Here are a few ways that parents can initiate the process of teaching smart skills in kids: –

  1. Focusing on developing the kids’ interests and inherent talents. Getting into activities that catch their attention helps in effectively delivering the message better.
  2. Parents need to offer positive feedback for reinforcement of skills like self-esteem, good communication skills and encourage the child to keep working towards learning the key skills. It is also a good idea to encourage your child to come up with creative and innovative ideas and solutions to everyday tasks.
  3. When skills are taught in a play-based environment it makes a greater impact on the child.
  4. Allowing kids to learn in a social environment where he/she gets the opportunity to interact and play with kids of his/her age helps them learn the importance of teamwork and collaboration. 
  5. While the digital play zones and online games are fine because they are made from smart technology and embedded with intelligent solving ways, it is important to let kids play with hands-on toys and games too.
  6. Parents need to be flexible in their approach. It is essential to remember here that kids consciously and unconsciously pick up traits and skills from their parents. An adaptable and lithe attitude of parents will encourage the child to follow the same in his attitude. While strictness and discipline are essential aspects, when parents are flexible, they offer various options for the child to choose from enabling them to choose things that they are enthusiastic about or continue doing things that interest them and keep them actively involved.
  7. Being consistent is one very aspect of parenting. Well-set routines help create a secure environment for the child making him feel safe. With set rules and expectations, kids are also able to work in a planned and organized manner and develop the art of managing time and the self effectually.
  8. Share your stories and experiences or read out stories and follow them up with a discussion allowing the child to actively voice his thoughts and ideas.