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Life Skills and the Importance of Teaching Them Life skills are the abilities we need to handle effectively the challenges in day-to-day life, whether at work, in school, or in our personal affairs. Life skills are normally taught within the home, indirectly through the child’s own observations and experiences of the child, or directly by teaching the child specific skills. 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. Although a definitive list of life skills has yet to be completed by educators, employers and governments, below are the major concepts they are working around: Adaptability With the rapid rate the world is changing, the ability to adapt is vital 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 is rooted on initiative–the willingness to introduce an idea and take the risks that come with making 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 inherently social, ever seeking tribes in which they feel a sense of belonging. With technology, people can easily belong to different tribes–friends on Facebook, coworkers at the office, students in school, etc. In the said environments, social skills are extremely important. And with these environments becoming increasingly collaborative, so is the importance of social skills. Productivity The recent recession saw the American worker’s productivity soaring to an all-time high. Evidently, the ones who kept their jobs did that partly because they produced more than what was necessary before. The boost in productivity among workers in America indicates that more has been produced by less people, meaning the job market has grown to be even more competitive following the recession than when it was occurring. Low-productivity workers are tagging behind. Leadership Leadership is a group of related skills combining the other life skills. Good leaders have solid social skills, take initiative, and are highly adaptable and productive. They can set goals, encourage others to also accomplish those goals, build a group in which all members contribute according to their strengths, resolve issues among members, teach them to attain their goals, help them resolve their individual difficulties and make them perform better, and give credit where due. Parenting itself could be a suite of life skills taught to a person or inherent in him. Teaching a person these skills can come with teaching additional life skills for rearing a child into adulthood.