Monday, September 2, 2013

7 Skills Your Child Needs to Have

Everyone knows our children need to learn to read and write and learn math, science, etc. But there are 7 life skills that typically aren't taught in schools that all adults and children must have to truly be successful. If you or anyone you know really struggles with life, odds are that there is a lack of expertise in one of these areas. That's how important they are!


Teaching your children these skills will benefit them throughout their lives:


1.  Ask questions.  You should ask questions early and often.  You can save yourself a lot of time and grief by asking questions.  You can also learn a lot by exploring and asking yourself questions.  You can encourage your children to ask questions by getting down on their level and answering their questions truthfully and to the best of your ability.  If they ask something you don't know offer to help them find the answer.  Don't dismiss their questions no matter how silly they may seem.

2.  The ability to solve problems.  Life is full of challenges.  But it can be a lot less intimidating when you learn processes that help you conquer challenges, whatever they may be.  Figuring out how to be successful in school, navigating through a new job, making the basketball team: these are all common challenges we must solve.

* Avoid the temptation to solve your children's challenges for them. Let them strive to figure solutions out on their own.  You can give them advice, but let them solve the problem.

3.  Find a passion.  No one ever trained us to go out and find the things that really excite and motivate us.  Most of us were taught that working and having a job stinks, so you'd better get used to it.  This is backwards thinking.  If we can find what we are truly passionate about put our efforts into that, then work isn't really work because you enjoy it.

4.  Independence.  Children need to be nurtured to become more and more independent as they grow up.  If we learn to be independent and take care of ourselves and our families we will be happier.  Strive to increase your child's independence a little bit at a time.

5.  Being content when alone.  Some children are incapable of spending even 15 minutes without the attention of others.  As children grow up, they learn to attach to other things to find contentment.  Buying silly things, the Internet, food, video games, and more can all become addictions in their own way to avoid being alone.  This follows us into adult hood. There is a great power in being able to amuse yourself.  It makes life easier, with fewer destructive temptations.

6.  Compassion.  The ability to work well with others and control our own anger is directly tied to our ability to be compassionate toward others.  Strive to be more compassionate in your everyday life and teach your children the same.  Being compassionate is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

7.  Dealing with change.  Change is one of the few constants in life.  Those who can be flexible and deal with change effectively are much more successful and happier than those who can't.  Help your child to learn to deal with change and you'll be doing them a huge favor.

 These necessary skills can be more valuable than anything we learn during our formal education.  Check yourself and your child for the presence of these skills.  Your lives will be much better for it.

These are also not a learn one time and your good type skill set either. This is a continual process we must practice and continue to learn throughout our lives. We are constantly faced with situations that require one or more of these skills, so the more we consciously use them, the more successful we will be.

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67 comments:

  1. This was an awesome post! I wish somehow I could print this out. #5 was the one that reminded me of my niece she never wanted to play alone and be alone ... now she is 17 and feels she has to shop every week-end ...

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    1. Thank you and yes, #5 is a tough one to learn later on if you don't learn it when you are young.

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  2. Problem solving is so important and so hard to teach. I know that employers are looking for people that can solve problems rather than send them up the chain for solving. I like that you included that in your list.

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    1. Yes, that is a big plus in today's job market. It really just comes down to practice. The more you practice the better you will get. The good part is it's never too late.

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  3. Fantastic post. I think that one of the most poignant points is the challenge of not attempting to resolve problems for our children. It is one that I am constantly working on as I want my kids to be resilient and learn through things themselves. I also agree that it is so important to get down on their level and look them in the eye when speaking to them. I want my children to be so many of these things..compassionate is an important one too.

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    1. Thank you and stepping back and letting my kids solve their problems is a challenge for me too. I hate to see them struggle, but I know it will be better for them in the long run.

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  4. I love your list and these are so true! I sometimes struggle, try and fail with some of these with my son! Always a work in progress and hope that my efforts take hold ;)

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    1. They will! And you will be amazed and so proud when you watch him handle a situation with confidence.

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  5. Great points, I think 7 is one of the hardest because it's a skill we must master and deal with our entire lives...

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    1. The one constant in life is change. That is what makes it exciting and difficult.

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  6. yes yes yes!! helicopter parenting has been the start of a baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad trend with kids not learning crucial skills!

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    1. So true and so sad. I think parents mean well and want to do the best for their kids. They just don't realize the long term harm they are causing when they try to be everything for their kids.

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  7. This is a great list of skills, all of which I'm trying to instill in my kids :)

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  8. Love this list! Asking questions is a big, big deal! Love it!

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    1. Yes it is and it seems to be one that we don't want to do. It is one that I still struggle with. So, I try really hard to make sure my kids know questions are always welcome and will never be brushed off.

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  9. These are great ideas! Character Training is something more parents need to do with their children!

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    1. Thank you and I agree, I think everyone needs to work on character training. We should never stop learning for ourselves and our children.

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  10. Ah sorry I sent my comment through your contact (this section wasn't coming up). Anyways just wanted to say that this is such a nice reminder to parents. I have 2 young boys starting school tomorrow and I'm always so worried about them falling behind. It's so not necessary.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. And the fact that you are worried means you are paying attention and you and your boys will benefit from it and will do great. Good luck to you all this school year!

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  11. This is a great post. I especially love the dealing with change one.

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  12. I will keep this in mind and of course, apply as I want my kids to be a better person when they grow up.

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    1. Thank you and that is awesome, you kids will do great things!

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  13. I feel we think similar :-) These are the points on which I have guided my children. Good post.

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  14. This is a great article. Children need to be raised the right way to become strong adults.

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    1. Thank you and yes if we as parents take the time to invest in our children, they will have stronger happier lives and so will we!

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  15. Thanks for a really great post! I too think, that problem solving and asking questions are really important skills.

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    1. Thank you. Asking questions I think is one of the harder ones. It seems so easy, but all too often we get tangled up in our own insecurities. We don't want to feel stupid or we don't know exactly what to ask, so we sit back and hope someone else will ask.

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  16. This is a great post, something I never really thought of. And I agree with them all, especially the asking questions, problem solving and the compassion.

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    1. Thank you. The more questions we ask the better we will get at formulating those questions and the better we will get at problem solving.

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  17. Dealing with change is one of the biggest problems in America right now IMHO. There are a lot of people who never learned how to "roll with the punches" when they were younger, so they suffer in their adult lives because they are resistant to change.

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    1. I agree, our society does seem to be very resistant to change. We tend to get in the group think mode.

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  18. You definitely covered the biggies here. It's a good thing we can ease into the independence, isn't it? It's hard to let go even though we must.

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  19. great article, compassion is something I am very strong to encourage as a mom of 2 special needs my main goal is to open others eyes tot he thought that everyone should be treated with the utmost respect.

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    1. Thank you for this comment, that is huge! If we don't have compassion, it doesn't really matter what else we may have.

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  20. What an awesome post! And I totally agree that we need to keep ourselves from trying to resolve our children's problems for them...and everything you mentioned here truly would bring a child into a very independent and dependable person.

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  21. While all of these skills are important, #1 on my list is learning how to solve problems - which incorporates many of the other skills on the list. If they know how to solve problems, they ask questions, know how to take care of themselves and deal with change.

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    1. That is a good point. My list above is in no particular order.

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  22. Good skills~sharing is also right up there, and for our family having a strong belief system also works.

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    1. I agree. This list is by no means comprehensive. I was just trying to touch on some of the biggies I have either struggled with myself or encountered.

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  23. Great list! Since these aren't specifically taught in the classroom, it is us to us as parents to ensure we develop these qualities

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  24. This is a good post. The lesssons you listed here are important things we must teach our children because they will improve quality of life and ability to make it independently in his world.

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  25. Compassion is an excellent quality. If a child has that it says quite a bit about them and the parents that helped teach those values.

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    1. Yes it is. It is always very refreshing when you come across a child or young adult that truly has compassion.

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  26. Great tips,I wish all parents work on these skills,there will be so many less problems for them and for their kids in the future

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  27. I am quilty of trying to solve all of my kids problems. I have had to stop myself several times and when they have an issue at work at least the one that is still a minor calls me and tries to get me to fix it for them.. and that is when I realized that I solve my own issues and my kids can barely solve a minor problem and they get stuck and don't know how to step back and think about the situation and find some way to fix it them selves.. It may be too late to teach this to my kids with out just throwing them out the world and saying figure it out your self but I have a 6 year old, a 1 year old and a soon to be new born and I wont be doing that with these kids.. Mom is there for the really huge problems but for the small ones.. sorry you have to try your self and then we will talk about how you fixed it.. Thank You for this post.. you hit everything right on the money.. and these are all skills that children need to become amazing productive adults..

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    1. I think that is the hardest one for all us moms. :) We hate to see our kids struggle. Hang in there. As for your older kids, just encourage them that they can handle it. Maybe try to help them look at the situation from different perspectives, but don't give them the answers. It's hard I know. I have five of my own and I struggle with this too. I constantly have to remind myself not to intervene. When they come to me, my first instinct is to make it all better. But my job as mom is to help them learn how to handle the situation, not make it go away.

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  28. Great post and awesome tips. I would also add the ability to think for themselves. That starts with parents being okay with their child having an option different than their own.

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    1. Yes, that is a good one! Group think can be very dangerous.

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  29. Great points. I completely agree with you. I was very much like this as a kid and I went all the way through law school and became an attorney.

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  30. Great list! Independence is a hard thing for parents to give their children but it's so important. Otherwise, they end up in such a difficult position as a young adult.

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  31. Great tips! I am going to forward this to my daughter to read. Lot's of good things for her to hear and think about for her children.

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  32. These are such wonderful tips! I would also add believe in yourself. I think so many kids second guess themselves based on what friends think, and I think its important to know your own mind and be comfortable with your own decisions.

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  33. I love all of these! I definitely agree that every child needs to have these skills.

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  34. wonderful posts and I will keep it handy to check often to ensure my kids know these skills, so important these days. The picture is too cute..LOVE it..I also have my homework, it's not always easy for mom to step away and let THEM solve their own issues.. YUP...

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  35. This is a fantastic post full of great information. I think it is easy to forget the important lessons that kids need to learn as they grow up.

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  36. In the time that I have spent working with kids of all ages, I think problem solving is the one I see them struggle with more. Most of the time I see kids looking to adults and expecting things to be taken care of after a complaint rather than trying themselves or seeing approval for an idea.

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  37. Dealing with change is a huge problem with my oldest so I will be working on that one the most!. Thanks for a great post!

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  38. All great ideas! Definitely want to instill these in my daughter!

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