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7 Life Skills to Help Your Child Succeed

Life skills go hand to hand with personal development and will help your child succeed in life. 

These seven skills will set your child for success in all aspects of life, including school, relationships, and work.

    Children thrive on routines, which not only create a feeling of security but also help children learn self-control and focus. Talk with your child about what to expect each day. Organize your home so your child knows where to put shoes, coats, and personal belongings.
    Teach your kids to think from another person’s point of view, discuss characters’ feelings and motivations in the books you read, e.g., “I wonder why the cat and the pig wouldn’t help the little red hen.” Make observations about how others are feeling, e.g., “Alex was really sad that he didn’t get a turn. I wonder what we can do to make him feel better.”
    Children need personal interactions every day to build healthy social-emotional skills and need to learn how to “read” social cues and listen carefully. Just talking with an interested adult can help build these skills.
    True learning occurs when we can see connections and patterns between seemingly disparate things. Young children begin to see connections and patterns as they sort basic household items like toys and socks. Simple acts, such as choosing clothing appropriate for the weather, helps them build connections.
    One of the best ways to build critical thinking is through open-ended play. Make sure your child has time each day to play alone or with friends. This play might include taking on roles (pretending to be firefighters or superheroes), building structures, playing board games, playing outside physical games, such as tag or hide-and-go-seek. Through play, children formulate hypotheses, take risks, try out their ideas, make mistakes, and find solutions—all essential in building critical thinking.
    One of the most important traits we can develop in life is that of resilience—being able to take on challenges, bounce back from failure, and keep trying. They learn to take on challenges when we create an environment with the right amount of structure—not so much as to be limiting, but enough to make them feel safe. Encourage your child to try new things and allow reasonable risk, such as climbing a tree or riding a bike.
    To encourage a love of learning, try to limit television, and encourage plenty of reading, play, and open-ended exploration. Model curiosity and enthusiasm for learning in your own life by visiting the library together, keeping craft supplies, making games available, and allowing for some messes at home.

Source: “Mind in The Making,” by Ellen Galinksy