Life skills are different than educational knowledge or learning an occupational trade.
When teaching your kids certain life skills, you will most likely pass on the ones you’ve learned from your parents, as well as the ones you’ve acquired throughout your lifetime.
Most often, we don’t consciously recognize when we are teaching our child a life skill that will be useful to them throughout their life, but in essence, that’s the exact definition of parenting — teaching your child how to survive and thrive in this world.
Our children are moldable, vulnerable, and fragile hearts; we need to be ever so careful. And if we recognize that they watch us with open, curious eyes, we will teach them something, and most often, they will teach us something. This is the beauty of parenting.
- How to communicate their feelings
The communication of feelings will be one of the most essential life skills to teach your children. Not only will it help them emotionally thrive, but they also won’t feel unprepared in the wake of negative feelings.
When children are ill-prepared in what to do with their emotions, it can lead to anxiety, depression, and other emotional problems during adolescence and adulthood.
The beautiful thing is, the best way to do this is through modeling it yourself, as well as being the nonjudgmental space they go to when they feel frustrated or angry.
- How to handle rejection or failure
Failure and rejection are quite possibly the most often and unfortunate things that happen in our lives — all the more reason to help your child understand what to do when faced with them.
In every situation you can, let them see you fail, but also what you do with failure. Apologize when you wrong them — this shows them you’re imperfect just like them. Tell them when you apply for a job and get rejected. If they come home from school sad about being rejected by their friends, tell them about how everyone will experience rejection and that it’s normal occurrence of life.
Counter their rejection by showing empathy when they come to you with feelings of doubt, sadness, and confusion. Tell them that rejection or failure doesn’t define them, but rather what they do with it.
- Show respect to everyone
This one most reveals itself through example. When we show respect to those around us, especially our family, our children will notice.
- How to apologize
Apologizing to someone you wronged is the most humbling and challenging life skill to learn. Our human nature is infiltrated with selfishness from the moment we are born. We are needy, and in our need, we forget one another.
We forget that our actions can cause others pain. But that’s where you have to be careful. Let them know it’s okay to fail and make a mistake. But owning up to it is where this life skill can make or break a person.
- How to know their own limits
When your kid has a bad attitude, there is usually a reason. Perhaps they are tired, overwhelmed, or something bad happened at school.
This is why it’s so important to teach them about knowing their own limits — when they should rest, or do something for themselves.
Teach them self-care, how to say no to others, how to have boundaries, but at the same time not be selfish. That’s a thin line to walk, and one that we adults aren’t so good at.
But a child who knows his limits will be emotionally and mentally healthier than one who doesn’t know what to do when he feels overwhelmed or anxious.
And remember, in all you teach your children, do it in LOVE.