14 Sep 5 Essential Life Skills to Help Your Child Succeed
1. Focus and Self-Control
Children thrive on schedules, habits, and 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. We live in a noisy, distraction-filled world, so quiet activities like reading a book, enjoying sensory activities, or completing a puzzle together can help your child slow down and increase focus.
Thinking about another’s point of view doesn’t come naturally to most children, but it can be developed. Discuss characters’ feelings and motivations in the books you read.
Children need high-touch personal interactions every day to build healthy social-emotional skills, including the ability to understand and communicate with others. While the pace at which they develop these skills may vary, children need to learn how to “read” social cues and listen carefully. They must consider what they want to communicate and the most effective way to share it. Just talking with an interested adult can help build these skills. Spend time every day listening and responding to your child without distractions.
4. Critical Thinking
We live in a complex world in which adults are required to analyze information and make decisions about myriad things every day. One of the best ways to build critical thinking is through rich, 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 fire fighters or super heroes), building structures, playing board games, or 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 elements in building critical thinking.
5. Self-Directed, Engaged Learning
A child who loves learning becomes an adult who is rarely bored in life. 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.