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Life Skills and Why They Must Be Taught Life skills are the abilities we need to best deal with our day-to-day challenges at work, at school or in our personal lives. 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. While educators, employers and governments are still in the process of creating a definite list of life skills, the following are the core concepts they are working on: Adaptability With the rapid rate of change in today’s world, the capacity to adapt is absolutely necessary for success. Students have to learn to quickly analyze situations around them and adjust on the fly–all while keeping their goals in mind.
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Initiative The entrepreneurial spirit is anchored on initiative–the willingness to bring in a new idea and take the risk of making it come to fruition. The changing economic arena is in need of entrepreneurs. Students should learn how to define goals for themselves, create a path leading to those goals, and put their plans in action.
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Interpersonal Skills Human beings are intrinsically social, always finding tribes where they feel they belong. Technology now lets people belong in several tribes–coworkers in the office, other students at their school, Facebook friends, and so on and so forth. In the said environments, social skills are extremely important. And while these environments become more collaborative, so does the relevance of social skills. Productivity The recent recession saw the American worker’s productivity soaring to an all-time high. Apparently, those who still had their jobs were able to keep them partly because they gave more than what was required of them before. The higher productivity among workers in the U.S. means that production has increased even with fewer workers, showing that the job market is now even more competitive after the recession than while it was going on. Low-productivity workers are tagging behind. Leadership Leadership is a collection of related skills that mix all the other life skills. Good leaders are flexible and productive, take initiative and have good social skills. They can also lay down their own goals, motivate others to also work on such goals, create a group of people contributing according to their capabilities, resolve conflicts within the group, educate members to reach their objectives, help everyone fix their individual issues and enhance performance, and give credit whenever and wherever it is due. Parenting itself can consist of life skills that may be learned or come naturally to any person. Educating a person in such skills can be done in line with educating parents to become better adults for their children.

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