Before we discuss these life skills, let me give you some background: the usual “4 hours of schooling” concept never really excited me. I wanted my kid to learn the skills and the tools he needed to survive in the real world. Education is extremely important, but it is still limited to four walls. As a parent, it was my responsibility to plan effective teaching for my son. School serves best in providing academic skills, but it was time that I teach my son actual life skills.
The 21st century demands a competitive mind, and we must teach children the required skills from an early age. I was clueless about how to do so until the below-mentioned ideas saved me. I adopted the techniques and received truly worthy results. As parents, we must realize the importance of skillful learning and social awareness in our children.
Barriers to Learning in Schools
- Schools provide an education that is limited to four walls. Students learn academic skills but not life skills. Introduction to skillful training in kids lets them explore ideas. It gives them an opportunity to identify their interests.
- Peers pressure kids. Students choose a field based on the opinions of others. They realize this at a later stage. It leaves no scope of improvement then. Students then feel like starting from scratch, but it gets too late. This mostly happens when students are just left for schooling. As a result, they do not get skillful teaching.
- Some parents cannot afford high fees for schools. In such cases, skillful training is helpful. Economic crises should not hinder a kid’s learning. With skillful learning, students can learn life skills. They need not complete their schooling for it.
- Students learn to handle real-life situations. They learn to come out of fiction in books. Kids also learn to address local community issues.
- Considering the population, skillful training is a must for young learners. It is important that parents teach them from an early age. It not only shapes the young mind but also the nation.
- After completing graduation, students still find it difficult to have a job. This happens because of the lack of skills in them. Schooling rarely delivers skillful training and life skills to students.
20 Life Skills Not Taught in School
- Survival skills- Often, schooling misses out on the important lessons of life. Children learn lessons that are limited to books. They know about fishes in the water, but they don’t know how to fish. They learn about the oceans and rivers, but they don’t know how to swim. Parents spend huge money on schooling for academics, but they do not teach kids life survival skills.
- Here are a few questions that as a parent we need to ask ourselves:
- Does our child know how to use a first aid box?
- Can our children follow a GPS to find their way when they are lost?
- Does our kid know how to correctly use technology?
- Can our children stop themselves from bleeding over a cut?
- Household maintenance – This may not be important initially but it definitely will be later. After graduating from college, students might live alone for work. What if they do not know basic house repairs? It is not workable to call upon an expert always. Instead of relying on others, learning these skills can make life simpler.
- Basic cooking – It is important to learn to cook once the students finish elementary school. They must start from the basics to advance by the time they reach college.
- Time management – Learning to stay organized is very important. Even in schools, students need to learn time management. At the time of maintaining a career, this skill will be helpful. Lack of proper management will cause workload and stress.
- The importance of failing – Children who always get appreciated for success do not get to learn something new. Parents and teachers must explain the art of failing to students. Rather than punishing, we must teach students the lessons learned from failing.
- Identifying life interests– Parents must ask questions to their children about their life, their dreams, and who they want to be. These questions help children to know the purpose of their lives and what they want to get out of it.
- Some questions can be:
- How can you better embrace yourself and what you love?
- How well would you be in saving the world? What would you do?
- If someone threatens you with violence, what would you do?
- What is one thing you wish to do in your life?
- How would you feel if your best friends weren't your best friends anymore?
- Focus – According to a study, students can multitask, but it leaves no guarantee of the tasks done perfectly. Multitasking means paying attention to all tasks simultaneously. To develop a sense of focus in children, teachers must teach them to do a single task well. Then, children develop listening skills and hence focus. This practice is better than multitasking.
- Coding – This is an important skill that students must possess. The era of technology demands this skill in them. Understanding digital skills will be beneficial for kids. Not knowing how to code can be fatal, as we live in a world and a generation amongst programmers. So, it is important that our kids learn to code. Schools might provide coding as only an optional subject, though, so this might take away opportunities from a few students. Although authorities should make digital class compulsory in schools, we cannot guarantee this. So, as parents, we must ensure digital learning for our kids.
- Emotional intelligence – We teach students about staying physically fit, but we often forget teaching them about mental fitness. There truly is an inner world within us. To raise healthier generations, we need to educate kids about mental health. Students must know how to manage anger, anxiety, stress, and depression. Without this, children's lives may lead down a path of detrimental consequences.
- Negotiation strengths– Unless kids take part in a debate, they never learn the power of negotiation. This quality will help students in almost every profession. Whether personal, academic, or professional, negotiation and debate are vital to get anything or convince anyone.
- Communication skills– This is an essential quality. However, the world is slowly moving towards silent communication, where kids engage themselves in social sites, communicating with people there. This, though, may hinder the ability of children to communicate in reality at school or at home. Many times, schools also do not teach this skill.
- Relationship counseling– Most skills or behaviors need training, such as getting a driver’s license, counseling on breastfeeding, and more. However, the most important things lack counseling. Marriage and relationships which affect every sector of our lives remain uncounselled. So, kids should be able to learn this thing at home. Parents sometimes take it as an embarrassment, but it should be content for learning for kids so that they are able to improve their mental health, emotional awareness, and interaction with others.
- Financial management– It is a skill that everyone should know, and we must provide kids with basic examples of this. Starting this at an early age will be helpful in the long run. It is truly an art to budget things, and making proper financial decisions is very crucial. However, this area might need some expert guidance, as most parents are themselves not trained in this.
- Student loans– Most parents do not understand the concept of interest rates or student loans, but it is most crucial in kids and their path to college. Hence, we must train kids in this from an early age. Basic examples would be a great start.
- Digital etiquette– It is important to teach kids technical etiquette. Kids must be fluent with gadgets but in a positive sense. Parents must fulfill the job of a teacher in this case. Sometimes kids spend time with gadgets in a negative way, but they can use the Internet positively. For example, kids can learn online coding.
- Public speaking– Getting command of the audience is very important for any profession or activity in life. Unfortunately, schools do not provide this skill. A student can only be a true leader in their sector or job only when they can inspire people with their words. To master this skill, children need to address the audience.
- Leadership– Machines may control our work in some ways, but to run the machine, you need laborers. To keep the laborers in proper sync, you need leadership qualities. Even to run a business or organization, you need to have the skill. We must encourage children to volunteer for small projects or events, as consistent participation will develop this skill in them.
- Learning values- Schools today do not teach these values to children, such as respect, understanding, and cooperation. As the culture somewhat disappears from kids, they forget about these vital values for learning and interacting. Again, these are the values that a student must possess for industry, yet are lacking in them.
- Critical thinking- Students may graduate with a college degree but lack critical thinking. To be successful in life and in their profession, students need logical thinking. The mere syllabus of schooling does not provide this and students are unable to handle real-life situations. We should make this logical and necessary learning for our kids.
- Creative thinking– Creative thinking holds real value in life — it is the trait of leaders, of innovators, of entrepreneurs, and of creators. Schools completely underrate this skill, but they consider it essential for survival. When kids face a challenging problem or attempt to create something new, this is when this skill might apply.
Before we implement these 20 life skills that they don't teach kids at school with our kids, it is our duty to learn these skills first. I knew some ideas, but the only true way to teach my kid all of this was to learn them myself first. Then, I could become confident in teaching and training training my kid. I suggest all the parents take this step in their lives as well and teach their children the real values of life. Here are some real life projects our students have done: showcase.
Find a community. Learn from professional educators and therapists. Discover the tools you need.
Learn more about the Winning Words Project, our mission of mindfulness & self-awareness, and what it means for you!