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Essential Skills for Kids and Life

Essential Skills for Kids and Life“Tell us a Ginger story,” my grandkids say to their dad.  So he launches into a story about Ginger and one of his adventures with her.  Ginger was our family’s dog during my son’s childhood, and it’s hard to tell who enjoys the story more, him or his kids. 

For me, as the mom and grandma, it’s a magical moment.  The connection of him to his kids, and they to him, and the way they hang on every word of his story is a beautiful thing to see. 

As parents, we typically want to enjoy our kids, have fun with them and build positive relationships with them to last a lifetime.  Additionally, we want them to acquire life skills that are essential to their success as capable people.

Positive parenting means understanding the nature of child development and nurturing children and the skills they will need throughout their lifetime.

One of the essential skills is the ability to make connections.  The development of that essential skill is fostered when parents delight in moments of connection with their children.  Simple as it seems, that’s exactly what was happening when my grandkids asked for a Ginger story and my son responded. 

Having focus and self-control is also an essential life skill.  Parents can nurture their child and the development of this life skill within their child by recognizing and regulating their own feelings and behaviors before responding to their children, and by providing age-appropriate guidelines and limits for the child regarding behavior.

Being able to see things from someone else’s perspective is another essential life skill.  When parents work to understand or imagine the child’s point of view, they will be nurturing the child and the development of the child’s perspective taking ability.

There’s never a time or place when effective communication isn’t essential.  By responding with sensitivity to their child’s cues, parents foster their child’s development of effective communication skills.

Next week’s column will address three other essential life skills:  critical thinking, taking on challenges, and self-directed, engaged learning. 

Source:  Zero to Three, “Positive Parenting and the Seven Essential Life Skills for Children.”

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/skills-competence-knowledge-success-3288238/  (downloaded 1/5/21)

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