NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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Three More Essential Skills for Kids and Life

Essential Skills for Kids and LifePositive parenting means understanding the nature of child development and nurturing children and the skills they will need throughout their lifetime.

In addition to the four essential life skills that were shared in last week’s news column, this week I am focusing on the essential life skills of

  • Critical Thinking
  • Taking on Challenges
  • Self-directed, Engaged Learning

How can parents nurture their child and the development of these essential life skills in their child? 

Critical thinking is nurtured when parents communicate by word and deed that learning is important, valued and enjoyable.  What does that look like?  It looks like parents signing up to participate in learning opportunities.  It looks like parents asking for help, support or additional information from other people, organizations, and community assets such as libraries, NDSU Extension, and the like. 

Parents who are currently enrolled in the Love and Logic Parenting classes I am teaching are one example.  Not only are they discovering helpful and effective parenting strategies, they are also demonstrating a desire to be learners.

One way to nurture and develop the essential skill of taking on challenges is by balancing your needs as a parent with the needs of your child or children.  Another way is to recognize and celebrate your child’s strengths, abilities and capacity to learn and develop.

We can never underestimate the importance of developing the essential life skill for being self-directed and engaged in learning.  When the wick or “fuse” of being a self-directed, engaged learner is lit, there is no limit to where it can take us! 

As parents, it is important for us to recognize that parenting is a process of learning.  We can admit that it can be stressful at times, and we can practice patience with ourselves when we make mistakes, realizing that such mis-steps are a natural part of child-rearing.

For more information about child development, parenting, and family relationships, as well as upcoming parent education classes, contact me by calling 701-724-3355 or emailing cindy.klapperich@ndsu.edu.

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

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/family-baby-crawling-mother-1237701/ (downloaded 01/12/21)

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