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Life Skills – Why They Are Important

Life skills are the capabilities we need to effectively manage everyday challenges, whether at work or school, or even in our personal lives. Life skills are usually taught by parents, either directly by teaching the child a certain skill, or indirectly through the child’s own the observation and experience.

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. Although a definitive list of life skills has yet to be completed by educators, employers and governments, below are the major concepts they are working around:

Adaptability
Given the high rate of change in this world, the ability to adapt is crucial to success. Students must learn to quickly examine what’s going on around them and adjust instantly–all while staying focused on their goals.
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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 must learn to set goals for themselves, build a path toward those goals, and get their plans in motion.
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Interpersonal Skills
Human beings are born to be social creatures, always seeking tribes where they can belong. With technology, people can easily belong to different tribes–friends on Facebook, coworkers at the office, students in school, etc. In these environments, social skills are crucial. And with these environments becoming increasingly collaborative, so is the importance of social skills.

Productivity
The American worker reached an all-time high during the last recession. Evidently, the ones who kept their jobs did that partly because they produced more than what was necessary 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 have initiative and good social skills, and are productive and flexible. 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 could be a suite of life skills taught to a person or inherent in him. Educating a person in such skills can be done in line with educating parents to become better adults for their children.