Parents have many opportunities throughout any day to model positive behavior, either through the observation or experience of their child. Therefore, empowering your child to succeed remains a delicate, ongoing process in Hot Ground Gym. While there are many life skills to teach kids, most fall within these eight skill sets.
In 2013, Psychology professor Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth gave a famous TED Talk explaining how grit is a significant predictor of success. It’s conventionally defined as an individual’s perseverance of effort combined with the passion for a particular long-term goal or end state.
Independent of talent and intelligence, grit is a driver of achievement and success. Cultivating this trait is especially important to help your child succeed in a social media world that rewards instant gratification.
2. Focus and Self-Control
Children feel more confident and secure when their daily activities are predictable and familiar. A consistent schedule helps teach kids life skills like focus and self-control because they have a dedicated time set aside to achieve a certain goal or task without distraction.
Research suggests positive reinforcement is most effective in developing self-control and can be extremely motivating for kids. For instance, rewarding them for completing household chores will encourage them to keep their rooms and living environment neat and tidy.
3. Communication and Team Building
If you wonder how to teach your child life skills like teamwork, the trick is to start at home. Every time a kid works within a team, they have the opportunity to build positive relationships, and it needn’t be a massive undertaking.
For instance, it can be as simple as the family working together to clear the dishes after dinner. Through teamwork, children learn to listen, communicate and work with others to achieve a common goal. Additionally, team building teaches kids how to respectfully and confidently express their ideas in a group setting.
The ability to perceive or understand another person’s view besides their own is one of the most important life skills kids need to learn to develop empathy and navigate diversity. Enrolling them in extracurricular activities with other kids, like our classes at Hot Ground Gym, takes them out of their comfort zone and forces them to make new friends.
Other ways to encourage perspective-taking include introducing them to literature with characters different from themselves, which can easily be introduced from a young age.
5. Making Connections
Life skills for kids, like learning how to make connections, play an important role in developing cognitive flexibility. Mastering connection-making helps them make meaning of the world around them through asking questions, visualizing, predicting, inferring, determining importance, and synthesizing.
Kids learn to make connections from an early age when they’re taught to sort out toys, for instance. This also extends to literacy comprehension, where they develop text-to-self connections, text-to-text connections, and text-to-world connections.
6. Taking on Challenges
Challenges are a normal part of life that builds healthy self-esteem. When they are overcome, children tend to feel confident about themselves and believe themselves to be capable and worthy.
Parents can’t control every life challenge their children face, but they can guide them towards tackling those that constructively build character. Figuring out what motivates your child to succeed and challenging to do so is a surefire way to build confidence. For instance, doing well academically, making a sports team, or partaking in fun obstacle courses.
7. Critical Thinking
On the list of skills, every child will need to succeed in the 21st century, critical thinking can’t be overlooked. The ability to reason rationally and clearly fosters independence, enhances creativity, and encourages curiosity.
Kids learning life skills such as critical thinking never take things at face value and develop their ability to navigate and make important life decisions. Furthermore, research conducted in the U.S. found 93% of employers believe a candidate's capacity to “think critically and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major.”
8. Self-Directed Learning
Self-directed learning provides kids with the opportunity to teach themselves the essential skill — becoming lifelong learners! Of all the life skills to teach your child, self-directed learning educates kids on how to learn rather than what to learn. It incorporates life skills kids need like self-management, socializing, and communication, which is necessary for a plethora of contexts and learning situations outside of school, and in adult life.
Life skills help kids reach their potential. In the end, it’s not about perfection but equipping your kids with emotional, psychological, and social tools to help them become healthy, self-sufficient adults. Well-informed individuals have a strong sense of personal awareness and responsibility for both themselves and their community.
At Hot Ground Gym, we know what kids need to succeed. Not only do our after-school life skills classes for kids keep them fit and entertained, but they also build strong character. Suitable for grades K-8, our classes include obstacle course training and fun team-building activities. Why not let your kid try a free trial class?