Teach Life Skills

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines life skills as “the ability for positive and adaptive behavior that enables a person to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of every day life.” 

 

HOME STRATEGIES

1.  Nurture the development of self-care skills.

  • Teach your child what self-care is by providing examples of self-care behaviors and strategies such as taking a walk when feeling stressed.
  • Notice and nuture your child’s efforts toward self-care.
  • Support your child’s increasing independence. 

2.  Foster a sense of personal responsibility for actions and choices.

  • Promote and nurture honesty as a guiding value.
  • Encourage your child to admit and learn from their mistakes and wrongdoings.
          ◊ Facilitate a de-briefing time in which your child can reflect on situations and engage in problem-solving strategies.
  • Encourage children’s use of I-statements.  Model this skill for your children.
          ◊ Adult to child example: “I feel overwhelmed by this messy house and would feel more relieved if you could help me by putting away your laundry”  or “I worry a lot about you when you come home after your curfew.”   

3.  Encourage development of healthy decision-making skills.

  • Support your child in understanding the choices available to them and the pros and cons of each.  
  • Engage children in reflecting on past decisions and behaviors from which they can learn/grow.
  • Prompt children to engage in future-oriented thinking regarding making healthy decisions.
  • Offer opportunities for children to make decisions independently.

 

SCHOOL STRATEGIES

1.  Nurture the development of self-care skills.

  • Teach students about self-care skills.
          ◊ Encourage students to share examples of self-care behaviors and strategies with each other.  
          ◊ Invite the school nurse, a mental health professional, and/or a school counselor into your classroom to discuss self-care strategies and promote self-care behaviors.
  • Notice and nurture students’ self-soothing strategies and skills.

2.  Foster a sense of personal responsibility for actions and choices.

  • Promote and nurture honesty as a guiding value.
  • Encourage your students to admit and learn from their mistakes and wrongdoings.
          ◊ Facilitate a de-briefing time in which your students can reflect on situations and engage in problem-solving strategies.
  • Encourage students’ use of I-statements. 
          ◊ Teacher to student example: “I worry about you when you don’t attend my class.”

3.  Encourage development of healthy decision-making skills.

  • Support your student in understanding the choices available to them and the pros and cons of each.  
  • Engage students in reflecting on past decisions and behaviors from which they can learn/grow.
  • Prompt students to engage in future-oriented thinking regarding making healthy decisions.
  • Offer opportunities for students to make decisions independently.
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