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Archive for March, 2011

Developing Essential Life Skills

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Life skills are adaptive abilities to deal effectively with challenges and changing demands. They include decision-making, creative and critical thinking, stress management, interpersonal communication, and problem solving skills. Examples of practical life skills are: communicating with co-workers, financial management, self-care, maintaining health and wellness, employability, home maintenance, and managing family responsibilities.

As young students, we begin a life skills-based education in the foundational skills: reading, writing, telling time, math, creative thinking, and interacting with others effectively. However, we continue to learn and develop throughout our lives. As we become young men and women, experience and educational training help to teach the skills necessary to live a fulfilling and competent life. These skills will be necessary in all primary life areas. Many of the skills mentioned above will be essential throughout our lives. Some will be particularly important during various stages of life. Erik Erikson and Daniel Levinson identified a series of predictable life stages extending from our late teens to after retirement. These stages do not occur in a completely linear fashion. We cycle through portions of each stage throughout life; however, specific skills are dominant in each stage. The dominant skills will differ somewhat for each individual.

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