Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still. (Chinese Proverb).
– Desiree Panlilio
There are many ways to define life skills, but as a life coach working with teens, a few specific skills always come to the surface. Actually, these are skills that are in a constant state of growth and refinement throughout our life. Teenagers are just beginning to discover their strengths and areas that they need to develop; life skills are often a grouping of skills our teens are trying to develop and utilize to their benefit.
Time management is the skill of organizing and planning how to divide your time between specific activities. Good time management enables your teen to work smarter and not harder. One of the activities I have teens do is to track where they spend their time. I have them track their time on homework, social media, extracurriculars and work. To start to develop a way to manage your time, the first thing your teen needs to know is where they spend their time. From this information a personalized time management plan can be created.
Organizational skills. Everything in its place so you know where to find homework, assignments, or sports gear. Simply a way to design and maintain systems for keeping track of information or materials. Often a planner and calendar works to help create organization for your teen, but the type of planner and how they utilize it becomes specific to the needs of each teenager.
Communication skills. A skill set I believe we are all continually building and refining. Much more than understanding language, reading, writing, and speaking, communicating is the skill of determining what one wants to communicate and realizing how it will be understood by others. Communication skills involve developing empathy, listening with curiosity and with the intent to understand and be understood. Teaching communication skills becomes a personalized plan with each teenager. However, one of my favorite discussions on perspective and perception is by looking at the book Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. The opportunity to discuss perspective, empathy, and the need to be understood is easily discussed in the context of the book.
Life skills are an area that, as a teen life coach, I often work with teenagers on developing. It is only by understanding where your teen is that you can help your teen to develop the life skills that will help your teen to create the success your teen wants to have.