Meeting the challenges of everyday life involves an understanding of the importance of life skills. Some believe a particular set of life skills is more critical than others. That’s why life skills lists are diverse and broad.
You’ll find that it’s beneficial to develop life skills consistently. In doing so, you’ll transform your future for the better. The main reason is that, when you understand the importance of life skills, they bring out the best in you. That boils down to learning, living, and working better.
We’re looking at how developing life skills is critical for students. When students transition from school routines into the modern world, they need tools. Those tools are the life skills they’ll use to make their way through everyday challenges.
Why Do Students Need to Learn Life Skills?
In one moment, you’re helping your child manage their homework assignments. In the next moment, they’re receiving their high school diploma. The time goes by fast and, unless you start preparing them now, they won’t have a handle on the life skills they’ll need.
Graduating high school is a milestone moment for students and their parents. It marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new one. Helping them achieve their goals once school ends require teaching them some valuable life skills.
Students will achieve more and experience more success when they understand the importance of life skills. You’re loading their toolboxes with what they need to move forward and experience fewer challenges. We’re not talking about what a teacher includes on a standard curriculum. Instead, you’re working with your child to improve the quality of their life.
You’ll find that many of the life skills children impart occur while they’re growing up. It’s an unconscious thing that helps build them up to be the person they are today. Other life skills require an application, practice, and work for children to learn.
The Importance of Life Skills When Developing Relationships
Your child will encounter a broad range of relationship opportunities when they graduate from college. These include, but are not limited to with:
- College professors
- Their dorm mate
- New employers
- New friendships
Building and developing personal and professional relationships require constant attention. Some relationships come with unique sets of challenges. Your child must learn how to handle them so that they can foster beneficial and healthy relationships.
Developing relationships requires a particular set of skills, including:
Building Financial Literacy Life Skills
The importance of life skills bridges many gaps, including building financial literacy skills. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough attention given to this life skill. Students need it when graduating high school and moving on.
According to a survey compiled by the Council for Economic Education, twenty-one states require every high school student to take at least one financial literacy course. In a report published by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, many students are transitioning into adulthood without first developing financial behaviors, knowledge, and skills necessary for creating a healthy financial future. So, there’s no question regarding the need.
Developing financial literacy skills require the following skills:
- Good financial record-keeping
- Knowing tax preparation
- Understanding credit
How Life Skills Relate to Renter’s Rights
As soon as a renter signs an agreement, contract, or lease, they see any number of things could go wrong. However, a student moving into their first apartment might not be privy to this information. Students must be fully aware of their renter rights and responsibilities before moving into their first apartment.
Some students believe they can move into an apartment, and everything will be fine. When they don’t know their rights and responsibilities, they’re leaving themselves vulnerable. That’s where the importance of life skills comes into play and offers them a layer of protection.
Understanding a renter’s rights involves the following skills:
- Apartment inspections
- Budget-friendly furniture choices
- Emergency procedures
- Obtaining renter’s insurance
- Knowing the legal obligations and protection renters have
- Understanding leases and guidelines
The Importance of Life Skills in the Home
Leaving home doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to fall in love with cleaning, cooking, and home maintenance. However, that doesn’t mean these skills are essential to learn and practice. No matter if your child is moving into a dorm room or apartment, they’ll need these life skills.
Learning life skills that relate to the home means your child is keeping their living spaces healthy and saving money. This life skill extends beyond that of being a renter and into homeownership. That might be a goal for your child, and, eventually, they’ll need to know how to handle that responsibility.
Your child will need the following skills to maintain their home:
- Cleaning and cooking
- Financial obligations to renting or homeownership
- Gardening or lot maintenance
- Household upkeep and maintenance
- Legal obligations to homeownership
The Importance of Life Skills Socially
No matter who you are, the need to interact with others is a necessity. Sometimes, these interactions are a requirement. You’ll spend time socializing during work, in college, or at the grocery store.
Having adequate social skills means you can talk to and relate to others. You’ll find this life skill particularly beneficial during life changes or challenges. For example, if you want a promotion or if an emergency is occurring.
Developing social life skills involves the following:
- Awareness of non-verbal communication and body language
- Confidence and self-esteem
- Effective communication
- Interactions with authority figures, including emergency personnel and the police
- Protecting personal boundaries
- Taking care of others, as well as yourself, in public places
- Respecting the boundaries of others
Developing Effective Job Hunting Skills
Having job hunting life skills should top everyone’s list of priorities. You’ll find this is especially true for students who are graduating and entering the workforce. They’ll be using the term “job hunting” a lot.
During an average person’s lifetime, it isn’t uncommon for them to experience between five and six career changes. According to a report entitled Mind the Workplace released by the FAAS Foundation, 71% of workers are actively seeking or thinking about getting a new job.
That means, due to this kind of turnover, students must adapt to the ever-changing demands and evolution of the career world. They must understand that these changes are part of the norm. That involves students keeping up and adapting to these new trends.
Developing job hunting skills requires the following:
- Communication and time management
- Interviewing and sourcing new opportunities
- Portfolio building
- Problem-solving and goal setting
- Resume formatting and updating
- Social media interactions and professionalism
The Importance of Life Skills for Health and Wellness
Understanding the importance of life skills and how it relates to health and wellness is critical. Unless you’re healthy, it’s meaningless to experience financial stability and success. If you’re not fit, you don’t have anything. That means your health is your real wealth.
You’ll enjoy life more when you’re healthy. Those who are healthy are adaptable, resilient, and can handle the challenges life throws at them. Being healthy also means you can approach or pursue new opportunities with efficiency and enthusiasm. The cornerstones of success are health and wellness.
The following are necessary for developing health and wellness life skills:
- Balancing work and life
- Exercise, hygiene, nutrition, and rest
- Disease prevention
- Emotional and mental health
- First aid knowledge
- Hobbies and creative pursuits
- Meditation and positive visualization
The Importance of Life Skills Education
In high school, that’s the best time for students to learn about and implement the importance of life skills. Sometimes, this life skills training is under the umbrella of a home economics class. The lessons they learn in classes like that are some of the most important they’ll ever experience.
Unfortunately, high school budgets are forcing schools to eliminate life skills or home economic classes. In doing so, schools are focusing their budgets on core courses that include English, math, and science. However, students benefit from life skills classes because they’re learning the practical skills they need for everyday living.
You’ll also find high school courses with the title, Family and Consumer Sciences, which teaches life skills. These courses teach students about child development, financial responsibility, home management, and nutrition. As a result of these courses, students have more opportunities for leading productive and safe lives.
Why is Life Skills Training Important in High School?
Life skills classes are vital to high school education for a variety of reasons, including students learning about safety. When taking these classes, students learn about avoiding risks and why that’s important. They also learn about critical safety principles in life skills.
For example, students learn about what could happen if they make mistakes. These mistakes could include:
- Leaving wounds untreated
- Leaving a stove unattended
- Leaving young children unattended
- What happens when you mix grease with water?
- What causes and happens during household fires?
When students can embrace the life skills they learn in these classes, practice them, and implement them, they’re preventing illness or serious injuries. Students also learn about CPR and first aid, which are life-saving skills they’ll need.
What Else Can Students Learn in a Life Skills Class?
Nutrition is a significant part of the life skills classes. They learn about its importance, as well as the health risks and medical concerns they might encounter due to lack of nutrition. These health and medical concerns also occur when there’s a lack of exercise and unhealthy eating patterns.
For example, if a student takes a life skills course in food preparation, they learn about healthy food options. They also learn about the food groups, how to prepare healthy food and strategies for smart food shopping. During this course, students learn how to make and cook healthy, nutritious, and tasty meals.
Do These Classes Teach Students How to be a Smart Consumer?
Beyond that of teaching students how to manage healthy eating habits, life skills classes also teach them about how to be a responsible consumer. That involves education surrounding how to balance a checkbook, create a budget, participate in interviews, and pay bills.
Being a responsible consumer also involves exercising fiscal and personal responsibility. Those life skills lessons extend to education, focusing on interpersonal skills and behaviors, as well as personal development. Students walk away as good decision-makers, which is beneficial in the home and at work.
How Education in Life Skills Help Students Succeed Personally
When students take life skills classes in high school, it better prepares them for working with others in their community. After graduation, many students attend college. That means they’re sharing dorms or living in residence halls with their peers. If they enter the military, they’ll share barracks with others. Others will move into apartments with friends or family.
Obtaining the necessary life skills during a class helps students understand their responsibilities when moving out of their parent’s homes. They’ll know that they play a part in doing chores and performing other duties. These classes help them learn how to share responsibilities with their roommates. These responsibilities include cleaning, cooking, organizing, paying bills, and shopping.
Students Might Become Future Parents
Another advantage of life skills during a student’s high school years in preparation for parenthood. Some students have plans to become parents later in life, like after graduating from college, for example. Other students know they don’t want to be parents, but that choice could change in their future.
Taking family and life skills classes help students understand some of what they can expect. These foundational classes give students the building blocks they need to implement responsible and practical parenting skills. As a result, students walk away knowing they’ve prepared for addressing the basic needs of a child.
These classes also touch on topics students need to understand when parenting, including:
- Car safety
- Childhood nutrition
- Home safety
- Infant care
Sometimes, when a student takes these life skills courses, it forms an interest in childcare or parenting-related career pursuits. These careers include childcare, elementary education, and youth counseling.
Are Some Life Skills More Important Than Others?
Some argue that the most vital life skills a child can have are cooking and cleaning. Others debate that understanding the importance of life skills involves financial and career literacy. Children growing up to be successful adults include several life skills.
A common problem in today’s society is children leaving homes without any life skills education. That’s why parents must be proactive during early childhood development and teach their children these skills when they’re little. In doing so, they’ll make a significant impact on their child’s future success.
Crucial Life Skill #1: Budgeting
According to Careerbuilder, up to 78% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck. Does this mean these individuals don’t have adequate budgeting skills? Some might say yes, while others blame the high cost of living compared to income levels. Despite these arguments, there’s a noticeable lack of budgeting education in schools.
So, when people don’t know how to budget, what do they do when an emergency occurs? In these situations, when they don’t have budgeting life skills, a financial crisis occurs. One of the best ways of breaking the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle is by learning how to and implementing a budget.
Crucial Life Skill #2: Cooking
Taking a cooking class from time to time is an excellent way of learning this life skill. However, wouldn’t you have preferred to learn this life skill when you were in high school, or younger? If you don’t know how to prepare or cook food, that leads to the expensive habit of eating out all the time. Many people can’t afford that habit, but it still occurs, nonetheless.
If you don’t mind living off of microwave meals and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, you can get by on those food choices. A better option is learning how to cook a hamburger, heat sauce, and boil pasta. Once you learn those basics, you’ll find cooking other meals throughout your life is much more comfortable.
Cooking doesn’t come naturally for everyone, and it requires practice. The more foundational skills you develop, the better odds you’ll have of cooking more complicated and more substantial meals. Independent living means you know this life skill and understand the principles of basic cooking.
Crucial Life Skill #3: Dish Washing
Not every apartment or home comes with a dishwasher. And, as you enter into the “real world,” you’ll find that there’s not much extra money for purchasing disposable dishes and cutlery. Therefore, learning how to wash dishes becomes a priority.
Even if you have a dishwasher, you need to understand how to load it appropriately, so everything inside comes out clean. You also have to learn the importance of soaking and rinsing dishes to avoid food sticking. Some prefer not to use a dishwasher because they believe washing dishes by hand is cheaper and quicker than using a dishwasher.
It’s overwhelming to see a sink full of dishes or when they pile up on your countertops. Sometimes, when dishes pile up too high, people decide to go out to eat instead of taking care of them. That harkens back to eating out is an expensive habit.
Crucial Life Skill #4: Laundry
When students first move out of their parent’s homes, they might bring laundry home every weekend. That’s especially true if they’re living in a dorm where doing laundry is expensive or in an off-campus apartment without facilities. However, once the laundry room closes at home, that means students must learn how to take care of this chore.
It’s easy for laundry to pile up. When you’re busy at work, school, or socially, the last thing on anyone’s mind is washing, folding, ironing, and putting away laundry. However, when you understand the importance of this life skill, you’ll ignore it less. You’ll need clean clothes when you go to work, go on job interviews, attend class, participate in social events, and run errands.
That’s why you must learn how to do laundry before leaving home. You’ll find yourself scrambling less for clean clothes. That means embracing real-life solutions for getting ahead on your washing and preventing it from becoming a problem.
Crucial Life Skill #5: Scheduling and Time Management
It’s life-changing when you know how to create a schedule and manage your time. You don’t need to carry around a bulky daily planner to put this life skill to work. Instead, you can find a solution that works best for you. Solutions include:
- Using a wall calendar if you have a light or straightforward schedule
- Picking up a daily planner that aligns with your life goals and scheduling needs
- Implementing the calendar on your phone and include setting reminders
- Taking advantage of online calendars if you need to collaborate with others
Crucial Skill #6: Meal Planning
You might be thinking that meal planning should be part of the cooking life skill. However, meal planning involves more than preparing and cooking meals. It also includes time-saving and money-saving strategies.
Making a meal plan ahead of time helps you create a shopping list from week-to-week. For example, if you plan for a month’s worth of meals, you can create weekly shopping lists. Getting into this habit saves time every week. It also prevents you from purchasing food items or other things you don’t need.
Meal planning sheets and templates are available for free all over the internet. Find one that fits your lifestyle, and then figure out what your plans are from week to week. That means looking at what events or appointments you have and then planning a meal that’s appropriate or easy to prepare.
Crucial Life Skill #7: Groceries
When you’re a child, you likely spent time in the grocery aisles with at least one of your parents. You watched them put things into a cart and, sometimes they used a list. As you grew older and started driving, your parents or other family members might have sent you to the grocery store at one point or another.
So, that may lead to you wondering why this is making it to the list of understanding the importance of life skills. Even though your parents made it look easy, that isn’t the case for everyone. For example, when students leave their homes and head to their first apartment, they might find themselves spending way too much money on groceries.
Overspending occurs when you don’t have a plan before going to the grocery store. If you walk the aisles and randomly throw things into your cart, that could end up being very expensive. That’s why it’s essential to consider writing a list of exactly what you need before leaving your house. In the long-run, that will save you money and stress.
Activities Teaching the Importance of Life Skills
Teaching someone about the importance of life skills and how to implement them doesn’t have to be boring. There are many fun ways to teach life skills that keep learners engaged and interested. For example, if you start when children are young, they can learn life skills through play.
If you’re working with groups of children, designate them into groups according to their age. That way, everyone has opportunities to learn life skills they might now know already. If they do see these life skills, activities will help them improve or reinforce them.
No matter a person’s age, they should participate in life skills activities. That way, they’re taking steps toward preparing themselves for a better and more successful life. Each time someone introduces themselves to new life skills, that help them develop into happy and well-rounded adults.
Children between ages eight and eleven can participate in life skills games about nutrition, empathy, and problem-solving. Early teens between twelve and fifteen years old benefit from life skills games, including learning about emotions and building relationships. Those who are between the ages of sixteen and eighteen can participate in life skills activities that teach them about getting a job, budgeting, and facing moral dilemmas.
The Bottom Line About the Importance of Life Skills
The goal for everyone educating children should be to help young learners and teens develop into caring and responsible adults. It doesn’t matter if these educators are parents, teachers, or youth leaders. Learning how to complete daily chores, manage money, and handle work-life are things everyone should master.
Additional skills include effective communication with colleagues, employers, and friends. These life skills should begin during early childhood development. That way, there’s plenty of time to cultivate, implement, and reinforce the importance of life skills.
One thing you’ll notice is that one life skill tends to feed off of another. For example, when you implement better communication skills, that helps prevent misunderstandings and stress. Or, critical thinking skills will help you become a better decision-maker. In doing so, you’ll cultivate empathy, which leads back to better communication skills.
Incorporating life skills into fun activities is an excellent way for educators to bridge the gap between learning and enforcing. When these activities are fun, people of all ages will love participating in them. No matter if the goal is to learn practical life skills or fine-tune what they already know, the importance of life skills leads to happier and more productive futures.