How to Teach Life Skills & Foundations in Children

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Teaching life skills can be a rewarding experience.

Teaching children life skills helps them understand the world around them and learn how to interact in that world. When taught properly, it prepares children to problem solve, establish a good work ethic, give feedback and learn how to show respect for others. Susan Jindrich, the author of "How do Children Develop?", says "You can interact with your child in ways that encourage cooperative behavior and respect for the rights of others." Parents and educators can teach life skills to children by making it a meaningful experience.

Things You'll Need

  • Personal computer
  • Internet access
  • Notebook paper
  • Index cards
  • Pens
  • Pencils
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  1. Prepare a Plan

    • 1

      Research and gather practical material on life skills training, preferably from books that focus on children. There are a number of references available that discuss how to teach children life skills and offer advice and techniques. Consider reading "Life Skills for Kids: Equipping Your Child for the Real World," by Christine Field.

    • 2

      Create a list of the life skills you would like to teach. Consider teaching children the basics: being polite, performing chores at home and how to have respect for others.

    • 3

      Write down three discussion questions on a piece of paper. This will serve as your teaching framework. Think about the outcome you are interested in accomplishing and focus on that. Here's an example of a discussion question: "You found a wallet with a picture ID in it, is it okay to keep the wallet? Why or why not?"

    • 4

      Create index cards with life skill terms written on them. Write a different life skill term on each, including budget, safety, chores, respect and employment.


    • 5

      Explain to children the definition of a life skill. Use a statement that is inspiring and less complicated. Inform them that life skills are things that adults do each day. An example statement could be: "Life skills will teach you how to do your chores properly, have respect for other people and avoid fights."

    • 6

      Hand children a pencil and piece of paper. Read the terms on the index cards out loud and instruct children to write down their thoughts. Encourage honesty and inform them there is no right or wrong answer. If the children have not developed writing skills, make this activity verbal. Ask questions and wait for a reply.

    • 7

      Use the discussion questions to explore different life skill topics. Be prepared to explain why a certain life skill has importance.

    • 8

      Practice giving the children tasks that develop the life skill they learned. This will also help you determine their level of understanding. For example, instead of just assigning chores, ask them to have the chore completed by a certain date and time.

Tips & Warnings

  • Narrow down your topics. There are many life skills to teach children.

  • Avoid teaching too many life skills at one time. This can confuse children. Focus on two or three.

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  • Photo Credit flowers and princess image by anna karwowska from

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