Most of my friends told me that they enrolled kids for Life Skills class at the behest of the school teacher. And the rest of them asked me astonishingly, ‘Life Skills! What’s that”. None of us knows what Life Skills training actually means.
Life Skills are the skills we require to deal with the challenges we face every day in school, office, family, society, etc. There is no specific list of life skills. Depending on your age, work, environment, you require certain life skills to survive and succeed. Any skill that makes us better equipped to effectively carry out our work can be called as Life Skills.
After talking to many parents and Life Skills experts, I find that there is lack of awareness, and confusion, about what to expect from Life Skills Classes. When we send the children for Life Skills classes we expect there will a complete metamorphosis and our kid evolves to become a smart Leader; a leader, who always comes first and outsmarts everyone around them.
We want the kid to be an all-rounder both are academic and co-curricular. We rate the kid and compare them with other bright students to find out what else is required to perfect our kid’s future. We involve the kid in different activities to make them perfect -music, dance, song, sport, abacus, cookery, personality development classes.
In the recently released movie ‘Martian’, an astronaut was accidentally left behind in mars. He grows potatoes, to survive, using the skills he acquired during his training as a Botanist. He survives and comes back to earth. We cannot train our kids to grow potatoes in space, at least we can equip them to expect the unexpected in life.
We learn many of the problem solving and thinking life skills from our family like computer operation, cooking, tying a shoelace, etc. As kids grow up they require various skills to survive in the schools, university, family, office, etc. They have to sharpen their study skills, negotiation skills, presentation skills, time management skills, organising skills, conflict resolution skills, problem-solving skills, etc. These and many other life skills are acquired through life skills training.
Why are life skills important?
The changing global economic scenario and advancement in technology has greatly impacted the education system, workplace environment and lifestyle. The modern-day students need to acquire new skills to equip themselves to deal with the stress and pressure. They need to be flexible and learn to work under pressure as they will have to do many different and new kinds of jobs in their lifetime. Life skills are not only beneficial to the individual but also the workplace and the community.
How the community gains?
Today’s world has become a single entity. Life skills help to communicate as easily with the international counterparts as they do with their native friends. They gain the skills to respect and adjust with diverse cultures and develop negotiation skills.
How the individual gains?
As an individual, they learn to take responsibilities. They also gain out of the box thinking and problem-solving skills. They shed the inhibition to speak and learn to work as a team.
Employers not only look for academic excellence but also other skills like people and time management skills. The employers search for candidates who can understand the business environment and adapt to different roles.
Most parents are dissatisfied with the outcome of Life skills training. There is certainly a communication gap between the life skills training classes and the expectation of the parents. Only an expert can provide an answer.
Once a parent told about her ward like this: “My son was very bright from childhood and scored 100 percentile in every subject. He was good at elocution and essay writing. But in college, he performed badly. He blamed me saying I destroyed his childhood by not allowing him to play with other kids”.
Bringing up kids is not an easy job anymore. Our experiments on kids can cost them their career. It is always advisable to consult an expert. If you have any queries or doubts regarding life skills please write to firstname.lastname@example.org. A seasoned life skills trainer, who gives training in renowned universities in the U.K. will provide the answers.