Life skills

Life skills

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Life skills are problem solving behaviors used appropriately and responsibly in the management of personal affairs. They are a set of human skills acquired via teaching
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 or direct experience that are used to handle problems and questions commonly encountered in daily human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

 life. The subject varies greatly depending on societal norms and community expectations.

For example, UNICEF states "there is no definitive list" of life skills but enumerates many "psychosocial and interpersonal skills generally considered important." It asserts life skills are a synthesis: "many skills are used simultaneously in practice. For example, decision-making often involves critical thinking ("what are my options?") and values clarification ("what is important to me?"). Ultimately, the interplay between the skills is what produces powerful behavioural outcomes, especially where this approach is supported by other strategies..."

Life skills can vary from financial literacy, substance abuse prevention, to therapeutic techniques to deal with disabilities, such as autism. Life skills curricula designed for K-12 often emphasizes communications and practical skills needed for successful independent living for developmental disabilities/special education students with an Individualized Education Program
Individualized Education Program
In the United States an Individualized Education Program, commonly referred to as an IEP, is mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act...

 (IEP). However, some programs are for general populations, such as the Overcoming Obstacles program for middle schools and high schools.

Beyond the K-12
K–12 is a designation for the sum of primary and secondary education. It is used in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand where P–12 is also commonly used...

 domain, other life skills programs are focused on social welfare and social work programs, such as Casey Life Skills. This program covers diverse topics: career planning, communication, daily living, home life, housing and money management, self care, social relationships, work and study skills, work life, pregnancy and parenting.

Life skills are often taught in the domain of parenting
Parenting is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood...

, either indirectly through the observation and experience of the child, or directly with the purpose of teaching a specific skill. Yet skills for dealing with pregnancy and parenting can be considered and taught as a set of life skills of themselves. Teaching these parenting life skills can also coincide with additional life skills development of the child. Many life skills programs are offered when traditional family structures and healthy relationships have broken down, whether due to parental lapses, divorce or due to issues with the children (such as substance abuse or other risky behavior). For example, the International Labor Organization is teaching life skills to ex-child laborers and risk children in Indonesia to help them avoid the worst forms of child labor
Child labor
Child labour refers to the employment of children at regular and sustained labour. This practice is considered exploitative by many international organizations and is illegal in many countries...


See also