9 Essential Skills Kids Should Learn - Zen Habits Blog

Author and Zen Habits Blog founder Leo Babauta has written an interesting post about the essential skills that children need to be happy and successful in a rapidly changing and unpredictable world - for example, asking questions and learning to be happy on their own:

1. Asking questions. What we want most for our kids, as learners, is to be able to learn on their own. To teach themselves anything. Because if they can, then we don’t need to teach them everything — whatever they need to learn in the future, they can do on their own. The first step in learning to teach yourself anything is learning to ask questions. Luckily, kids do this naturally — our hope is to simply encourage it. A great way to do this is by modeling it. When you and your child encounter something new, ask questions, and explore the possible answers with your child. When he does ask questions, reward the child instead of punishing him (you might be surprised how many adults discourage questioning).

6. Being happy on their own. Too many of us parents coddle our kids, keeping them on a leash, making them rely on our presence for happiness. When the kid grows up, he doesn’t know how to be happy. He must immediately attach to a girlfriend or friends. Failing that, they find happiness in other external things — shopping, food, video games, the Internet. But if a child learns from an early age that he can be happy by himself, playing and reading and imagining, he has one of the most valuable skills there is. Allow your kids to be alone from an early age. Give them privacy, have times (such as the evening) when parents and kids have alone time.

(Zen Habits blog is one of the Top 25 blogs and Top 50 websites in the world.)

Read the rest of the post here: http://zenhabits.net/kid-skills/

And one skill that I would add to his list is the ability to communicate, both one-on-one and to groups.

Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com