4 Life Skills They Don't Teach in School

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We learn a lot in school but once we get “out there,” we discover that there are a lot of things we don’t know that we should have at least been warned about. Here's a wish list of life skills that we hope schools would teach our children. 1. How to be self-reliant As much as parents encourage their kids to hit the books, it would be wonderful for schools to teach kids how to contribute to their family and society in a practical way. When children are given chores at home, for instance, they get a better understanding of what they can contribute to the family.

Maureen Arevalo, mom of two, explains, “If Daddy works and Mommy cooks, and they don’t pack toys away, that will be less time for Mom to cook (or more work for their parents to do). Self-reliance comes in being able to do things, like cook, so they won’t be too dependent on their parents to do things for them all the time. They will feel empowered, helpful, and productive, and that builds their self-esteem.”

“If they are able to chop well, their hands will be more steady doing other things. If they can button their own clothes, they can manipulate other things. When they are more self-reliant and independent, they are apt to have more confidence in trying new things, and will be more unshakeable in their faith in themselves,” she adds.

2. How to socialize with people of all ages When kids are comfortable in their own skin, they can communicate well with people older than they are. However, most kids rarely have the chance to interact with people outside their age group, social standing, or cultural background.

“Being able to address and interact with older folks, not just see them as authorities, and relate with younger ones with openness and respect,” says Maureen, is a life skill that needs to be taught early on. Understanding that there are different kinds of people in the world also helps kids develop a higher emotional quotient (EQ) at an early age.

3. How to manage their money Some moms believe that knowing how to manage money--from saving, spending, and investing--is a life skill that should be a solid part of the school curriculum.

Jennifer Trajano, mommy to Belle, says that children must also be taught how to set up and run their own business; they can start with something as simple as an ice candy table top store in their front lawn. It will ultimately help them give proper value to one’s effort, work, skills, and time.

Julliefer Aquino, mom of two, laments: "I myself only had a three-unit subject in accounting but had a poor grasp of it. There are no fundamentals taught on how to handle money. I can do Algebra, Trigonometry, Calculus, and whatever advanced math, but not what should just be simple math!"

Plus, knowing how to handle money also gives children a greater appreciation of their parents’ efforts in providing for them.

4. How to keep themselves safe We teach our kids not to talk to strangers, but developing the smarts to know when and how to talk to one is also important. Presence of mind in the face of unexpected events is another skill that needs to be cultivated.

Children should know what to do in case they find themselves in a potentially harmful situation. In today's tech-savvy world, kids need to be taught how to reach help when there are no cellphones, iPads, or computers around. On the other hand, they should also know how to properly use these gadgets to stay safe and secure.

Letter block photograph from http://pixelperfectdigital.com/