girls-74142_1920For the last two blog posts, I’ve been sharing how you can develop the seven most important life skills to set your children up for happy, healthy adulthoods. So far, we’ve covered:

Today, we’ll talk about the last three skills, all related to their ability to grow into productive, confident adults, so let’s dive in.

Communication Confidence

Enabling children with the ability to self-advocate, or stand up for themselves and communicate their needs, is a skill they will use from the preschool classroom to the boardroom. It’s a foundation of leadership and it can even prevent your child from being an anonymous victim of abuse if they know that being a people pleaser is not worth tolerating injustice.

Keep in mind that there are multiple leadership styles, and you can give kids skills to “lead up” as well. Younger siblings can show off new skills to the family, and sometimes children can even teach their parents a thing or two.

Productivity Skills and Self-Motivation

This is an area where today’s “helicopter parents” often struggle to adequately prepare their children for the future. Raising self-starters is hard if you’re in constant praise, motivate, and reward mode. Let accomplishment be its own motivation and reward and notice how your kids respond. As much as kids seem to like praise, they like accomplishing new things even more.

Also talk about the “why” behind the things you do, whether it’s why you work so hard at your job, why you expect them to get good grades, or why they need to help with dishes after dinner.

We couldn’t cover productivity without discussing the need for basic organizational skills. From letting your little ones clean up their messes and their rooms themselves (even if you have to clean after them), to allowing your teens organize their schedules and their closets (even if you have to save the day from time to time), you’re enabling them to develop skills they will use throughout their lives.

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Financial Literacy

This final skill is so key for mental health and well being. Just look at the stress that money causes most adults. Here are a few ways to encourage healthy financial perspective.

  1. Talk about earning, saving and spending. Share age-appropriate information about your family’s expenses and income, giving them a sense of how much time it takes you to earn the money used for various expenses. Give them examples from their own piggy bank or allowance too.
  2. Give them a chance to learn for themselves. Start them early with a piggy bank and ways to earn a small allowance by helping out around the house. Talk with them about how they are going to spend their money, how much they would like to save, and whether they would like to donate any money to charity. With older kids, set up a checking account and basic budget so they have financial experience long before the fly the nest.
  3. Model healthy financial choices. If you are stressed and fighting over money, you’re setting your children up to do the same someday. Don’t fall into the “do as I say, not as I do” trap. A positive and realistic money mindset will rub off on them over the long term.

 Do you struggle in any of these areas yourself? Are you afraid your kids will follow in your footsteps? Let me know in the comments.

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