Life Skills for Adolescents
Deeksha | 21-Dec-2018
Adolescence is a vital stage of development and growth that marks the transition from childhood to adulthood. It is characterized by psychosocial maturation and rapid physiological changes. Adolescence is also the stage when youngsters extend their relationship beyond family and friends. They are intensely influenced by the outside world and peers in general. As adolescents mature, their mental process also becomes more analyticalallowing them to think abstractly, articulate better and develop an individual thought process. These are truly the years of idealism, creativity, the spirit of adventure and buoyancy. Therefore, adolescence is a turning point that increases one’s potential and at the same time, one of greater risks. Here are some life skills laid down by the WHO for adolescents:
- Self-awareness: Includes recognition of character, strengths, weaknesses, desires and dislikes. Being aware of pressure or stress a teen undergoes is the first step towards coping up. Moreover, self-awareness is also a prerequisite to maintaining interpersonal relations and effective communication, while developing empathy towards others.
- Empathy: To build a successful relationship with society and loved ones, it is vital during adolescent years to learn and care about peoples' desires and feelings. Empathy is an innate ability to imagine what life is like for others. When adolescents understand themselves, they will communicatebetter and at the same time, obtain support from others and win their understanding.Without empathy, adolescents cannot have this two-way process which leads to a symbiotic relationship.
- Critical Thinking: Critical thinking helps one analyse experiences and information in an objective way. It can contribute by aiding adolescents to assess the factors that influence them personally such as behaviour, attitudes, values, peer pressure and other things.
- Creative Thinking: Creative thinking is a novel approach which is characterised by components such as elaboration (building on other ideas), flexibility (shifting perspective easily), originality (conceiving of something new) and fluency (generating new ideas).
- Decision Making: Decision making helps adolescents deal constructively about the struggles in life. Young adults will learn to assess the effects different decisions are likely to have and make a choice based on their analysis.
- Problem-solving skills: Problem-solving skills empower adolescents to look at the problems objectively and scout for solutions. Problem solving skills involve an individual to identify, define and evaluate the problem.It helps them to find a solution and weigh pros and cons.
- Interpersonal Relationship skills: Interpersonal relationship skills help adolescents relate with peoplein positive ways and build amicable relationships. This will make and keep friendly relationships that can be of great importance to social and mental well-being.
- Effective communication: Effective communication skills enable adolescents to express themselves, both non-verbally and verbally suitable to situations and cultures. This includes expressing opinions, needs, desires, fears and the ability to ask for advice and help in a time of need.
- Coping with stress: Coping with stress refers to recognizing stress in one's life and knowing how it affects them. Learning positive coping styles and replacing passive with active coping mechanisms such as changing the environment, lifestyle and learning how to relax will help manage multiple things.
- Coping with emotions: Emotional skills include recognising one’s own and others’ emotions, learning how these emotions influence behaviour and responding to them in turn. Another important aspect is to manage emotions such as sadness and anger that will have negative effects on mental health if not responded appropriately.
These are skills teenagers need to learn before starting their journey as an adult. The key to leading a happy and fulfilling life requires two key skills - the ability to learn and willingness to adapt to change.
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