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Teaching Life Skills to Gifted Children at School and at Home

Life skills are those skills which enable us to deal effectively with the challenges faced every day and are needed to succeed in life. They involve the ability to be flexible when problem solving, display imitative, interact positively with others, be productive, and to be a leader. Qualities associated with successful life skills include self-awareness, empathy, effective communication, strong interpersonal skills, critical thinking, and self-control.

Why is it important to teach GT students life skills? The stakes are so high. Many GT students represent our future leaders and life skills are essential for great leaders. Success in life is not dependent alone on how intelligent a person is or becomes. Personal satisfaction with accomplishments plays an overall role in happiness; both personally and socially.

How is society inhibiting the acquisition of necessary life skills? Students have fewer face-to-face interactions with peers and instructors reducing their ability to acquire and hone life skills they need to meet the challenges of life. More often, students interact via social media, video conferencing, and text messages rather than in real life situations.

Twice-exceptional children who deal with executive function deficits can benefit from skills-based education from the earliest years as soon as it’s diagnosed. Many of them struggle with social interactions that impeded their academic success. Skills-based education can close this gap. Learning life-skills can help twice-exceptional children handle stressful situations, feel more confident, and learn how to cope with challenges in a more positive way.

What are best practices for educators to embed life skills education in their curriculum? Time management skills education can begin in early elementary by reviewing daily schedules, using a student planner, and discussing with students ways to complete unfinished assignments in a timely manner. Creating opportunities for collaboration on assignments and providing students with leadership strategies that pre-empt one student from doing all the work can be invaluable for gifted students. Occasionally, teachers can switch-up or change the schedule so that students need to learn the importance of being flexible … a much sought after skill by employers. Suggest coping strategies for students to meet the challenge. Teachers can provide opportunities for students to engage in conversations with classmates and then in active and reflexive listening in the classroom. They can promote student choice and voice to allow them control over their learning which provides a gateway to self-motivation; a skill that will benefit them throughout their lives.

How can parents help their gifted children gain the necessary life skills to be successful? Parents must first ensure they possess the life skills necessary for living a successful and rewarding life; even if they must seek out training. They can help their gifted children by modeling necessary life skills in their everyday life. Parents cannot assume that life skills will be taught at school or by associating with successful peers. By observing their child’s behavior, they can determine which skills their child needs. A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.

 

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2PM NZDT/Noon AEDT/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

The 7 Essential Life Skills

Life Skills and Soft Skills Make You Smart Life

What are Life Skills?

5 Important Types of Life Skills All Adults Need

Life Skills vs. Soft Skills vs. Career Skills vs. Employability Skills — What Are the Differences?

3 Important Life Skills Nobody Ever Taught You

Life Skills for Gifted Students

Someone Taught Steve Jobs How to Use a Hammer

Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary “Executive Skills” Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential (book)

Smart but Scattered Kids (website)

Helping Kids Who Are “Late, Lost, and Unprepared”

That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week

11 Life Skills You Should Teach Your Kids

The Practical Life Skills Kids Should Learn at Every Age

Social Life Skills – Characteristics of the Gifted Child (YouTube 4:23)

Teaching Strategies for Important Life Skills

Cybraryman’s Soft Skills Page

Cybraryman’s Financial Education Page

Image courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Life Skills for Gifted Students

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhoto courtesy of morgueFile

Life skills is not a topic usually associated with gifted learners, but participants at this chat challenged that notion. It was determined that gifted kids absolutely need to learn these skills. A full transcript can be found here.

Life skills are basic human skills needed to succeed in life. They involve interpersonal, personal and cognitive abilities. Life skills are also known in some places as Social Emotional Learning. Too often this need is overlooked by educators/parents simply because it’s assumed gifted learners don’t need to learn them. Gifted learners often act as powerful change-agents in our society once given the necessary information, skills and inspiration.

Interpersonal skills include communication skills, group dynamics & leadership skills – all are important for gifted learners. Affective skills are learning to deal with their inner feelings and to draw on them to guide one’s behavior. They skills help us manage emotions and experience personal growth.

We also discussed how can parents help their gifted children to gain skills necessary to be successful in life. The moderator reminded everyone that parents must possess the necessary skills in order to teach them.

Links:

A Gifted Program for Intellectually Gifted Students Grades 2 – 8

How Parents Can Put to Use Scores from the Otis Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT)

Family Life Skills from Palo Alto Medical Foundation

Life Skills from Unicef

Someone Taught Steve Jobs How to Use a Hammer http://goo.gl/5lMbha

An Age-by-Age Guide to Teaching Your Child Life Skills

Character and Ethics Education from Cybraryman

Late, Lost, and Unprepared : A Parents’ Guide to Helping Children with Executive Functioning (book)

Late Lost Unprepared

That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week: Helping Disorganized and Distracted Boys Succeed in School and Life (book)

Crumpled Paper

Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary “Executive Skills” Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential (book)

Smart but Scattered

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