7 Simple Tips to Help Children Build Life Skills This Summer

Parents often worry that time away from school during summer break might affect their children’s academic progress. However, according to Ellen Langas, author of the Girls Know How® book series for tweens, academics are just one part of the success equation. “Building a foundation of behavioral, emotional, and social skills early on can significantly enhance personal and professional success,” says Langas. 

Her fictional chapter book series encourages kids to explore a variety of careers and introduces a variety of life skills by providing them the opportunity to consider how characters handle a variety of challenges and relationships. GirlsKnowHow.com  

In addition to reading, parents can play a crucial role in helping their children develop these skills from a young age. “As soon as children start learning language around ages two or three, they begin to pick up social cues from their environment,” says Tricia Ferrara, Licensed Professional Counselor and Behavioral Health Specialist.  

Girls Know How recommends 7 simple and fun ways for your child to build essential behavioral, emotional, and social skills through the summer season: 

  1. Leadership: Create leadership opportunities at home that match your child’s age and ability. Involve children in planning and assigning tasks for family outings, parties, or activities. Whether it’s packing a picnic basket or creating a budget, these activities build responsibility and confidence.
  2. Teamwork: Teamwork skills can be fostered through household projects, sports, and clubs. Encourage kids to work with others on projects like cooking with family members or creating a clubhouse with friends. Discuss the importance of supporting teammates and collaborating for better results. Community outreach projects also provide excellent teamwork opportunities.
  3. Communication: Effective communication is vital for relationship building. Teach your child proper phone manners, email etiquette, and social networking practices. Practice in-person introductions, greetings, and eye contact. Reinforce the basics of saying please and thank you and encourage writing sincere thank-you notes (hand-written or virtual). 
  4. Conflict Resolution: Handling disagreements helps children become resilient. Learning to manage conflict prepares children for real-world challenges. Teach kids to articulate problems and explore solutions. Introduce concepts like compromise and respect and guide them in weighing the pros and cons of different approaches.
  5. Unstructured Play: Emphasize the joy and value of unstructured play. It’s a vital activity where your child can develop social and behavioral skills naturally. Remember, parents are a child’s most important role model. Be patient and let learning be fun and interactive, relieving any pressure to structure their playtime constantly!
  6. Goal Setting: Help children set small, achievable goals that lead to larger objectives. For example, if your child wants to buy a bicycle by summer’s end, break down the steps needed to reach that goal. Celebrate their persistence and accomplishments. 
  7. Organization: Good organizational skills reduce stress and improve time management. Help your child create a chart of daily activities and responsibilities. This will help them balance time spent on sports, lessons, family functions, and social activities.

By integrating these simple and engaging activities into your summer plans, you can help your child build essential life skills that will benefit them for years to come. Visit Girls Know How for more information and to find your next great summer read!