When looking up the subject of life skills I seem to automatically be directed towards images like this infographic. Something suggesting that our teens and young adults need to cook, clean have some knowledge of basic finance etc. And let me tell you, I couldn't agree more!
This coming from a "Mom Emeritus" (retired with honors) as my offspring are 22 and 26 years of age. Although looking back, there were many areas I didn't teach my kids vital subjects, they were doing things like laundry and packing lunches by age 11, so it was a start. I'm glad they learned a few things when it came to being able to take care of themselves. My daughter works and got her Masters in the environment of higher education and believe me, she has countless stories on how young adults struggle when it comes to their acumen in the area of life skills.
One of my strongest parental "goals" was to raise independent, self-sufficient adults and both of the kids made the choice to do just that. Get an education, get a job and strike out on their own. To say my husband and I are proud of and respect our kids and who they've become thus far, would be quite the understatement. But enough of my "Mom Moments!"
Why on earth, am I bringing this subject up?
Because even though I wholeheartedly agree that the "how to live on your own's" need to be covered, but I personally would have loved some life skills of a different nature when I was growing up. Skills like how to deal with anger and disappointment. How to add more peace in my life so stress would be less likely to get the best of me. How to relate better with co-workers, friends, partners...heck, how to have better relationships in general. How to be more present, focused, attentive and compassionate not only for those I love but for myself as well.
Part of the reason I think depression is on such a meteoric rise is due to the lack of self-compassion and the incessant pressures from others, especially parent/teen relationships.
I know I am but one, little human and I don't possess any fancy "alphabet soup" after my name but I have a burning desire to help people acquire skills like I listed above. I've learned them and live a better life because of them.
I would love to see more advocates for the learning of life skills. I certainly don't see this being a "school thing" as our educators have quite enough on their plates these days but I appeal to those of you reading this piece to educate yourself in some of the things I suggested and "be a light" to those around you. Not by telling people what to do, necessarily but by simply living a better quality of life. More peaceful, less dramatic. More grounded, less "victim of circumstance." Trust me, it will show and people will gravitate towards your light.
In closing, let me share a quick note of thanks to each and every soul who I've crossed paths with over the past 2 years and 4 months since I began "The Serendipitous Soul", your willingness to learn, acquire and utilize new "life skill tools" has been an honor to witness.
My hope is for better, mentally healthier days ahead for everyone in this country.
The change begins with us.