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imagesRecently I was asked if I could share with another person what I do when teaching Life Skills to students, and I immediately became self-conscious and intimidated at the thought of having to put what I teach into words.

To teach Life Skills is daunting. There no, one, curriculum to utilize, because each student in a Life Skills class has such very different needs to be learned, comes from a unique cognitive and developmental stage, and has specific behavioral ‘triggers’ to be either avoided or sought. The result is a ‘curriculum’ pulled together from many sources, with extremely specific (and yet, general) goals, and the only expectation (on my part) can be that an allusive ‘something’ will have been learned, that will be useful in the present and/or future life of the student.

So, what are the most important life skills to be learned?

I have come up with an acronym for the word, Life Skills:

L – Learn

  • be willing to learn new things, every day
    (“Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance” Proverbs 1:5)

I – Initiate

  • be willing and able to start a friendship, a conversation
    (“Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another” Hebrews 10:25)

F – Fitness

  • be willing to keep your body active
    (“Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” Romans 12:1)

E – Each Other

  • be willing to care for each other
    (“Bear one another’s burdens” Galatians 6:2)

S – Speak

  • be willing to speak the right things to the right people
    (“speaking the truth in love” Ephesians 4:15)

K – Kindness

  • be willing to follow the Golden Rule … do for others what you would love for them to do for you
    (“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” Ephesians 4:22)

I – Irritation

  • be willing to learn how to control yourself when irritated
    (“love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth” 1 Corinthians 13:5-6)

L – Living things

  • be willing to have healthy respect for living things, from peers to dogs to spiders (but not mosquitoes ๐Ÿ˜‰
    (“And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good” Genesis 1:25)

L – Love

  • be willing to love and be loved
    (โ€œFor God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16)

S – Self Respect

  • be willing to offer respect to yourself … don’t call yourself names, or put yourself down
    (“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” Psalm 139:13)

It is all still pretty general (yet specific), and it may not what works for all, but I am really hoping it is working for the students I get to work with.

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