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Buffers of Society

Certain inbuilt buffers of the society are no longer available to the adolescents of today (e.g. extended family system, traditional ways of thinking, life style with very little individual need to exercise choices). The stress faced by the adolescent in such a current situation is enormous.

This is reflected in rising suicide rates and growing crime among young persons. There is an urgent need to provide today's youth with a new set of ways and systems to deal with the demands of life.

In this background educating future citizens of the world has become more complex. Educational excellence alone cannot empower our Adolescents/Youth for a happy, healthy and successful future. They need vital skills for handling the everyday life.

Which are Life skills ?

Depending on the topic, socio-cultural context, age group etc, the specific life skills needed for an individual at a certain moment and context vary enormously, and it is therefore not possible to draw up a definitive list of essential life skills. There are, however, some cognitive, personal and interpersonal life skills that are generally considered particularly important. 

LEARNING TO KNOW - Cognitive abilities

Decision making/problem solving skills
  • Information gathering skills
  • Evaluating future consequences of present actions for self and others 
  • Determining alternative solutions to problems 
  • Analysis skills regarding the influence of values and attitudes of self and others on motivation
Critical thinking skills
  • Analyzing peer and media influences 
  • Analyzing attitudes, values, social norms and beliefs and factors affecting these
  • Identifying relevant information and information sources

LEARNING TO BE – Personal abilities

Skills for increasing internal locus of control
  • Self esteem/confidence building skills
  • Self awareness skills including awareness of rights, influences, values, attitudes, strengths and weaknesses
  • Goal setting skills
  • Self evaluation / Self assessment / Self-monitoring skills
Skills for managing feelings
  • Anger management
  • Dealing with grief and anxiety
  • Coping skills for dealing with loss, abuse, trauma
Skills for managing stress
  • Time management 
  • Positive thinking 
  • Relaxation techniques

LEARNING TO LIVE TOGETHER - Inter-personal abilities 

> Interpersonal communication skills
  • Verbal/Nonverbal communication 
  • Active listening 
  • Expressing feelings; giving feedback (without blaming) and receiving feedback
Negotiation/refusal skills
  • Negotiation and conflict management
  • Assertiveness skills 
  • Refusal skills
Empathy
  • Ability to listen and understand another's needs and circumstances an express that understanding
Cooperation and Teamwork
  • Expressing respect for others' contributions and different styles
  • Assessing one's own abilities and contributing to the group
Advocacy Skills
  • Influencing skills and persuasion
  • Networking and motivation skills

Though this list suggests that the three categories of skills are distinct from each other, health behaviour typically requires the use of a combination of skills simultaneously.
For example, to avoid early pregnancy a young woman may need:

Ultimately, the interplay between the skills is what produces powerful behavioural outcomes.