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Building the Core Skills Youth Need for Life
Introduction
There are some skills which are of importance for every adolescent. They are quite useful in the efficient
management of school and work, social relationships, and extra-curricular activities. As far as the development
of the brain is concerned, these skills are inclusive of planning, focus, self-control, awareness, and flexibility.
Childhood is the most important stage from the perspective of the development of skills. This is that period in
which foundations are being laid for one’s behaviour, learning, and health.
One’s adolescent years provide a lot of scope for building essential life skills besides receiving the support of
counsellors.
SOURCE: https://www.slideshare.net/rahmani1/adolescent-44880191
It has been proven that during teenage years, the cognitive development of human brain is at its peak. One’s
intellectual abilities are being formed at a very fast pace so that their efficiency increases. With the maturity of
the different aspects of the brain, they are able to function as one interconnected system. The practice of
essential life skills during teenage lays strong foundations to gain complete mastery over them and which can
last throughout one’s lifetime.
5 Essential Life Skills
1. Planning-the ability of making concrete plans and their successful implementation besides setting
goals and achieving them
2. Focus-giving one hundred percent attention and dedication to the most important task at any
point of time
3. Self-Control-being in command over our response towards stressful situations besides our
emotions
4. Awareness-observance of people and our present circumstances or surroundings besides our own
place in the bigger picture of this world and life
5. Flexibility-nothing is permanent except change. And so, one’s adaptability towards it is something
everyone must learn
5 Ways for the Development of Core Skills in Adolescents
1. Practicing in real-life situations
Encouragement is the key factor which will motivate youngsters to solve their problems themselves. Some
examples for the same would include helping friends in their schoolwork while they may be undergoing any
personal crisis or may be trying to solve problems in the life of a depressed friend.
REASON: Youngsters are most receptive mentally in real-life experiences which are opportunities for them to
apply their own solutions and evaluate the way in which they have impacted the situation.
2. Recognition and avoidance of triggering factors
When any emotion is displayed, there has to be a cause behind it. For example, mental stress may be triggered
due to losing out on a game or receiving negative feedback from one’s parents or other adult family members.
The prevention methods for the aforementioned include deep-breathing and taking breaks to remain in
introspective silence. REASON: The empowerment of youngsters for not only increasing their self-awareness
but even for the development of coping strategies in challenging situations.
3. Obtaining viewpoints about stress from other people
Finding out what coping mechanisms are being used for dealing with stress by others or giving one’s own
method of dealing with a problem to another person who may be in a similar crisis is very important. This
exchange of perspectives is opens up one’s thought processes towards the inflow of fresh ideas people may
were unable to come up with earlier. REASON: External points of view on various issues concerning human
growth makes dealing with emotions like fear, frustration, and anger much easier. Youngsters are able to find
more options as prospective resolutions to their problems. SKILLS: Awareness, Flexibility, Self-Control
4. Maintaining focus on personally motivating goals
Adolescents are in the process of carving out their own pathway in this journey of life. During this period,
the formation of one’s self-image develops the ability to make choices in the present as well as future.
And so, they need encouragement for sharpening their skills or hobbies they may be most passionate
about. They are in need of guidance for charting out an action plan for setting goals and reach them, and
removing or hurdles out of the way in the process. REASON: Youth empowerment through strengthening
their self-image besides thinking about the long-term and practising goal directed behaviour. SKILLS:
Planning, Flexibility
5. Building on positivity in the past and present
Youngsters may begin to feel a lack of self-control over their own lives in the face of adversity. They
may no longer remain outspoken about any negativity in their lives concerning issues like being
victims of bullying and negative self-talk. Their positive experiences in the past must be brought out
from the recesses of their mind wherein they may have contributed towards another person’s life in a
significant manner, like helping classmates with studies or being of some use to one’s own family
members in the house, to help them realize that the vast ocean of kindness is made up of all such
small droplets of good deeds. REASON: This serves as a basis for youth to build their sense of self-
worth, externalizing all negative emotions from within, perceiving challenges as opportunities for
learning rather than threats, and planning for one’s future. SKILLS: Focus, Planning
Effect of Stress on the Development of Core Life Skills
Though stress, in small doses, is necessary and even beneficial for most people, ongoing and extreme
mental disharmony of any kind may lead to very serious and harmful consequences in terms of one’s
health and behavioural patterns besides the ability of developing and practicing essential life skills.
REASON: The brain reacts automatically towards adversity and stress. The immediate, and even
necessary at times, response of “fight or flight” is a mental conditioning in which people act first and
then think about what they have done. The triggering of this response due to extreme trauma or
stress may adversely alter the intentional and reflective responses. If this happens during childhood, it
may lead to the brain overdeveloping its capability of thoughtful assessment and the subsequent
response towards any situation.
During early childhood, extreme stress changes the direction of brain development from important
life skills towards automatic “fight, flight, or freeze” responses.
In adolescents, excessive stress causes the overloading of one’s competency in the development
and practice of essential life skills, leaving teenagers dependent mainly upon their mechanisms of
those responses which are not intentional.
Everyone who has faced extremely traumatic situations like violence, addiction, peer suicide,
placement in foster care centres, homelessness, hunger, and neglect may undergo concentration
problems in school besides developing a sense of being lost out in the game of life, and struggling to
find concrete solutions to problems in the present, and making plans for the future. The
aforementioned is even applicable as a reason for the ineffectiveness of those interventions which
add threats of punishment or even undermine one’s control over self.
The development of stress reduction methodologies, and which may even provide support to one’s
independence must take place for providing maximum opportunities for youngsters to acquire
essential life skills.
The role of practitioners is crucial in ensuring that services and programs providing support do not
unintentionally increase the stress levels of youngsters instead of helping towards the reduction of
the same.
Five Methods to Provide Stress Reduction Services
1. Creation of a safe environment
An environment which is physically and emotionally safe is what adolescents need the most. And
to fulfil this, it is necessary to set up spaces offering utmost confidentiality and privacy besides
inspiring peer collaboration. Youngsters sometimes need just a tap to pour out their creativity
besides basking in the feeling of independence and even engaging themselves in the creation of
secure havens for their own selves which exude a feeling of being welcoming. Their opinion on the
room’s main layout besides its furniture and lighting should be sought.
REASON: Optimizing the environment of the program provides youngsters with an excellent
opportunity for succeeding besides avoiding all those factors which trigger fear or stress.
2. Provide guidance and support in social skills development
Peer collaboration is that period of time in which children and teenagers find themselves at ease
due to them being aware of the fact that they are not being judged by adults. Hence, all they need
here are a few words of encouragement for learning to make the choice between the advice of
their peers and the guidance of an adult in their decision-making process. Today’s youth need
opportunities for the development for their leadership roles-as facilitators or peer educators. Open
and supportive adult-child relationships are vital. And so, both deserve encouragement.
REASON: Teenagers have much more sensitivity towards social rejection and acceptance. Providing
guidance and support as they maintain relationships with the outside world enhances their
responsiveness to feedback.
3. Respecting the autonomy of youngsters with silent support
All teenagers are extra-sensitive towards anyone who may threaten their authority over
themselves. Any positive advice being offered to them with good intentions would belittle their
self-authority. Youngsters are primarily in need of respect. So, adult must not only hone their
listening skills while interacting with them but even keep their nature of making assumptions in
check. Offer them some space for the evaluation the process adopted by them for taking decisions
while maintaining complete objectivity and even being non-judgmental. To keep high expectations
as parents is natural, but do not allow them to elevate above the ground of reality.
REASON: Providing support to the autonomy of adolescents reduces the likelihood of their threat
response and emotional systems being activated. Besides increasing their self-confidence level, it
will even strengthen the adult-child relationship.
4. Making the use of digital applications
All the essential tools required for easing out one’s day-to-day life are now available on digital platforms
and formats. These may range from weekly and monthly organisers to educational applications. With
the internet having penetrated into even the smaller towns and cities besides rural areas in today’s
times, the knowledge and accessibility of such digital applications is now well within the reach of today’s
young generation. Digital awareness is growing at a pace one may never have imagined a few decades
back. Thus, life management has become a lot easier. One may make schedules for oneself, make online
notes, convert speech to text, or block other distracting websites and content on one’s tablet or phone
using blocking applications. The sky is the limit in our digital world!
REASON: This allows adolescents to solve their own issues besides increasing their familiarity with
digital mediums.
5. Increasing accessibility of youth awareness programs
Seminars and workshops conducted for creating awareness within adolescents should be accessible to
everyone in that age bracket. Since they are already coping with a lot of mental stress due to
expectations and responsibilities, the requirements and forms for the aforementioned need not be too
complicated. The timings and locations of such meetings should be convenient for everyone.
REASON: The avoidance of additional stress on the development of core life skills besides increasing
the odds for adolescent retention and recruitment.
Would like to end this document with a few motivational lines (written by myself):
The journey from childhood to becoming a mature adult is a long and arduous quest,
This process of growth involves many hurdles and so everyone may perceive it as a test,
During the period of adolescence, you should definitely give self-development a shot, and which
should be your best,
Make hard work the sole purpose of your life and then put all worries of failure to rest,
Add commitment and dedication to it, and then relish its fruits with full gusto and zest,
Widen your horizon and open up your wings, for now it is time for you to fly out of your nest
For research-based Powerpoint or Word presentations on any topic, please call/SMS/whatsapp on
9653254172 or email at
saifalisanjli@gmail.com
Saif Ali Sajid Amir

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Building the core skills youth need for life

  • 1. Building the Core Skills Youth Need for Life Introduction There are some skills which are of importance for every adolescent. They are quite useful in the efficient management of school and work, social relationships, and extra-curricular activities. As far as the development of the brain is concerned, these skills are inclusive of planning, focus, self-control, awareness, and flexibility. Childhood is the most important stage from the perspective of the development of skills. This is that period in which foundations are being laid for one’s behaviour, learning, and health. One’s adolescent years provide a lot of scope for building essential life skills besides receiving the support of counsellors. SOURCE: https://www.slideshare.net/rahmani1/adolescent-44880191 It has been proven that during teenage years, the cognitive development of human brain is at its peak. One’s intellectual abilities are being formed at a very fast pace so that their efficiency increases. With the maturity of the different aspects of the brain, they are able to function as one interconnected system. The practice of essential life skills during teenage lays strong foundations to gain complete mastery over them and which can last throughout one’s lifetime. 5 Essential Life Skills 1. Planning-the ability of making concrete plans and their successful implementation besides setting goals and achieving them 2. Focus-giving one hundred percent attention and dedication to the most important task at any point of time 3. Self-Control-being in command over our response towards stressful situations besides our emotions 4. Awareness-observance of people and our present circumstances or surroundings besides our own place in the bigger picture of this world and life 5. Flexibility-nothing is permanent except change. And so, one’s adaptability towards it is something everyone must learn 5 Ways for the Development of Core Skills in Adolescents 1. Practicing in real-life situations Encouragement is the key factor which will motivate youngsters to solve their problems themselves. Some examples for the same would include helping friends in their schoolwork while they may be undergoing any personal crisis or may be trying to solve problems in the life of a depressed friend.
  • 2. REASON: Youngsters are most receptive mentally in real-life experiences which are opportunities for them to apply their own solutions and evaluate the way in which they have impacted the situation. 2. Recognition and avoidance of triggering factors When any emotion is displayed, there has to be a cause behind it. For example, mental stress may be triggered due to losing out on a game or receiving negative feedback from one’s parents or other adult family members. The prevention methods for the aforementioned include deep-breathing and taking breaks to remain in introspective silence. REASON: The empowerment of youngsters for not only increasing their self-awareness but even for the development of coping strategies in challenging situations. 3. Obtaining viewpoints about stress from other people Finding out what coping mechanisms are being used for dealing with stress by others or giving one’s own method of dealing with a problem to another person who may be in a similar crisis is very important. This exchange of perspectives is opens up one’s thought processes towards the inflow of fresh ideas people may were unable to come up with earlier. REASON: External points of view on various issues concerning human growth makes dealing with emotions like fear, frustration, and anger much easier. Youngsters are able to find more options as prospective resolutions to their problems. SKILLS: Awareness, Flexibility, Self-Control 4. Maintaining focus on personally motivating goals Adolescents are in the process of carving out their own pathway in this journey of life. During this period, the formation of one’s self-image develops the ability to make choices in the present as well as future. And so, they need encouragement for sharpening their skills or hobbies they may be most passionate about. They are in need of guidance for charting out an action plan for setting goals and reach them, and removing or hurdles out of the way in the process. REASON: Youth empowerment through strengthening their self-image besides thinking about the long-term and practising goal directed behaviour. SKILLS: Planning, Flexibility 5. Building on positivity in the past and present Youngsters may begin to feel a lack of self-control over their own lives in the face of adversity. They may no longer remain outspoken about any negativity in their lives concerning issues like being victims of bullying and negative self-talk. Their positive experiences in the past must be brought out from the recesses of their mind wherein they may have contributed towards another person’s life in a significant manner, like helping classmates with studies or being of some use to one’s own family members in the house, to help them realize that the vast ocean of kindness is made up of all such small droplets of good deeds. REASON: This serves as a basis for youth to build their sense of self- worth, externalizing all negative emotions from within, perceiving challenges as opportunities for learning rather than threats, and planning for one’s future. SKILLS: Focus, Planning Effect of Stress on the Development of Core Life Skills Though stress, in small doses, is necessary and even beneficial for most people, ongoing and extreme mental disharmony of any kind may lead to very serious and harmful consequences in terms of one’s health and behavioural patterns besides the ability of developing and practicing essential life skills. REASON: The brain reacts automatically towards adversity and stress. The immediate, and even necessary at times, response of “fight or flight” is a mental conditioning in which people act first and then think about what they have done. The triggering of this response due to extreme trauma or stress may adversely alter the intentional and reflective responses. If this happens during childhood, it may lead to the brain overdeveloping its capability of thoughtful assessment and the subsequent response towards any situation.
  • 3. During early childhood, extreme stress changes the direction of brain development from important life skills towards automatic “fight, flight, or freeze” responses. In adolescents, excessive stress causes the overloading of one’s competency in the development and practice of essential life skills, leaving teenagers dependent mainly upon their mechanisms of those responses which are not intentional. Everyone who has faced extremely traumatic situations like violence, addiction, peer suicide, placement in foster care centres, homelessness, hunger, and neglect may undergo concentration problems in school besides developing a sense of being lost out in the game of life, and struggling to find concrete solutions to problems in the present, and making plans for the future. The aforementioned is even applicable as a reason for the ineffectiveness of those interventions which add threats of punishment or even undermine one’s control over self. The development of stress reduction methodologies, and which may even provide support to one’s independence must take place for providing maximum opportunities for youngsters to acquire essential life skills. The role of practitioners is crucial in ensuring that services and programs providing support do not unintentionally increase the stress levels of youngsters instead of helping towards the reduction of the same. Five Methods to Provide Stress Reduction Services 1. Creation of a safe environment An environment which is physically and emotionally safe is what adolescents need the most. And to fulfil this, it is necessary to set up spaces offering utmost confidentiality and privacy besides inspiring peer collaboration. Youngsters sometimes need just a tap to pour out their creativity besides basking in the feeling of independence and even engaging themselves in the creation of secure havens for their own selves which exude a feeling of being welcoming. Their opinion on the room’s main layout besides its furniture and lighting should be sought. REASON: Optimizing the environment of the program provides youngsters with an excellent opportunity for succeeding besides avoiding all those factors which trigger fear or stress. 2. Provide guidance and support in social skills development Peer collaboration is that period of time in which children and teenagers find themselves at ease due to them being aware of the fact that they are not being judged by adults. Hence, all they need here are a few words of encouragement for learning to make the choice between the advice of their peers and the guidance of an adult in their decision-making process. Today’s youth need opportunities for the development for their leadership roles-as facilitators or peer educators. Open and supportive adult-child relationships are vital. And so, both deserve encouragement. REASON: Teenagers have much more sensitivity towards social rejection and acceptance. Providing guidance and support as they maintain relationships with the outside world enhances their responsiveness to feedback. 3. Respecting the autonomy of youngsters with silent support All teenagers are extra-sensitive towards anyone who may threaten their authority over themselves. Any positive advice being offered to them with good intentions would belittle their self-authority. Youngsters are primarily in need of respect. So, adult must not only hone their listening skills while interacting with them but even keep their nature of making assumptions in
  • 4. check. Offer them some space for the evaluation the process adopted by them for taking decisions while maintaining complete objectivity and even being non-judgmental. To keep high expectations as parents is natural, but do not allow them to elevate above the ground of reality. REASON: Providing support to the autonomy of adolescents reduces the likelihood of their threat response and emotional systems being activated. Besides increasing their self-confidence level, it will even strengthen the adult-child relationship. 4. Making the use of digital applications All the essential tools required for easing out one’s day-to-day life are now available on digital platforms and formats. These may range from weekly and monthly organisers to educational applications. With the internet having penetrated into even the smaller towns and cities besides rural areas in today’s times, the knowledge and accessibility of such digital applications is now well within the reach of today’s young generation. Digital awareness is growing at a pace one may never have imagined a few decades back. Thus, life management has become a lot easier. One may make schedules for oneself, make online notes, convert speech to text, or block other distracting websites and content on one’s tablet or phone using blocking applications. The sky is the limit in our digital world! REASON: This allows adolescents to solve their own issues besides increasing their familiarity with digital mediums. 5. Increasing accessibility of youth awareness programs Seminars and workshops conducted for creating awareness within adolescents should be accessible to everyone in that age bracket. Since they are already coping with a lot of mental stress due to expectations and responsibilities, the requirements and forms for the aforementioned need not be too complicated. The timings and locations of such meetings should be convenient for everyone. REASON: The avoidance of additional stress on the development of core life skills besides increasing the odds for adolescent retention and recruitment. Would like to end this document with a few motivational lines (written by myself): The journey from childhood to becoming a mature adult is a long and arduous quest, This process of growth involves many hurdles and so everyone may perceive it as a test, During the period of adolescence, you should definitely give self-development a shot, and which should be your best, Make hard work the sole purpose of your life and then put all worries of failure to rest, Add commitment and dedication to it, and then relish its fruits with full gusto and zest, Widen your horizon and open up your wings, for now it is time for you to fly out of your nest For research-based Powerpoint or Word presentations on any topic, please call/SMS/whatsapp on 9653254172 or email at saifalisanjli@gmail.com Saif Ali Sajid Amir