Life skills are skills that can be learned and practised, which can help young people aim for a happy and balanced adulthood. Strong life skills are the basis on which everything else is built.
The operations of the Finnish Children and Youth Foundation focuses especially on good self-esteem, strong social skills and the courage to act and try out different things. Other important life skills include:
- emotional skills, or the ability to identify and process emotions
- independent thinking
- setting goals and committing to them
- resilience and persistence
- communication skills
Life skills are keys to untangling the intertwined threads of life
Strong life skills are significant in a world that is growing more complex every day: they help youth cope with everyday challenges and surprising situations. Also modern studying and working life emphasise the significance of continuous learning and diverse communication skills. If you can’t cope with yourself, it’s hard to cope with others.
Reduced ability to function and a passive attitude towards life are connected to weak life skills. Youth may have very weak self-knowledge, social situations cause anxiety and they have no trust in themselves. Running errands by speaking to other people may be impossible. This is why weak life skills may be the reason for social exclusion and an obstacle to getting help.
In the Finnish Children and Youth Foundation’s Glow activities, the applied use of art is an effective way of processing the tangled threads of life and strengthening life skills. No advance skills are required for participating in the activities. The focus is on doing things together and gaining positive experiences.
Finding your own strengths, learning how to trust your own abilities and seeing opportunities in the future are important milestones in the life of a youth. This way, they can channel their strengths according to their interests, for example in their studies, and work toward their dreams.
Watch the entire video in Yle Areena (in Finnish): What kinds of life skills do youth need in order to cope in life?