Life Skills For Teens to Build this Summer – Part 1

by | May 28, 2024 | Parenting, Teenagers | 0 comments

Without the stress of school, summer is a perfect time to focus on being your daughter’s parent-coach and building her life skills. These include a combination of social, emotional, and cognitive abilities that will help her navigate life well. 


In over a decade of coaching, I’ve learned that the four most important life skills that support responsible independence are: 

  1. Self-Awareness
  2. Mindfulness
  3. Decision-making/critical thinking
  4. Communication




Self-awareness means understanding one’s strengths, weaknesses, and character.  It includes awareness of habits, triggers, and tendencies. 


Self-awareness fosters healthy decision-making, especially for teenage girls because self-aware girls know their values and use their values to drive decisions. Self-awareness also leads to other-awareness and builds empathy- the ability to understand and care about other people’s needs, desires, and feelings. Empathy plays a vital role in effective communication and acceptance of others.  Together, self-awareness and empathy lead to stronger social connections. 




Mindfulness is awareness without judgment.  Mindfulness goes hand in hand with Emotional Intelligence and the skill of self-soothing. It promotes more thoughtful reactions and an overall sense of calm. 


Mindful teenage girls understand how to separate the negative voice in their head from reality, so they are less likely to suffer from self-doubt and low self-esteem.  Mindfulness also lends itself to clear decision-making and thoughtful communication.



Decision Making & Critical Thinking


Confident decision-making is a life skill essential for health, safety, and independence.  It requires the skills of mindful awareness and critical thinking.  


Teaching teen girls decision-making and critical-thinking skills increases their ability to make healthy, self-empowering decisions and decreases the likelihood of unhealthy, risk-taking behavior.  They are more likely to achieve their goals, experience less stress, and have healthy friendships and social interactions. 


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Clear communication is the skill of expressing one’s ideas and needs in a way that others will understand. Effective communication involves self-awareness, emotional intelligence,  listening, and empathy.


When teenage girls learn how to communicate well, they express themselves respectfully and clearly.  They gain a sense of confidence and trust in themselves.  Most importantly, they feel safer because they know how to set boundaries and speak up for what is right and wrong. 


These four life skills are critical for healthy development. As she incorporates them into her life and moves towards responsible independence, your daughter will learn to self-advocate, work mindfully on her goals, and express her thoughts clearly and respectfully.    


So, how can you parent-coach your daughter and promote these four essential life skills? 


Read the next blog to find out! 


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