7 Essential Skills That Children Need to Succeed

A child’s success is typically defined as their accomplishments, development, and general well-being in a variety of spheres of life. The success of a child can be interpreted in a number of ways, as seen below:

  • Academic Success:

This is often the most common and traditional measure of a child’s success. It includes their performance in school, grades, test scores, and their ability to learn and apply knowledge.

  • Personal Growth and Development:

Success can be seen in a child’s personal growth, emotional intelligence, and maturity. This includes developing self-awareness, empathy, and social skills.

  • Pursuit of Passions:

A child’s success might be measured by their ability to explore and excel in their interests and passions, whether that’s in sports, arts, hobbies, or other extracurricular activities.

  • Character Development:

Success can also be linked to the development of a child’s character and values. Traits such as honesty, kindness, responsibility, and resilience contribute to a well-rounded individual.

  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills:

Success in building positive relationships and effective communication with others, including peers and adults, is crucial for a child’s social and emotional well-being.

  • Independence and Problem-Solving:

Success can mean a child’s growing independence, critical thinking abilities, and their capacity to solve problems and make decisions on their own.

  • Resilience:

A child’s ability to bounce back from setbacks and adversity is an important marker of success. Resilience helps them cope with challenges and grow from their experiences.

  • Confidence and Self-Esteem:

A successful child often has a healthy level of self-confidence and self-esteem, which empowers them to take on challenges and believe in themselves.

  • Setting and Achieving Goals:

Success can involve setting goals and working towards them, teaching children the importance of planning, perseverance, and accomplishment.

  • Happiness and Well-Being:

Ultimately, success should contribute to a child’s overall happiness and well-being. If a child is content, fulfilled, and leading a meaningful life, that can be considered success.

The mix of a child’s cognitive, emotional, social, and physical abilities affects their achievement. These abilities serve as the building blocks for a child’s growth and future successes.

Here are 7 essential skills that a child needs to succeed:

  • Focus and Self-Control:

Children thrive on schedules, habits, and routines which not only create a feeling of security, but also help children learn self-control and focus. Talk with your child about what to expect each day. Organize your home so your child knows where to put shoes, coats, and personal belongings. We live in a noisy, distraction-filled world, so quiet activities like reading a book, enjoying sensory activities, or completing a puzzle together can help your child slow down and increase focus.

  • Communication Skills:

Effective communication is crucial for success in all aspects of life. Children should learn how to express themselves clearly, listen actively, and understand non-verbal cues. Children need high-touch personal interactions every day to build healthy social-emotional skills, including the ability to understand and communicate with others. While the pace at which they develop these skills may vary, children need to learn how to read social cues and listen carefully. They must consider what they want to communicate and the most effective way to share it. Just talking with an interested adult can help build these skills. Spend time every day listening and responding to your child without distractions.

  • Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving:

Children should be encouraged to think critically, analyze situations, and come up with creative solutions to problems. This skill is valuable in academic, personal, and professional settings. Make sure your child has time each day to play alone or with friends. This play might include taking on roles (pretending to be fire fighters or super heroes), building structures, playing board games, or playing outside physical games, such as tag or hide-and-go-seek. Through play, children formulate hypotheses, take risks, try out their ideas.

  • Time Management and Organization:

These skills help children manage their responsibilities, meet deadlines, and balance their academic and personal lives effectively.

  • Financial Literacy:

Understanding basic financial concepts like budgeting, saving, and spending wisely is important for financial independence and security in adulthood.

  • Cultural Competence:

Promoting an understanding and appreciation of different cultures and perspectives helps children develop respect for diversity and navigate a multicultural world.

  • Resilience:

One of the most important traits we can develop in life is that of  resilience—being able to take on challenges, bounce back from failure, and keep trying. Children learn to take on challenges when we create an environment with the right amount of structure—not so much as to be limiting, but enough to make them feel safe. Encourage your child to try new things and allow reasonable risk, such as climbing a tree or riding a bike. Offer a new challenge when she seems ready, e.g., “I think you’re ready to learn to tie your shoes. Let’s give it a try.” Focus more on effort than achievement, e.g., “Learning to tie your shoes was really hard, but you kept trying. Well done.


It’s important to provide support and guidance tailored to their individual needs and interests to help them succeed in life.


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