Help Your Kids Thrive This Summer with Essential Life Skills

Ellen LangasSubmitted Image

PHILADELPHIA, PA — During summer break, many parents worry about their children’s academic progress. However, Ellen Langas, author of the Girls Know How® book series for tweens, believes that academics are just one part of the success equation. “Building a foundation of behavioral, emotional, and social skills early on can significantly enhance a child’s confidence and influence their future personal and professional success,” says Langas.

Her book series encourages kids to explore various careers and life skills through fictional stories. These stories offer opportunities for children to see how characters manage challenges and relationships. Beyond reading, parents play a crucial role in developing these essential skills from a young age. Tricia Ferrara, a Licensed Professional Counselor and Behavioral Health Specialist, notes, “As soon as children start learning language around ages two or three, they begin to pick up social cues from their environment.”

Girls Know How recommends seven simple and fun ways to help children build essential skills during the summer:

  1. Leadership: Create leadership opportunities at home that match a child’s age and ability. Involve kids in planning family outings and assigning tasks. Activities like packing picnic baskets or creating birthday party budgets build responsibility and confidence.
  2. Teamwork: Foster teamwork skills through household projects, sports, and clubs. Encourage children to collaborate on cooking projects or create a clubhouse with friends. Discuss the importance of supporting teammates and working together for better results. Community outreach and sports also offer excellent teamwork opportunities.
  3. Communication: Teach children effective communication for building relationships. Practice phone manners, email etiquette, and social networking. Reinforce in-person introductions, greetings, and eye contact. Emphasize the basics of saying please and thank you, and encourage writing sincere thank-you notes.
  4. Conflict Resolution: Help children handle disagreements to build resilience. Encourage them to articulate problems and explore solutions. Introduce concepts like compromise and respect, guiding them in weighing pros and cons of different approaches.
  5. Unstructured Play: Highlight the joy and value of unstructured play. It’s a vital activity for developing social and behavioral skills naturally. Parents should be patient and let learning be fun and interactive, relieving any pressure to constantly structure playtime.
  6. Goal Setting: Assist children in setting small, achievable goals that lead to larger objectives. For instance, if they want to buy a bicycle by summer’s end, break down the steps needed to reach that goal. Celebrate their persistence and accomplishments.
  7. Organization: Good organizational skills reduce stress and improve time management. Help kids create a chart of daily activities and responsibilities. This helps them balance time spent on sports, lessons, family functions, and social activities.
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By incorporating these strategies, parents can help their children thrive not just academically, but also socially and emotionally. The Girls Know How® chapter book series (ages 7 – 12) is available at bookstores and

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