Building the Core Skills Youth Need for Life: A Guide for Education and Social Service Practitioners

All youth need to develop a set of core life skills to manage school, work, outside interests, and social relationships successfully. From the perspective of brain development, these skills include planning, focus, self-control, awareness, and flexibility—also known as “executive function” and “self-regulation” skills. No one is born with these skills, but everyone can learn them through practice.

We know that early childhood is a critical time for the brain, when connections are being made that become the foundation for a child’s future health, learning, and behavior. Adolescence is also a vital “window of opportunity” for building core life skills—and for practitioners to provide support. Retrieved from

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