blog » August 15, 2016 by Donna John

Teaching Life & Back-to-School Skills to Kids With Dr. Rosina McAlpine! by Donna John

7 years ago
Teaching Life & Back-to-School Skills to Kids With Dr. Rosina McAlpine!

Just in time for back-to-school season, we talked with Dr. Rosina McAlpine, creator of the Win Win Parenting programat the #30SecondMom Twitter chat. Dr. Rosina shared tips about the life skills and personal qualities kids need for a successful, happy and fulfilling life – and showed us how we, as busy parents, can help teach these skills. 

Q. What are key life skills and personal qualities kids need for a successful, happy and fulfilling life?
Self-esteem, resilience, adaptability, love of learning, communication skills, healthy living, relationship building and money skills. Skills that help kids make the most of life. Belief in self, good work ethic, managing emotions and behaviors. Life has ups and downs. Kids need persistence and resilience to achieve success. Help them not give up when things get tough.

Q. School teaches academics and kids should learn life skills at home, but as busy parents, how do we go about teaching them?
First, set the example. Be a role model. "Do as I say and not as I do" does not work! Incorporate life lessons in everyday activities and don't take for granted that your kids are picking it all up. Talk about it! Same as with academics – take a long-term approach. Teach life skills over many years when age appropriate.

Q. Give us an example of how to help develop health and well-being awareness in kids.
Spend quality time with your kids in the kitchen preparing meals together. Explain food groups and healthy eating. Exercise together. Help kids be aware of their own emotional health. Discuss feelings and positive ways to relieve stress.

Q. Emotional health and self-esteem are important. But how do parents' support that development? Should we use praise?
Self-esteem is a child’s judgement about themselves. Praise is about a parent’s judgment of the child so it may not be the way to go. Help children to see themselves in positive light rather than rely on external praise. Ask, “Did you enjoy doing that?”

Q. What other ways can parents support children to develop their own personal power?
Help children be aware of their self-talk. Do they say, "I’m dumb?" Or do they say, "OK, I need to learn more?" Teach kids growth mindset: consistent effort is key to success. Discourage a fixed mindset, “I’m either smart/dumb.”

Q. Back to school is soon. How can life skills approach help parents and kids?
Together, identify skills kids need and practice beforehand. How to manage the day. What to do if things go wrong? Ask kids what they’re worried about regarding back to school. Brainstorm solutions and coping strategies together. Assure kids you love them and are there to help overcome the challenges life brings – even the dreaded back-to-school challenges.

Be sure to follow  @WinWinParenting@DrRosina, visit to learn about her 12-month online parenting program, follow her on Facebook and visit her 30Second Mom page!

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Elisa Schmitz
Can't wait to chat with you tonight, Rosina McAlpine! You are the best, thank you!
Elisa Schmitz
Don't forget to click the RSVP button on the top right, Lorri Langmaid! Can't wait to see you tonight, thanks!
Donna John
Looking forward to chatting with you, Rosina McAlpine!
Toni B
Sounds like a great topic tonight! Can't wait! Rosina McAlpine :)

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