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I know some skills are best learned while a person is very young, like a second language, or absolute pitch. What are some other skills that are best learned while young and can be beneficial to a person? My thinking is that since those skills can only be learned while young, then that would be the time to focus and teach them. Other skills like reading/math can be focused on later.

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closed as not constructive by Beofett Jan 31 '12 at 14:06

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I'm afraid that I'm going to have to close this, as questions that ask for an open-ended list of answers are generally a poor fit for our platform. They tend to receive a bunch of incomplete answers, and encourage discussion. However, if there is a major interest in this by the community, we could consider making a Community Wiki answer. If you feel strongly about this, vote to reopen if you can, or visit our Parenting Meta and start/participate in a discussion there to explain why you feel this question is an important one. –  Beofett Jan 31 '12 at 14:06
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2 Answers 2

Beside language and musical skills, one thing that is never thought in schools is character or assertiveness skills, they present a challenge as sometimes the parents don't posses them, although there are many good books on the topic (just check an online book store and read the ratings!). Meta self-help books such as the 7 habits of highly successful people, which go beyond mere tips to forge true character are recommended.

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Kindness, following directions (need for school and business, not just discipline), sharing, group 'work', sportsmanship, kindness (o-did I already say this), empathy, creative play (work), kindness (o-did I say this again), problem solving skills, how to deal with difficult people, kindness (again).

I can give suggestions on how to teach some of these if you wish, but the question was what skills should be taught. It is very hard to get rid of bad habits if these skills are not taught from the beginning.

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Hos to deal with difficult people, group work etc can easily be learnt later. As a reclusive bookish kid, I didn't really get good at this until I did my military service. :-) Kindness and sportsmanship I may benefit from being learned early. And Empathy, definitely. –  Lennart Regebro Feb 1 '12 at 8:54
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