Life Skills for Everyone

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Do you have a child between the ages of 5 –18, or know someone who has a child between those ages? If so, it’s time to sign them up for the Robeson County 4-H program. There are many fun and educational programs for the whole family too! Your child will learn life skills they will take with them for the rest of their lives. Youth will learn skills such as leadership, public speaking, time management, communication, and listening. They will collaborate with other youth and adult volunteers while building positive lifetime friendships.

Communication skills are important for everyone. Youth and adult relationships with open communication are essential to fully understanding one another. Have you ever been in a situation where someone was mad at you or offended by something you said, and you didn’t even know it, or vice versa? You are going on with your life and they are upset or irritated and you aren’t even aware of it. When we do not communicate openly with each other it is very easy to make assumptions and take things the wrong way. The lack of communication can be destructive for everyone involved. Robeson County 4-H provides opportunities for both youth and adults to gain better communication skills while building bridges between the ages.

Listening is also one of the most important communication skills we can acquire. As parents/guardians, it is imperative for us to find quality time to communicate with our youth and actively listen to them. It doesn’t always have to be planned timed for them, but it should be intentional for us as adults. As adults, we should give them our undivided attention when they are talking to us. I know we live in a busy world and there is always something going on, and there always will be. However, there isn’t anything more precious than a child openly talking with you at any age. When you take the time to stop, make eye contact, and listen to them, you are making foundational building blocks to continually build a relationship with the child. You are showing them they are more important than anything else going on. It also builds a bond and trust between you and the child by showing them you are listening. Again, I know this isn’t always possible, but being aware and applying your complete devotion also opens the door for the youth to talk with you about good and not so good things, which are sometimes hard for them to talk about. It is equally important to set aside quality time to spend with youth.

Communicating and listening are important life skills in every relationship and facet of life. It is essential in building healthy relationships and maintaining them. Being honest and open is always the best means of communicating and not beating around the bush. If we aren’t direct and respectful, there is too much room for assumptions because we are all different and will possibly process and interpret things differently.

Start opening the lines of communication by signing your child up with 4-H today. We encourage family involvement and participation. The best way to commit is to sign up for the Family 4-H Club. Let’s start building those healthy, positive friendships, and life skills together.

For more information, contact Wendy Maynor, Extension 4-H Youth Development Program Associate, at 910-671-3276, by Email at, or visit our website. NC State University and N.C. A&T State University are collectively committed to positive action to secure equal opportunity and prohibit discrimination and harassment regardless of age, color, disability, family and marital status, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, and veteran status. NC State, N.C. A&T, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.