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10 Songs That Teach Important Life Skills for Kids

Teaching kids perseverance, family dynamics, positive self-talk, kindness, or any life skill can be challenging. Being able to pair a song or musical experience to that specific skill can help your child process and learn those important skills more quickly and in a fun way. Research shows the more these skills are practiced at a younger age the higher the rate of generalizing those skills as they grow into teenagers and adults.



Here is a list of 10 songs that you can use to help teach your child important life skills.


"HOW CAN I USE THESE SONGS?" Glad you asked!

Listen to these songs with your child, sing and dance, and then talk about the lyrics and theme of the song. After that, live it out. Modeling is the best teacher!


Every time they hear the song in the future, they'll think of you and the important life skill you want to instill in them.




1. LIFE SKILL: PERSEVERANCE


  • Try Everything – Shakira

Does your child fear failure?

This popular song is from ‘Zootopia’. The lyrics of this song show that it’s ok to fail and when we do fail to keep trying until you succeed. It also teaches us to not be afraid to try something when we fear failure. Always remember that ‘Practice makes improvements”!




  • Brave – Sarah Bareilles

This is another great song to teach kids to be brave and persevere to reach their goals or achievements. We can’t control what people do or say, but we can control how we react and respond. It’s also important to practice honesty and to not be afraid to express your feelings.




2. LIFE SKILL: TOLERANCE


  • My Family – The Laurie Berkner Band

Families come in all shapes and sizes. It is important for kids to understand that all families are different and they may or may not look like theirs. Just as the lyrics say “When you’re in my heart, you’re in my family”.





3. LIFE SKILL: SELF-AWARENESS, SELF-ESTEEM


  • I Am – Hilary Duff

Does your child see themself as a victim, even when they're not?

Teach them they have choices and can control their own behavior to change many outcomes. This song is an excellent song for kids to practice “I statements”. “I statements” are a healthy way to not only express your emotions, but also take ownership of your emotions. They reduce blaming, therefore in turn reduce conflicts.


You could also use this song as a fill-in-the-blank to practice self-awareness and positive self-talk. Use the Karaoke version and just fill in your own word, "I am..." Being able to recognize their strengths and weaknesses will not only increase their self-awareness, but also their self-esteem.




  • Who Says – Selena Gomes

Being comfortable in our own skin is such an important skill to continually practice. Teaching your child to embrace their differences and that we are all unique is such a beautiful thing. Just think how boring the world would be if we were all the same.




  • True Colors – Cindy Lauper

Most of your kids will recognize this song from ‘Trolls’. Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake did an excellent rendition of this classic Cindy Lauper tune. This is another great song to teach your child to embrace who they are and that they should never be afraid to express themselves to the people who love them most.






4. LIFE SKILL: HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS & RESILIENCE


  • You Supported Me – Miss Julieann

This song is on the “Resilient Child” album by Miss Julieann. The album is full of songs related to important life skills, however, this song specifically lists examples of how your child can be supported through their emotions. Once your child is able to recognize how you support them, they will be able to grow into transferring that skill to supporting or helping a friend or sibling.

(Full Album)




  • Who Are the People You go to – Miss Julieann and The Laurie Berkner Band

In continuation of the previous song, this is an excellent song to help your child identify the safe people in their lives. You can easily change the lyrics to state the safe and trustworthy people in your child’s life. Having your child identify various safe people in various settings throughout their day can be helpful. For example, when they are at home, when they are at school, or when they are with other family members or friends. Practicing this skill is important for when a situation my arise, your child can easily ask the identified safe adults for help.




  • Count on Me – Bruno Mars

The song lyrics provide several examples on how to be a good friend and qualities of a good friend. Having good friendships provide support during the lows and celebrate with you during the highs. It is also important for kids to learn that quality friendships build trust and trust is essential for healthy friendships.





5. LIFE SKILL: SELF-REGULATION & EMOTIONAL EXPRESSION


  • Better When I’m Dancing – Meghan Trainor

This is my go to song to help kids identify what activities help them feel better when they are sad, mad, upset, or frustrated, etc... Practicing self-regulation skills at an early age helps kids to stay calm and process their emotions so they can problem solve when they are experiencing big emotions. It is best to practice these skills when in a calm state to help generalize and utilize the skills when they are feeling those big emotions.





6. LIFE SKILLS: COMMUNICATION, COPING SKILLS, SOCIAL SKILLS & MORE!


  • Bonus - Anything Daniel Tiger

The Daniel Tiger series has numerous resources and songs to help teach several important like skills, such as, but not limited to, deep breathing, what to do when you and a friend disagree, dealing with disappointment, sharing and taking turns, and using your words to effectively communicate with others.




In summary, leveraging the power of music can be a dynamic and enjoyable approach to instilling crucial life skills in your child. The provided list of 10 songs serves as a starting point. By immersing in the music together, singing, dancing, and then delving into discussions about the song's lyrics and themes, you can actively contribute to your child's understanding of perseverance, family dynamics, positive self-talk, kindness, and more.


Modeling these behaviors ensures a lasting impact, creating a meaningful connection between the songs and the important life skills you aim to impart.



Happy Singing!


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