Children spend twelve years in school to prepare them academically and many go to college as a stepping stone for a career. As a parent, you want them not only to survive the challenging teenage years but have skills to thrive and succeed as adults.
However, success is not just about being academically successful, career-driven, or financially stable. The concept of success is also attributed to fulfillment and happiness. Therefore, emphasizing academic performance to safeguard your child’s future is not enough. Parents need to guide kids another things.
Schools today focus more on traditional skills, such as writing, arithmetic and science, to prepare our kids for future endeavors. While these are needed to succeed, research and employers are finding our kids also need soft skills. These can’t be learned from reading a book, they are learned from experience.
Let’s review ten important skills to help your child succeed in the future. Breaking them down individually will assist you in assessing and being more intentional in your interactions with your children.
1. Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is a skill that is needed at every stage and in every area of our lives. It is the process of using focus and self-control to analyze information in order to reach a logical conclusion. Children are constantly taking in new information. Every day they must think about the new information they are receiving today, how it relates to the old information they gathered yesterday. It’s important to help children to develop critical thinking skills because this will help them to make good decisions and understand the consequences of their actions. So, the next time your child asks a question, don’t just shut them down because you think they ask too many questions. Encourage their curiosity, engage them in conversation about a topic they find interesting, and help them evaluate the information they learn from others or through their own research.
Teamwork helps to develop normal social behaviors in children. It is, therefore, important to involve kids in some form of team activity; be it sports at school or family game night. Involving children in team activities is not only fun and interesting, but it also allows them to learn from an early age how to express themselves effectively and confidently to others. On top of that, it forces them to become active listeners, learning to consider what others have to say and empathize with how others feel.
At E2, kids can join Climbers Crew – A wonderful place to enhance soft skills and make friends from around the city, especially the Speaking Club and STEM Club. Those ways are very helpful for increasing their self-esteem as well as enhancing teamwork and communication abilities.
We were all born with an intrinsic motivation to explore the world around us. It’s the reason children will touch the very thing you tell them not to or ask you “why” a thousand times. It is our responsibility, as adults, not to nip this budding curiosity. It is important that you encourage this motivation by answering their questions with explanations. Allow them to figure out for themselves why things around them work the way they do or why a particular choice is better than the next. This will in turn help them develop a positive attitude toward learning. Learning is more rewarding and impactful when a child discovers things for him/herself. Simply telling a child what to do will only result in the child becoming reliant on extrinsic motivation every time there is a task to be done. Honing motivational and exploration skills in children will make them self-sustainable adults.
No two people are exactly alike. We all have our differences; however slight they may be. It is, therefore, crucial that the individual has an avenue to express himself/herself. As such, creating a safe space for kids to express themselves freely is critical to their mental and emotional well-being. The development of creativity and innovation skills in children provides them with the opportunity to showcase who they are and to work on who they are becoming. Therefore, nurturing an innovative mind through creative activities is not only fun but will help children build their cognitive thinking skills. Many say creativity and innovation are the first steps to problem-solving as you must be able to think outside the box to come up with solutions to new challenges.
It’s throughout our first year of life that we begin to recognize ourselves as separate and unique individuals. So how do we move from being completely unaware of who we are to having a complete and conscious understanding of and appreciation for ourselves? The answer is self-awareness and adaptability. As children move through the different stages of their lives, they become more cognizant of their own character, feelings, motives, and desires. This discovery of their individuality is constantly being shaped by the different circumstances they are faced with each day. As such, they must learn to expand their capacity to handle change, which is inevitable, while remaining true to themselves. Self-Awareness also helps one to identify gaps in self-management skills which maximizes productivity and performance overall.
It was not until recent years that more emphasis was placed on emotional intelligence as a skill to develop. Emotional intelligence encompasses self-awareness skills and self-management skills. In other words, simply recognizing emotions in ourselves and others is not enough, one must also learn to manage them effectively. As children grow, they experience different emotions and they may not be able to explain how they feel or understand why they feel the way they feel. This creates the perfect opportunity for adults to help kids understand these different emotional responses and how to handle them. No emotion should ever be labeled as bad, as anger oftentimes is. Children will grow up thinking that they don’t have a right to be angry. Instead, encourage them to express their feelings in an appropriate manner and to talk about what’s on their minds. Understanding and managing their own emotions will help them to learn how to interact with people and form and maintain meaningful relationships with others.
The earlier you teach your child to plan and organize their time, the more successful they will be in balancing their career, health, and personal life as an adult.
For instance, have them list what they want to accomplish in the week and set aside time to achieve their weekly goals. Then at the end of the week, together assess how they did. Isolate the obstacles to achieving their goals and brainstorm strategies to be more productive.
Another simple way to encourage self-management is to have them lay out their school clothes and homework the night before. These little habits assist a child in thinking ahead and practice time management from daily habits.
Learn more how to help kids practice time management with Tony’s video.
A study of child development reveals it may be normal for young children to have selfish impulses due to brain immaturity. Although children need to know themselves first to develop self-identity, they also will need to develop kindness and empathy toward others as they get older. An empathetic child can grow into a kind and considerate person who sees others as equally valuable.
Empathy refers to the emotional ability to care for other living things, such as the environment, animals, and other living things. You can help build empathy by providing opportunities for the child to recognize others’ needs and feelings. Helping out in community projects, giving to the less fortunate, and showing appreciation for others are excellent ways to inspire empathy.
Poor spending and budgeting habits and lack of wealth-building skills can result in severe and prolonged economic hardships for many young adults. Some people stay poor all their lives not because they lack education or work opportunities but because they don’t have impulse control or strong money management skills.
Give your kids a solid understanding of money and its role in daily living. Teach them money managing skills like budgeting and saving. Provide opportunities for them to practice these skills, such as giving them an allowance where they apply a portion to savings, charities, and spending. Or for older children, a clothes allotment.
A child who develops good spending habits and wealth-building skills is on track to become a more financially stable and fulfilled adult.
Many parents overlook the importance of training kids to be contributing family members, which increases a sense of responsibility. Kids can benefit from doing simple tasks or everyday chores on their own. For young children, tasks like dressing themselves or tidying up their toys; for older children, cooking, washing dishes, and cleaning their room, will help prepare children for the realities of adult life.
When children feel capable, it will encourage independence, initiative, and the value of contribution and hard work.
Children must, therefore, be well-rounded to lead a truly meaningful and successful life in today’s dynamic world. At Everest Education, we have Singapore Math which not only helps students improve their mathematical skills but also prepares them for an international environment through critical thinking and problem-solving.