How can you teach your child to be ready for the outside world? Here are 10 super skills that will guarantee his success.
By Amrita Gracias
In our rapidly-progressing, fast-paced, competitive world children need to be able to survive to get ahead. Certain fundamental skills lay the foundation for their future success in this modern digital society. To help our children acquire these must-have abilities, we need to focus on a deeper and different approach to learning that will ready them for the outside world. These skills cannot be learnt from traditional forms of education and academics that focus merely on content-based knowledge. They stem from a more progressive form of education, where children are motivated to learn skills and strategies that are of significance to the new-age world.
1. Problem-solving: By teaching your child problem-solving skills, you are helping him to be confident and independent. These skills give him opportunities to think outside the box, looking for various options and solutions. When a child comes up with his own solutions, he takes pride in his accomplishments and capabilities.
What parents can do: Encourage your child to work out things for himself. Let him come up with his own solutions by pondering over problems. Initially, involve him in problem-solving around the house. Later, you can perhaps ask him to come up with effective solutions to issues in the neighbourhood such as water crisis or garbage disposal.
2. Teamwork: In this digital age, children often lack the skills for teamwork and cooperation. Being able to collaborate and cooperate with others respectfully are key factors that determine success. When children learn to work together as a team, they understand that their actions and unity together contribute to their achievements.
What parents can do: You can support teamwork from early childhood by exposing your child to situations where she can work together with others to achieve a common goal. Involve her in simple responsibilities that promote the concept of collaboration. Older children can be encouraged to play a team sport that provides ample opportunities to foster these skills.
3. Global and cultural awareness: With our world being so interconnected, it is important that children are aware of various cultural perspectives of other societies. Global awareness is essential to actively interact and engage in our increasingly culturally-diverse communities.
What parents can do: Expose your child to various societies and their traditions or, perhaps, to even a few words in different languages. Encourage him to learn about these diverse cultures, helping him gain global perspectives and understand the importance of respecting them all.
4. Communication Skills: These abilities enable effective interaction with peers and adults. Appropriate interpersonal skills are fundamental to social and work-related situations. Good communication skills help one express, articulate and share ideas.
What parents can do: Communicate with your child to foster basic conversation skills. Provide ample opportunities for discussions so that she can express herself with ease. Also, teach her the importance of listening to others, using an appropriate tone of voice and avoiding negative and hurtful language. You should also encourage your child to read. For, reading helps improve vocabulary and aids effective communication.
5. Ethics and social responsibility: It is of the utmost importance for children to be mindful of their positive contribution and responsibility towards society. By upholding morals and ethics, they will learn to be respectful, empathetic, compassionate and think beyond the self.
What parents can do: Make sure you are a good role model yourself. You can foster a good sense of morals and values by actively participating in and contributing to good causes. Also, make your child understand the importance of rendering service without expecting any personal gain. An older child can be encouraged to take part in formal volunteer programmes.
6. Creativity: Creativity helps overcome various challenges in several imaginative ways. A creative thinker diverges from linear thinking and explores unfamiliar areas, which further enhances the thinking process. It paves the way for originality, innovation and exploration.
What parents can do: Allow your child opportunities to be self-expressive, so as to not hinder his creativity. Appreciate creative thoughts and ideas, however simple or silly they might seem. His various categories of thoughts and explanations are key factors to learning.
7. Analytical thinking: Analytical thinking skills involve abilities to evaluate, organise and apply thought processes. They enable one to look at data and information from multiple angles and deal with them in practical ways. They also help in making level-headed decisions at work, in relationships and life in general.
What parents can do: Encourage your child to ask questions, analyse information and challenge statements. Simple riddles, puzzles and even board games will help develop these thinking abilities.
8. Life skills: These abilities help us deal with challenges that we encounter in day-to-day life. Children need these opportunities so that they can be prepared when they face the outside world on their own.
What parents can do: Motivate your child to help, plan, organise and carry out basic responsibilities. Also, insist that he understands the importance of fundamentals like good health, nutritious food, proper hygiene, good manners and the need to stand up for himself whatever the situation may be.
9. Technology literacy: In this digital age, children are more and more technology savvy. The right use of technology creates opportunities for new learning experiences.
What parents can do: Your child is perhaps already capable of accessing the Internet to download music, play games or even read books. However, educate him on responsible and appropriate usage. Let him be aware of the negative influences of technology as well.
10. Civic literacy: Children are socially obligated to be responsible citizens by contributing to the betterment of the community. They are after all the upcoming leaders of the future. By being aware of basic civic issues, they learn to cater for the needs of the community.
What parents can do: Your child must be informed and aware about current issues. Encourage her to learn about the various roles of the government and its policies. Perhaps, she can be vocal about an issue that she is concerned about in school forums or debates.
Try your best to provide ample opportunities for your child to master these fundamental skills, which are imperative for critical areas of their development and future success.
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