If there were any doubts about the skills that our children will need to navigate their way through the 21st century, the ongoing pandemic has certainly erased them. The world is moving to a new normal and it will bring with it a new wave of changes to ride upon. Our children will have to be prepared to tackle these changes, especially when they enter the workforce.
Hence, you must encourage your children to develop the following skills to be future-ready.
Creativity skill can be classified into two buckets. The first one is the creativity that we refer to art, photography, music, design, writing and similar domains that call to use imagination to turn things into reality. The second one is the creativity that refers to the use of technology and out of box thinking to find innovative solutions to a problem. Our kids would need to be skilled in any of these buckets, if not both, depending on the career they want to choose.
Introduce your kids to different mediums of creativity and present them with situations in real life to solve problems.
Did you know that Bill Gates reads up to 50 books every year? He admits himself being a curious learner. When he was asked what skills today’s students would need to thrive in the world of 2030 and 2040 during a speech at his alma mater, he aptly replied, “For the curious learner, these are the best of times because your ability to constantly refresh your knowledge with either podcasts or lectures that are online is better than ever.”
So, if your kids are asking you umpteen questions a day, make a conscious effort to satisfy their curiosity by answering patiently, buying them books or giving them access to online resources.
Today’s children are exposed to a massive amount of information which is expected to explore further in future. It will become imperative for them to use their judgement and rational thinking to isolate valuable, relevant and real information from the rest, and make sense of it. This is called critical thinking ability.
You can help your kids develop critical thinking by letting them explore what, why and how of things; form their perspectives; debate over things; and keep an open mind. You can also enrol them in STEM and Robotics classes to foster their critical thinking skills.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
EQ is a very rare skill, but one of the most sought-after among employers currently and will remain so in the future too. It refers to a person’s ability to identify, comprehend and manage their emotions. A person with high EQ can have better control over his or her emotions, can handle situations/people more calmly and maturely, and work well in high-performance teams.
Positive parenting is the first step to developing EQ in your kids. You need to lead by example – stay calm even in difficult situations, practice mindfulness and compassion, and keep open communication at the home. Help your child channel negative emotions into a creative outlet or through physical activities.
It is one thing to compromise and settle with something less, it is another thing to negotiate and create a win-win situation for everyone. Negotiation is an art that cultivates clarity of mind and lets them weigh the pros/cons of an issue smartly.
You can help your kids develop negotiation skills by doing simple things – take them to market and bargain with the vendors and let them participate in age-appropriate matters of the home. If they want to stay awake till late at night to watch a movie on a weekday, you can persuade them to negotiate those hours to do household chores over the weekend.
Can you think of other skills we should add to this list? Do let us know!