Top 3 Soft Skills your children need for the future.
Top 3 Soft Skills your children need for the future.
In today’s highly competitive world, most of them might think that all it takes is academic excellence. This is not at all true. In a highly intelligent world, we cannot emerge as outstanding without honing the necessary soft skills.
At Sherwood High, our ultimate goal is to prepare little ones to be happy and successful adults. For this, just academic skills would not suffice and we need to focus more on their holistic development, part of which are the basic skills called soft skills, which are necessary to accomplish their goals and be satisfied to lead a fulfilled life.
It is true that both parents and educators have this challenging task of imparting soft skills to children, and it is absolutely essential for them to know these in order to rise up to future challenges. To make the process easier, soft skills like any other skills need to be introduced earlier in their lives for them to adapt and refine the same over the years.
So what are soft skills?
Simply put, soft skills are a combination of communication skills, social skills, character or personality traits and people skills that enables us to navigate our environments and perform well in our careers, work well with other people and achieve our goals along with complementing hard skills.
Soft skills are the fundamental skills needed to function in society or are needed for jobs that do not depend on acquired skills alone. These are skills that cannot be learnt from a book, and there are no standardized tests to assess these skills. For instance, while knowing certain foreign languages may be considered a hard skill, using those languages to effectively communicate with a range of clientele is a soft skill.
Some examples of soft skills that are essential are communication skills, decision-making skills, leadership skills, creativity and problem-solving skills, adaptability, self-motivation, teamwork, work ethics, flexibility and interpersonal skills. While there are a number of essential skills, we will be looking at the top five soft skills that are necessary for growing children in this blog.
1. Effective communication:
Communication skills encompass speaking, listening, and writing. Efficient communication includes effective expression, transmission, understanding, and interpretation of ideas, information, and knowledge.
Throughout their life, our children will have to communicate, present, make others understand, as well as persuade others; be it during their schooling or at work. From something as simple as getting their friends to understand their point of view on a specific game to drafting professional-sounding emails, this skill is of absolute importance throughout life.
What we can do as parents and caregivers is to present children with ample opportunities to hone their oral and written communication skills. For example, you can give them opportunities to share their thoughts and ideas confidently within the household. You can also encourage them to take part in activities that sharpen their ability to use grammar and punctuation correctly, to learn new spellings and pronunciation, activities that assist them and teach them how to communicate precisely and clearly in both verbal and written formats, etc.
By often exposing them to such opportunities from an early age to express their views and opinions within their safe haven, you are teaching them to be confident in front of an audience which will further help in developing public speaking skills and presentation skills in a concise and coherent manner at school and at work, eventually.
Apart from this, encourage reading habits in your children. They can read anything that interests them, such as novels, biographies, storybooks, articles, blog posts, or basically anything that has multiple sentences strung together to communicate thoughts and ideas.
This kind of reading habit will help your children develop better linguistic and grammatical abilities because, as they grow up, the language and grammar they will have to use will need to be more polished than what is commonly found on social media platforms and heard during everyday conversations. You can also encourage them to write diaries or participate in events that can sharpen their written communication because in today’s world, written communication is one of the most crucial skills for job placements as well.
2. Critical thinking and problem-solving:
Children can’t simply depend on rote learning or memorisation techniques to get ahead of the crowd in today’s world. It is important that they are able to observe, analyze, can think critically, and produce solutions to problems in an effective manner.
The world is continuously improving and evolving around us, be it products, processes, or services, in order to compete. To compete and succeed in a world like this, children need to have critical thinking skills and to be aware of what questions to ask when in order to get to the bottom of any problem.
We understand that problem-solving is one of the most difficult skills to master, as every problem has its own set of intricacies and there are no set processes for teaching problem-solving skills. It is a skill that takes a lot of practice, so you can start by helping your children tackle everyday problems. For example; a simple jigsaw puzzle which would put your child thinking about all sides of the problem.
While the unstructured play is brilliant to let your children’s independence and creativity bloom, purposeful play that requires adult intervention to organize certain activities which facilitate children to reinforce their learning is essential to teach problem-solving skills.
As when children engage in purposeful play, they learn how to evaluate the problem and to arrive at decisions based on newer, and more creative ideas, while also becoming more experienced in trying alternative solutions to the same problem.
You can help your children by teaching them to come up with questions like why? and what if? to think through all sides of the issue, in order to help them think on various planes and answer higher-level questions requiring elaborate thought and exploration.
3. Collaboration and teamwork:
Working with others either in small or large groups is inevitable, whether children are at home with their siblings or working on some project with their peers at school or even while playing with their friends.
Teaching children teamwork is important as it emphasizes that each individual effort is important in achieving the team’s success. As at every opportunity, they receive, be it school or at work, people who work towards a common goal and can work well with other people will always be preferred over isolated workers.
It is through teamwork that children will share their ideas and contribute towards the problem at hand in a more active manner while they will also learn to receive and give feedback positively.
Getting kids to cooperate can sometimes be difficult, but there are always ways with which you can support your child to improve their teamwork skills. For example, you can encourage teamwork in your children by making siblings together and work on their homework as a team or encourage them to work together with other kids on a collaborative project at school or work as a team with their playmates, for example, completing a puzzle together, or group sports and so on.
Show appreciation, when children accomplish tasks as a team in order to encourage teamwork and to show that you are enthusiastic about your children being part of such team activities.
Soft skills are critical for your children’s development and future prospects and can be improved by continuous support throughout childhood by parents, caregivers, and teachers.
While we understand that some soft skills may come more naturally to some kids than others, at Sherwood high we have diverse opportunities that can be utilized by children to hone multiple soft skills. We ask parents to actively encourage your children to take part in the activities at school and also to encourage children to practice soft skills whenever possible.