How do we raise our children to blossom to their fullest and prosper into happy and responsible individuals? How do we make them future-ready in our technology-driven world where every piece of information is at our fingertips? Can we ensure their holistic development without squeezing their talents into boxes? We often encounter children or teenagers who come across as impertinent as they evade conversations, avert eyes and look for an escape. Why do you think they behave the way they do? Do you feel they lack information? Or maybe are skittish? Or would you jump to the conclusion where you would write them off as being hostile? Well, what if we tell you that chances are neither of the above-made assumptions are true. They might simply be lacking soft skills also known as “people’s skills.”
Soft skills subsume an infinite set of skills which if developed in early stages yield fruitful outcomes. Studies suggest when children are given a headstart and introduced to people’s skills at an early age they tend to have more stable relationships and professional success later in life. With the advancement of technology and automation initiated in almost every field, humans have started to look beyond hard skills.Therefore, in today’s world inculcating soft skills is very important.
Confused what is the buzzword all about? Keep reading on because we are not only going to decipher the meaning of soft skills but also delve into reasons that make them important for children.
What are Soft Skills?
The very moment, a child steps into the world, parents tend to worry about their future. They wonder if their little one would be able to find their rightful position under the sun. They start looking for the best schools, appropriate educators and the most relevant books and sources. Little do we know that in today’s world of google, calculators and encyclopedias simply filling a child’s head with facts and theories wouldn’t get them that far.
Soft skills or cognitive skills are a set of interpersonal skills and personality traits that is vital for a child’s overall development. It is paramount for a fulfilling personal and professional life too. However, unlike hard skills like science, maths and social studies soft skills are not routinely taught in schools. Furthermore, soft skills revolve around immeasurable skills like discipline, manners, empathy, self-control and communication.
In today’s world, many countries like Finland have witnessed a paradigm shift from rote learning methods to pragmatic approaches. We are slowly but surely equipping our kids with skills that would help them survive challenges thrown by the automated world. Your kid is great at maths but can you ensure she will grow up as an individual who would manage her chequebooks efficiently?
Soft skills are very important for children to ensure overall development. Therefore, let’s dive into the vast set of soft skills that often comprises smaller skills.
Do you feel your child doesn’t get enough credit for their hard work? Well, the truth is no matter how good you are at your work if you cannot communicate your ideas, plans and vision people wouldn’t know what you are up to. It is as much important to communicate as it is to work. For effective communication, one needs to be both an active listener and a strong communicator. Whether it is a workplace, school or home, your kid would require good communication skills everywhere. To ensure, our children do not feel left out or unheard we must help them in developing communication skills.
Self-Control and Discipline
Self-control and discipline are perhaps some of the most important soft skills. The ability to push yourself forward, control emotions and move regardless of external circumstances and internal conflict are prerequisites in all walks of life. The child who manages to talk to his adults respectfully even when he is in fury grows up into a respectful and responsible individual. It is essential to inculcate self-control and discipline in kids from an early age.
Creativity is one of the most underrated yet rewarding soft skills. It bestows us with innovative ideas and a problem-solving approach that is appreciated everywhere. Consequently, creative skills also furnish individuals with a strong analytical viewpoint. A creative individual can conceive new ideas within limited resources and time frames. Therefore, the asset is acknowledged in every domain.
Encourage kids to view problems and find effective easy solutions to them and check out How to encourage your kids in reducing food wastage?
Do you have to move to a new city because of work and you are afraid your child won’t be able to adjust to the new school and environment? We often get accustomed to our schedule and find it difficult when things change. Adaptability is a soft skill that complements every other soft skill. It refers to being able to learn rapidly and adjust promptly in changing environment. As we know, change is inevitable. Therefore, adaptability is crucial for learning and growing without setbacks.
Aristotle rightly have stated, “Man is by nature a social animal.” Humans do not only need each other for the company but also to achieve common goals. This is something that is introduced to us right from elementary school when we are assigned group projects. We are required to work in groups fostering collaborating skills. Teamwork plays a huge role in our professional life. Similarly, when collaborating skills are effectively practised it draws together many other soft skills like communication skills and rapport building.
When we talk about soft skills for children empathy may be the people’s skills that we ironically forget. In order to effectively communicate with people, develop significant reasoning skills or even exercising teamwork requires empathy. We need to view scenarios and circumstances from others’ points of view as well to gain wholesome insight. The requisite spark of humanity is important to instil satisfaction, encouragement and engagement. It also boosts self-control as it prevents us from imposing our opinions and judgements on others. Thus, it is important to not miss out on this important cognitive skill.
Importance of Soft Skills for Children
We need to move beyond classroom education and make our children future-ready! Soft skills are often interpersonal traits that are harder to define and measure. However, these are the skills that ensure our children’s holistic development and fulfilling existence. Having soft skills is essential for the modern-day interpersonal workplace. It sets kids apart and allows them to rely on their strengths by complementing their hard skills. Therefore, let’s strive to unleash our children’s full potential and espouse their interests with inducing soft skills in them from an early age.