Raising a child is tricky: there’s no tried-and-tested formula for parenthood. In addition, children are individuals in their own right and, like the rest of the human population, their differences should be celebrated and embraced. However, that being said, there are certain universal skills every young person should learn, regardless of their idiosyncrasies.
These skills are the foundations that will help them succeed in life so that regardless of what they choose to do or the path they take, they’ll be equipped to deal with whatever lies ahead. Here are four of the most important skills to pick up, according to the experts.
A Love of Learning
A child who enjoys learning will become an adult who never grows bored. To foster a love of knowledge and willingness to explore new concepts, child development specialists recommend limiting television time and encouraging activities such as reading and creative play instead.
It’s important to allow children to explore their intellectual limits and to embrace and nurture the things they want to learn about, even if you have no knowledge of these areas yourself. For example, if you have a child who’d like to speak another language, look for online classes to help them. Online platforms such as Preply facilitate tailored learning experiences by offering personal language tutors and one-off trial sessions to ensure that your child can try the services before you commit to a long-term learning structure.
The advantage to these features is that you can support your child’s learning style and hone in on specific areas of language that they’ll be more inclined to enjoy/benefit from as an experience. For example, you may have a family that lives abroad and speaks in a different native tongue such as Spanish. Therefore it could be beneficial for your child to learn this language as this would be pragmatic and would ensure plenty of practice.
Picking up this kind of knowledge early on will not only open doors but encourage them to be amenable to expanding their horizons. In addition, becoming familiar with the online mode of learning will undoubtedly make future learning via this platform a more familiar and comfortable experience, perhaps encouraging children to pursue similar learning opportunities within the future.
As adults, we can’t simply do what we like when we like. This is a lesson that’s handy for children to master early on as it helps them to develop self-control and the ability to organize themselves, which will pay dividends in the long run. Make an effort to talk to your child each morning, letting them know what you have planned for the day and what you expect of them.
It’s useful to give your children small tasks to manage. This doesn’t have to be anything particularly taxing, but it should nonetheless teach them the importance of responsibility. For example, you might want to put them in charge of laying the table before you eat or tidying away their shoes and coats before they watch TV. This demonstrates that hard work reaps rewards.
Most parents want to raise empathetic children who grow into caring and compassionate adults. To do this, we first need to teach them to see things from other people’s perspectives, and this is something you can help to nudge along.
It’s not something you have to make a big deal of and can easily be incorporated into the things they’re doing. Say you’re reading a book: discuss the character’s feelings and motivations and explain to your child why they might feel the way they do. Then ask them to identify various character emotions and get them to consider how they might help someone feel better in a similar situation.
This is a skill even adults can struggle with, so helping your child to master it early on is invaluable. Not only will it come in handy within an educational context and professional settings down the line, but it can help them better understand the world around them.
One of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to introduce critical thinking to children is to incorporate it into play. Create scenarios they have to work through but don’t make it too serious and encourage them to take on different roles as this will enable them to consider things from various perspectives. You could break out the Lego and challenge them to build the tallest structure they can, which would allow them the chance to play and experiment. The objective is to motivate them to take risks, try out ideas, and find solutions.
When it comes to preparing your children for the future, it’s best to start early. Think about the skills that are most important to you as an adult, both professionally and personally. It’s never too early to start teaching them, and there’s nothing to say it has to be boring either!