Soft skills, or non-cognitive skills, are abilities that are focused on human behavior in emotional and social contexts. It is aimed at enhancing the character of individuals.
When soft skills are taught to children from an early age, they can learn how to engage with others positively, creatively, and compassionately, almost as if these skills are innate to them.
As a result, soft skills can be viewed as inherent attributes of people, and if a person does not possess them, it may be difficult for them to cultivate them in the later stages of life.
As caregivers, educators, and parents, you have a responsibility to help your kids develop these skills.
But, how do you go about it?
Let’s go through a few essential skills that’ll help your child grow as an individual!
Skill #1: Leadership & Teamwork
Allow your kids to take on some responsibility and partake in small household chores like folding clothes or watering the plants. Let them choose their tasks and make sure they follow through with it.
Let them join clubs in the community and school. Team sports and activities with friends are a great way to learn to work with peers.
Cook simple meals with them to familiarize them with cooperation and instructions.
Always remember to reward their good work. Positive reinforcement is a proven theory.
Skill #2: Communication & Listening
Practice effective communication with your younger ones. Build their vocabulary.
Kids are inquisitive by nature, don’t discourage them from asking questions.
Engage in conversation by talking about their favorite cartoons and books. Ask them open-ended questions about their favorite characters.
Show interest in what they have to say. It will make them more confident and sociable.
For example: ‘Would you rather never sneeze or never yawn, and why?’ These types of questions will allow them to be creative and use critical thinking.
Trust your kids. Listen to them if they need a break from hectic schoolwork and assignments. Hire academic writers to help your kids meet deadlines and as a gesture of mutual respect and understanding.
Skill #3: Problem-Solving & Decision-Making
Give your kids the opportunity to be problem-solvers and decision-makers.
Start small. Puzzle games and riddles are the best ways to introduce them to problem-solving tasks. As they grow older, raise the intensity of the puzzles. Incorporate new methods. Discuss real-life situations and figure out possible outcomes.
Develop your kids’ decision-making skills by practicing them daily. Teach them strategies like making pros and cons lists, determining the outcome of each choice, and more.
Skill #4: Spatial Awareness
Encourage your kids to play games and perform tasks that involve spatial awareness.
Maze games, jigsaw puzzles, memory cards, buildable train sets, and building blocks (like LEGO and Jenga) are some games that’ll help develop your child’s spatial reasoning.
Visual aids such as video games and maps help children build spatial skills too.
Use real-life examples to engage their spatial reasoning. When you go to the mall, have your kids identify and remember landmarks to determine the distance and route from one point to another.
Skill #5: Empathy
Children learn behaviors from their parents. The best way to introduce your kids to empathy is by being role models. Encourage acts of kindness and generosity.
Teach them to be accepting and kind towards every living organism.
Teach them about emotions by labeling their own. Help them understand their feelings.
Encourage seeing different perspectives. For example: ‘What would you do if you were in their shoes?’
The Advantages of Teaching and Learning Soft Skills
Although we continue to learn new things as we grow older, books cannot teach you soft skills and no standardized test can measure your people skills accurately.
Children are more impressionable. The sooner they’re taught, the better they retain.
Interacting with your kids and actively teaching them these skills also helps you get to know their strengths and weaknesses better.
In the future, soft skills will not only make your kids more personable and adaptable but also give them better career prospects.
The employers of the next generation are always looking for advanced and well-rounded employees.
Now your kids have one less thing to worry about!