Take a moment to think about all the bewildering changes the world has had since we were kids. If I sit and think about it for long enough, it blows my mind. The way we were bought up as kids needs to prepare us for an ever-changing, ever-competitive world.
I know many of our parents tried to make us the most successful we could be through academics and education. However, my philosophy is that we need to develop soft skills or 21st-century skills in our kids today in order for them to keep up with the world of today and before we know it, the world of tomorrow. 80% of the jobs that exist today, will not exist tomorrow. You as a modern mum may realise that our kid’s bio-data is no longer the most important factor. We need our kids to have skills that are really transferable.
My name is Kavin and I am the founder of KidCoachApp. I left my corporate job with an avid passion to inspire and create something that easily helps harness the power of parents and teach 21st-century skills to their kids through conversation. With an Indian heritage myself, and coming from a long line of teachers and academics, I know the importance of education.
However, did you know that kids only spend 20% of their time in school and 80% of their time outside of school? Don’t believe me? Here’s the math: How much time do kids spend in school? The answer will surprise you!
With this in mind, you can see how important it is for parents to really harness their power as coaches of these little kids. Soft skills or what I like to call 21st Century skills are skills that are vital in the modern world. These skills aren’t necessarily taught in school in a way that can be used outside of the academic world. We need our kids to be able to thrive in interviews, in social settings and in every aspect of their lives, not just at school. Introducing the 6 21st century skills that we focus on at KidCoach and how you can successfully teach your kids these skills.
As a busy mum, we aren’t suggesting carving more time out of your day, instead, we encourage you to use the time you already spend with your kids. Even if it’s just 5-10 minutes of meaningful conversations per day. here are six questions that promote the skills we think are important, we love these questions because they are fast and doable wherever you are. The perfect hands-free parenting mode for busy mums.
On to the list!
Communication, it’s what makes the world go round. Without forms of communication, there is a high risk of being misunderstood, not taken seriously and ultimately ignored. We can teach kids how to communicate better by having more productive conversations with them.
For example, we can ask them …
– How could you talk about a new iPhone?
– What does a tomato taste like?
– How would you describe the neighbourhood we live in?
By asking questions like these we encourage our kids to use their voices and be confident whilst doing it. What they have to say matters.
Leaders come in all shapes and sizes. One thing they have in common is people skills and self-assurance. By asking our kids questions like the ones below they can learn to make the right decisions and lead people with kindness. Not only is this a highly valued skill in any workplace, but it’s also an essential skill for people to be able to use in their personal lives.
– If you were losing a sports match, what could you say to your teammates?
– What persuades people?
– Do you always have to be in charge?
3. Critical thinking
Another essential skill to have is critical thinking. We want our kids to be able to think for themselves and arrive at decisions that help them. If we have conversations with our kids about things that require more than a yes/no answer, we encourage our kids to get critical. A great skill in this ever-changing world.
– What is expensive but worth it?
– What would happen if food was free?
– What is the best charity to donate money to?
Creativity is just as important as all the other skills listed here. Creativity for many is an outlet and a way for people to express their emotions. For others, it’s a livelihood. By cultivating creativity in our kids we help them think outside the box when they need to. This can be helpful at work or school or in their downtime.
– What are five things you can draw with?
– If you designed a new city what would it be like?
– What could be the next big invention to change the world?
Resilience is key. There are so many situations in which we all apply resilience, sometimes without knowing. We need our kids to be able to deal with whatever life throws at them in a healthy way. By opening up conversations about more difficult topics or hard times, we show our kids that it’s okay to go through something hard and we can model healthy ways to deal with these times.
– Why should you never give up?
– What does it mean when people say “every cloud has a silver lining?”
– Ask me about the most difficult time in my life?
Having empathy is a skill that many admire. To some, it comes easy and to others, they may have to try a little harder. I think empathy is a vital skill in the 21st century because of how confusing and overwhelming modern life can get.
– What is your favourite song and how does it make you feel?
– How can you cheer other people up?
– What one kind thing can we do for someone tomorrow?
21st-century skills matter, parents matter. Even busy mums can nurture their kid’s 21st-century skills every day, all it takes is a conversation. In our app, we have plenty more questions and prompts. Click here to download the KidCoachApp on Apple or Google. You get a two-week trial completely for free. What’s to lose? Build your kids to be the best they can be.