Four Life Skills that Children Will Need for the Future
Earlier this year, we conducted some research related to specific skills. In a survey, we asked 1000 parents key questions related to what they wish they’d learned at school and what they think their children could be learning.
We found that 83% of parents think ‘Life skills’ programmes should be offered to students in school — delivering knowledge about budgeting and starting a business.
By definition, life skills are abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable us to deal with the demands and challenges of life. It can be hard to maintain specific life skills in today's fast-paced world, whether it’s something as simple as learning a musical instrument or cooking a new recipe. Sometimes we simply can’t find the time.
Teaching children how to be independent and responsible can be challenging, but it’s achievable and life-long. Giving them a head start by focusing on skills that will benefit them in their life is one of the best things we can do.
While there are many life skills out there that we can learn, we’ll explore four in particular that are valuable and relevant to their future.
Money Management & Budgeting
Having basic financial skills is one of the most important things people can do to live a happy, healthy and secure life. While children are introduced to the concept of money in primary school, topics surrounding the importance and relevance of budgeting, planning and saving are rarely taught.
For some children, understanding money can be difficult. Allowing them pocket money every week or two can be a great way of introducing them to the concept of saving. Instead of buying something for the sake of it, ask them to save their pocket money for something a little more expensive. This will drive their motivation and also comes under the concept of teaching your child about budgeting.
Given time, they'll learn to make this a habit while learning not to waste money and respect its value. And while it’s necessary to teach your child that money is important, it’s also not the most important thing in the world. This will will teach them not the judge others based on the amount of money they earn.
Learning to Lead
When it comes to leadership, it starts with ourselves.
What makes a good leader comes down to who we are, the actions and behaviours we choose, the decisions we make, the way we treat others and how we communicate with them. Leadership impacts how people live their lives, the habits they form and who they become.
Above all, we all have the ability to lead ourselves and others, which is why it’s an essential life skill to grasp.
If children can learn about leadership qualities early on, this will essentially propel them towards future success both personally and professionally. This can be achieved through problem-solving, answering complex questions and completing riddles and puzzles. Children will learn to think independently, be resilient and know how to adapt to different scenarios, which will set them up for unprecedented challenges as and when they come in life.
Digital literacy refers to having the skills to live, learn and work in a society where communication and access to information is through digital technologies such as the internet, social media and mobile devices.
Young people are generally quick to get their heads around the latest technology, including children. But this alone doesn’t just come down to being tech-smart. Digital literacy is separate because it requires a level of critical thinking (something we explored in our previous blog post). Therefore, future digital natives need to know how to judge the validity of the streams of information they’re consuming.
A great way of combating the challenges that come with digital literacy is by informing your child
By learning about online safety, children can combat the challenges that come with digital literacy. In addition to this, try testing the boundaries of 'fake news' and encourage ethical thinking as this will amplify their critical thinking abilities for later in life.
Environmental Preservation & Sustainable Living
The truth is, climate change is already here.
Unfortunately, young people will live with the worst effects, so it’s not surprising to hear that more than 8 in 10 (81%) of 8-15 year-olds want to do more to protect the environment. In a recent global survey, as much as 60% of 16-25 year-olds felt very worried about climate change.
But as the impact of this intensifies over time, one thing has become certain: the future of the planet will be left to young people, who are already increasing their efforts and using their skills to accelerate climate action.
In a materialistic and economically unstable world, living sustainably is a very important life skill to learn. Small steps can start with small changes at home, whether it’s eating less meat or practising eco-friendly habits such as gardening, composting, recycling, preserving food, and conserving heat and electricity. Not only do these actions encourage children to be considerate to the planet, it also offers an opportunity to engage them in a conversation about real-world issues that transcend classroom walls. This will enable them to acquire specific skills to be creative problem solvers and find solutions for a sustainable future.
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