Social Skills Activities Children Need to Practise

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social skills

Is the current schooling system preparing children for tomorrow’s world?

The world of yesterday is rapidly becoming irrelevant. Back in the 80’s, I was educated in a schooling system that believed in and prepared you for a world that was expected to remain essentially the same, barring a few minor changes in hairstyles. We were taught and trained for jobs that were in demand at the time not what would be in demand in the 2000’s.

Well off course no one could really predict what the future would be like, and we had no idea of what the world had in store for us.

And we still don’t. We never do. We have never been good at predicting the future, and so raising and educating our kids as if we have any idea what the future will hold is not the wisest course of action.

How then to prepare our kids for an unpredictable world with so many unknowns? By teaching them to adapt, to deal with change, to be prepared for anything by not preparing them for anything specific.

Let’s look at a good set of social skills activities children should be taught at home, that will best prepare them for any world of the future

 

Learn Independently

We want our kids to be able to learn on their own. To teach themselves anything. Then we don’t need to teach them everything — whatever they need to learn in the future, they can do on their own. The most important trait you need to teach yourself anything is learning to ask questions. Kids are naturally curious, and we simply need to encourage it. When you and your child encounter something new, ask questions, and explore the possible answers with your child. When he does ask questions, reward the child, and don’t discourage his curious disposition.

Problem Solving

If a child can solve problems she can do any job. Starting a new job might be intimidating to any of us, but it’s just another problem to be solved. A new skill, a new environment, new demands they’re all simply problems to be solved. Teach your child to solve problems by yourself demonstrating simple problem solving, then allowing her to do some very easy ones on her own. Don’t immediately solve all your child’s problems, allow her time to ponder and try various possible solutions, and reward such efforts. Eventually, your child will develop confidence in her problem-solving abilities, and then there is nothing she can’t do.

Project Management

As an entrepreneur, I know that owning and operating a business involves tackling various projects. To achieve my goals, I need to plan and execute many projects, some small and some big. Work on projects with your child, letting him see how it’s done by working with you, then letting him do more and more by himself. As he gains confidence, let him tackle more on his own. Soon, his learning will just be a series of projects that he’s excited about.

Encourage Passion

We need goals and discipline to achieve success. However, what drives me most is passion. When something excites me that it keeps me up at night, I will inevitably dive into it fully committed, and most times I’ll complete the project and enjoy doing it. Help your kid find things she’s passionate about, it’s okay if she tries out a few things first, finding ones that excite her the most, helping her really enjoy them. Don’t discourage any interest.

Learn From Your Mistakes and be Independent

Kids should be taught to increasingly become independent. Gradually, of course. Slowly encourage them to do things on their own. Teach them how to do it, show them how you do it, help them do it, and gradually help them less. Let them make their own mistakes. Give them confidence in themselves by letting them have a bunch of successes and letting them solve their failures. Once they learn to be independent, they learn that they don’t need a teacher, a parent, or a boss to tell them what to do. They can figure out the direction they need to take on their own.

Decision-Making Skills

Making good decisions is a life skill every child should begin learning at a young age. Begin with basic decisions like strawberry ice cream versus chocolate ice cream, the red shirt or the blue one, playing with cars or trucks.

Lead them through the many steps of decision-making. Help them weigh their options, evaluate the pros and cons of that decision, and then let them make the final decision to see how things play out.

Meal Preparation

Even the youngest children can learn how to prepare a meal in the kitchen. We’re not talking about Sunday lamb roast, of course, but you can teach preschoolers how to fix a simple sandwich and elementary school kids can be taught how to use the microwave. Your kids can assist you in the kitchen at any age.

As your children become more confident in the kitchen, they can add on other meal prep life skills like learning how to bag their own lunch, make healthy food choices, cook a simple meal on the stove with adult supervision and plan their own meals.

Health and Hygiene

Your kids are never too young to begin learning about health and hygiene. In our hectic day-to-day bustle, we’re always telling our kids to take a bath, brush their teeth, wash their hands, and change their underwear. We never tell them why, though.

Explain why health and hygiene are always going to be crucial parts of their days. The Covid-19 pandemic is a good example of the importance of health and hygiene. That is just one reason to maintain good health and hygiene habits. As your children begin learning about this life skill, set up a chart that allows them to check off each task as they complete it. When these healthy habits are established over time, take away the chart and your kids will mentally go through the checklist throughout the day without you having to continually remind them.

Good Time Management

As a parent you will know how important time management is to keep your family on track. But it’s also important for kids to learn time management lessons now.

Not only does teaching younger children how to measure time, stay on task and keep to a schedule help make your days easier, learning this life skill also helps them become masters of time so they can do everything that needs to be done.

Compassion

We need this to work well with others, to care for people other than ourselves, to be happy by making others happy. Teach by example. Be always compassionate to your child, and to others. Show them empathy by asking how they think others might feel and thinking aloud about how you think others might feel. Demonstrate at every opportunity how to ease the suffering of others when you’re able, how to make others happier with small kindnesses, how that can make you happier in return.

Accepting Change

This will be one of the most essential skills as our kids grow up, as the world is always changing and being able to accept the change and evolve and to deal with the change will be a competitive advantage. People sometime fear change and set goals and plans and try to rigidly adhere to them even though the landscape has changed. Model this skill for your child at every opportunity and show them that change is okay, that you can adapt, that you can embrace new opportunities that weren’t there before. Life is an adventure, and things will go wrong, turn out differently than you expected, but that’s okay. It’s part of the excitement of it all.

We can’t give our children all the knowledge or data they may need in the future. We don’t know what the future will bring. But we can prepare them to learn anything, to solve anything, to adapt to anything and hopefully a future filled with everything they desire.

 


6 thoughts on “Social Skills Activities Children Need to Practise”

  1. I so much enjoyed ready your article about what social skills we can teach our kids to prepare them for an unpredictable future. Every child is different and has its own learning pace. Some get it very young, others learn when they are way older. I believe that building their self-confidence is number one on my list. My older daughter who is now 23, has had self-confidence issues and anxiety. She is slowing regaining it but it takes time!! You’ve got so many great points and piece of advice in your article. Thank you!! 

    1. Hi 

      Thank you for taking the time to read my article and commenting.

      Children do tend to learn at different pace, however it is our reponsibility to provide them with the tools and guidance on their learning journey

  2. I love this blog and I think it should be required reading for all parents.  We have a problem with parents and schools that are more interested in isolating their children from the hurts of the world than preparing them to go out into it and be productive citizens.  I have raised 3 children and been a large part of my 9 grandchildren’s lives and I have always said that it is our job to raise children to let them go.  To prepare them to go.  Thank you for this list of things parents should be looking at!

    1. Hi Cynthia

      I love your philosophy on raising kids” it is our job to raise children to let them go. To prepare them to go.”

      Education should be focused on preparing kids on all that the world offers, including teaching them to adapt and pivot with the changes and obstacles they may encounter.

  3. I completely agree with you that our education system trained us for what was the norm concerning work and business for grown ups when we were kids. But we grew up and that world changed. And it’s changing even faster now. So it leaves me wondering how can I craft an education that really helps our kids. Your points are very valid. Above all, I think decision-making skills and problem solving are the most important.

    1. Hi Ann

      Thank you for taking the time to comment.

      Lets hope the education system progresses as rapidly as the world is evolving

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