Updated: Nov 30, 2019
As we enter into an era of rapid growth and change, it is essential to be synchronized with this movement. Modern work life involves a combination of side gigs, passion projects, career changes and e-commerce businesses to name just a few. All of which are new to this generation and require different skills and a new mindset to pursue. Different than traditional work of having one career for decades until we retire, there are now more freelance work, work from home, remote jobs, and entrepreneurial endeavours that did not exist before. Not to mention the advancement of technology that is breeding Artificial Intelligence to automate our day to day life and solve our problems.
The world our kids will enter in their adulthood will be significantly different than what we were brought up in. Many of the skills needed for their future are fostered outside of the traditional school curriculum, in activities like sports camps, coding classes, math and science tutoring, arts and music lessons, language schools etc. These extra curricular programs are where students become exposed and immersed in building what we call the 7C's of practical skills© - Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, Critical thinking, Confidence, Compassion and Community awareness. And why are these skills important?
Creativity breeds innovation and that's the first ingredient to new inventions, new ideas, and new solutions. We need creativity to grow and expand the horizons of our everyday life.
Collaboration with a team is key to succeeding in big projects. As the African Proverb teaches, "If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far, go together." Being able to collaborate and work as a team is an advantage to building big things.
Communication is essential to deliver thoughts and views to others, it also expands our understanding of different perspectives and world views. The exchange of dialogue connects us to each other, and clarifies our understand to the world around us.
Critical Thinking is key to developing strategies and navigating through problems. Fostering the skill to methodically think through a problem and logically come up with a solution is crucial to daily life and to solving larger world problems.
Confidence is built through overcoming fear. When trying new things or learning new skills, it is natural to not be good at it. By persevering through failures, we build confidence in ourselves. This self confidence drives us forward to try new things and take calculated risks that build the stepping stones to success.
Compassion is an essential social emotional development that connects humanity together. The ability to feel for another person, empathize and recognize emotions are unique to human life. Compassion extends into love and positive impact that are essential ingredients to humanity.
Community Awareness is important to think beyond ourselves and connect with the world. Giving back and contributing to our community provides a sense of belonging and support that is needed to build a sustainable future.
What can parents do to foster these skills? 🏠
Challenge your child to further their ideas in the games they play, projects, activities or school work. Often times, we need to prompt children to think outside the box. Give them an example of what they can do, or ask questions that extends their thinking. Before prompting them to expand on their ideas, it is important to acknowledge what they've already achieved in their current project. When children feel a sense of accomplishment and their hard work is recognized, this builds confidence to explore their ideas further.
Here are some sample questions to extend your child's thinking:
How can you make this ___________ (i.e. bigger/smaller/taller/stronger)?
What would happen if you changed _______ (i.e. colour/size/texture/material)?
What can you add to make it ________ (i.e. float/sink/pet or travel friendly)?
Could you make it waterproof? soundproof? shatterproof?
What are you going to do next?
Asking open ended questions prompts children to further their thinking. We can form open ended questions if the question we ask does not result in a yes/no or finite response.
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Keep going and keep growing! 🌱
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