Everyone knows that children must learn the basics like how to read and write at an early age. But there are other really important skills they should also learn that will set them up for success in the future. The sooner they learn, the better off they’ll be in the future.
Here are five lessons you should teach your kids while they’re still young.
Critical thinking is vital to get ahead of the competition. Being able to observe a situation, analyze it and figure out the best way to overcome the problem is extremely valuable, not only in school, but later on in life too. It’s exactly what’s needed to create an engaging marketing campaign or to identify a long-standing condition at the hospital.
Encourage your child to answer questions that require deep thought.
For example, if they ask an interesting question, turn it back around on them and ask them what they think the answer. Kids learn better and gain a better understanding when they discover the answers for themselves. Have them do some research on the web under your supervision. When you’re done, ask them to explain it again in their words.
You could also ask them to create their own superhero. To get them to think critically, tell them you must be able to work out their powers only by looking at them. For example, Lightning Man may have a cape with a giant lightning bolt on the back. This extra instruction will make your child think in more detail about the task and how to meet your criteria.
2. Playing With Others
Successful organizations all over the world understand what it takes to work as a team to reach their goals. This is one of the reasons why teachers love to promote group work.
When kids work with others, they must deal with various dynamics; they must try not to go crazy if other members don’t want to go down the same route, how to consider other people’s feelings and manage their time so they finish the task in time.
All of these lessons come into fruition when they’re in the world of work.
There are plenty of things you can do at home to encourage this behavior too.
A great way is to host a bake sale with other kids from school or their siblings. Let them take it turns to break the eggs, mix the batter and prepare for the oven. Cookies never fail, but they could always try making an entire meal if they’re feeling up for a challenge.
3. Smart Tech And AI
How often have you asked your kid to help you with your new gadget? Probably more than once, but just because they know how to use them doesn’t guarantee they understand best practice.
Perhaps the most important innovation in our lifetime is the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). Our children will be profoundly impacted by this. You only need to look at how healthcare has been impacted by AI.
But how do you teach a kid about AI? There are actual books now designed specifically to teach children about AI and robots. Check out this article on some of the most remarkable books out there for kids: https://coolthingschicago.com/best-robot-books-for-kids/.
Another way you can get them to learn more about digital media is by creating a family social media account where they post news and pictures. Friends don’t need to know every detail though, so work through the posts to edit them down. This skill becomes translates well in the future when they need to reduce the length of a presentation to keep it engaging.
4. Spatial Awareness
Spatial awareness is another lesson you should teach your kids while they’re still young. It’s a valuable skill that we use every day without realizing, from parking cars into tight spaces to becoming familiar with new surroundings when moving to a new city.
In fact, according to Dr David Lubinski of Vanderbilt University, “spatial ability plays a critical role in developing expertise in STEM and suggest, among other things, that including spatial ability in modern talent searches would identify many adolescents with potential for STEM who are currently being missed.”
The door to a variety of professions opens up with great spatial awareness, from surgery to fashion design. They all require thinking about the end result while they work, no matter if it’s a heart transplant or a new dress.
Helping to boost spatial awareness is particularly great for parents with girls. This is because parents tend to give boys toys like Lego and train sets that encourage them to think about how the pieces fit together. That said, this skill isn’t really taught much at school, but you can do it yourself at home.
Video games are a great example. They don’t get as much credit as they deserve. Minecraft is an excellent example. They can build entire cities from just blocks, so it’s like using real blocks but at a much larger scale. Plus, it’s a lot of fun and they can share the experience with their friends and siblings by playing together.
5. Clear Communication
The final lesson is clear communication. Children must say what they mean, whether it’s at home asking for a later bedtime or explaining an idea in the classroom. With social media evolving the way we communicate, your child will be using this skill all the time. When they grow up, they’ll be connecting with clients and coworkers from all over the world, so they can’t have anyone second-guessing them.
One great activity they can use is to play follow the leader, or play a game where your kid must either give or listen to instructions. If you really wanted to supercharge these skills, close your eyes and follow your child’s directions as you move around the room to acquire certain objects. Then switch roles so your child has the chance to do both.