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In a world where technology takes a lot of our focus, many parents are concerned about their child’s development when it comes to learning real life skills.

Technology has brought a lot of good into our world, but some of the negative effects include a need for instant gratification, loss of patience, less attention and a lack of deep connection with ourselves and others.

Anticipated as one of the jobs of the future is a Digital Rehabilitation Counsellor- tasked with helping people recover from their digital overconsumption and regain their life back. People are realising how addictive and destructive social media and other online channels can be; with some predicting it will be a major driver of mental health costs by 2030, if it isn’t already.  

There is concern that our young people will be graduating from school with excellent scores but not knowing the first thing about coping with reality. What if they can’t communicate effectively, or handle money issues and are always in debt? What if they can’t find a love interest because they don’t have the confidence or social skills to talk to someone? 

As parents, we have so much we need to teach our children, and soft skills should be top of our list.  

There are many soft skills we need to be teaching our children, here are 12 to get you started: 

1. Manners

Please, thankyou, putting others first, hygiene habits, behaviour, table etiquette, apologising, being on time, respect for other people’s belongings, appropriate dress, personal grooming, consent, inclusion, good posture, telephone and technology etiquette, body language, and personal awareness are all great manners for us all to learn. A great book to read is 365 Manners Kids Should Know by Sheryl Eberly.

2. Communication

Includes effective expression, transmission, understanding and interpretation of knowledge and ideas. Confidence to speak with eye contact, listening to learn – not to respond and being fully present when communicating with someone.

3. Empathy

Children learn empathy through observing and experiencing empathy from others. When we empathise with our children they develop trusting, secure attachments with us and this enables them to adopt our values and model our behaviour, and therefore learn to build empathy for others.

4. Problem solving

Is a vital skill for our professional and personal life. This encompasses a range of other competencies such as logic, creativity, resilience, imagination, lateral thinking and determination.

5. Self discipline

From choosing to eat something healthy, to turning off the video game to work on homework; self-discipline is the key to becoming a responsible human.

6. Self care

Learning to listen to your body and prioritising your health is a must. Being aware of what you allow into your body not only physically, but emotionally, energetically and mentally is paramount for our wellbeing. Learning how to care for yourself and making it a priority is essential. Your self care routine could include the simple joy of a weekly bath, meditation, learning how to cook a wonderful meal, or healing yourself naturally.

7. Leadership, teamwork and collaboration

Strong soft skills ensure a productive, collaborative and healthy work environment. Skills such as presenting ideas and communicating with team members are all highly valued in the modern workplace.

8. Commitment

Hard work and perseverance are valuable skills that build commitment and work ethic. It’s easy to quit, many learn that if they complain long enough, hard work and perseverance are not necessary. Most things we achieve in life come from our commitment.

9. Time management

Efficient use of time allows us to reduce stress and tick off items from our to-do list. People who are good with managing their time utilise their time effectively, making more time for things they enjoy.

10. Organisation

Problems with organisation can take important time away from our day, hinder performance and lead to high levels of personal conflict with ourselves and others. Organisation helps us keep track of our belongings and is an important component of problem-solving and goal setting. Organisational skills support productivity, improve time management and enhance the successful completion of goals.

11. Adaptability

Expands your ability to handle any sort of change whether positive or negative. Instead of throwing away energy trying to change a circumstance, adaptability ensures we thrive in whatever situation we find ourselves in.

12. Receiving criticism and feedback

Being able to accept criticism shows maturity and prevents problems with people in authority. If we can control ourselves and listen to what others have to say about how we can improve, we will have fewer problems, and hopefully learn and evolve.

 

Soft skills set us apart from others. Hard skills can be learnt, but attitude and character are developed over time, and take a conscious effort and commitment. In most jobs, technical skills alone are not enough to be truly effective.

The future of work in a post-pandemic world is forcing organisations to think beyond productivity and transactional work, which is quickly becoming automated through Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data.

The business of tomorrow will rely on workers with soft skills that are impossible to automate. Skills such as empathy, understanding the subtleties of human interaction and the ability to detect patterns, opportunities and connect ideas are highly important.

Automation and artificial intelligence is constantly evolving and tasks that require hard skills are continuing to decline, making soft skills key differentiators in the workplace.

It is predicted that two-thirds of all jobs in Australia will rely on soft skills by 2030, so never fear if your child isn’t as academically minded, focus on building their soft skills and they will be successful in whatever they focus their attention on.