Six skills that will help your child get a fantastic job in the future

Without them, professional knowledge can’t be applied.

Ideally, you should start developing these skills in a child as young as 3-4, but the exercises we’ll cover in this article will work with kids and teens of any age. But first, subscribe to our Telegram channel. We often publish such valuable articles!

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1. Creativity

One of the critical skills of the future is creative thinking — the ability to find non-standard solutions to everyday problems. It opens up the most expansive horizons for a teenager.

It is not only designers and advertisers who need creativity. A specialist with such a skill is a generator of the most diverse ideas for getting out of difficult situations. Engineers, analysts, managers, journalists, marketers — any professional will only benefit from the ability to look at a problem more broadly than is customary.

How to develop the skill

  • Several exercises will help change the usual way of thinking. When doing them, remember to support your child and by no means ridicule them — otherwise, they may avoid sharing her ideas in the future. Build unexpected connections between subjects. For example, consider what a bag and a banana have in common. Both items can be yellow and have an oblong shape.
  • Think of unconventional uses for the objects. For example, where could a pencil be used? Not only can you draw with it, but you can also twist paper for crafts, stir paints, or use it as a slingshot. Agree to name at least 30 options.
  • Make a 100-word story or do a 10-slide presentation. Invite your child to tell a story with exactly 100 words. Or have a homework project night. Another option is a 10-slide presentation titled "Why We Should Get a Dog. It is essential to show that even with limited resources, it is possible to cover the topic most profoundly and excitingly.

2. Ability to think critically

The Internet is full of information that is not always true. The ability to look at a problem from new angles, not take everything said for granted and make objective conclusions are fundamental skills worth developing while still at school.

They are helpful for people of various professions, including the creative professions, which are no longer guided by inspiration alone. After all, objectivity and evidence are now in the foreground.

How to develop the skill

You can train the ability to think critically in a game format — this way, it will be easier to captivate your child.

  • Find two texts on the same topic, for example, about global warming. Consider how the authors present the topic, how their arguments differ, and which studies they refer to. This exercise will teach your child always to form their own opinion and help them not to be influenced by online advertising.
  • Play scientist with your child. Please give them a statement to prove with at least three arguments. For example, people cannot live outside of society. Why? Because: humans are social creatures, it is vital for a person to feel needed and involved in something.
  • Skills and talents cannot be realized outside of society.
  • Play “Fact or Opinion. Take an article where the authors make assumptions and ask your child to determine which is a fact and which is an opinion. For example: “Scientists have suggested that the abandoned city of the Inca civilization of Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, might be called Huayna Picchu.” That the abandoned city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a fact, and the scientists’ suggestion that a different name might have called the city is an opinion.
  • Make a list of what you know and don’t know about a site. Take, for example, the elephant in the zoo. You know it’s a mammal, gray in color, and it lives in India. But you have no idea what elephants eat or how long they live on average. Through this exercise, the child realizes how much there is to know about an object that we don’t think we all know. That means it’s crucial to check everything they say around them, not take it for granted right away.

3. Teamwork Skill

This skill is a way to interact effectively with others and apply one’s abilities to a common goal.

Teamwork opens people’s strengths and weaknesses and broadens their horizons because they learn to look at a task from different angles and to be sensitive to the opinions of others.

In the job market, the ability to work in a team is required in almost every job. However, teachers do not always consider this skill during school classes. It means you’ll have to work with your child on your own.

How to develop a skill

It all depends on your imagination. Here are the following techniques: 

  • Give up some household chores and see how the child reacts to them. Will he want to do them himself, or will he convince you to go back to them, thus developing the skill of an organizer?
  • Give a group of children a joint task. For example, prepare gifts for moms for March 8 in two hours. Observe the children and then summarize who came up with the most ideas, helped with organization, did everything independently, and did not consult with anyone.
  • We discuss the importance of teamwork by using a sports game as an example. What if you took the goalkeeper off the field? What is the purpose of a coach? Why can’t you simultaneously be a forward and a defender?
  • Teach your child to take on any little things enthusiastically. For example, wash the dishes not only for themselves, turn off the light even in the hallway and wash the kitchen floor. To encourage interest, come up with a system of motivation. For example, in his book “Kids’ Skills,” the Finnish child psychologist Dr. Ben Furman recommends planning a holiday together dedicated to the successful learning of a skill. As a rule, children love not only the parties themselves but also their preparation. It motivates them not to give up and gives parents confidence that the skill will be mastered.

4. The ability to adapt to change

These days, the world is changing faster than even ten years ago. New technologies are being developed, the circle of acquaintances is expanding, new professions are constantly appearing in the labor market, and old ones are dying out.

Adapting quickly to all these changes makes a person a true professional. He can get out of his comfort zone, adapt to the market demands, and find an application of his skills in the industries in most demand right now.

How to develop a skill

Changing their routine is the best way to make children’s thinking more flexible.

  • Try new ways of doing homework with your child. For example, use paper and pen instead of the usual calculator, or do all calculations in their head. Suggest that the child do routine things with the other hand. For example, they brush their teeth, eat dinner, or close the door. Many psychologists assert that children are very enthusiastic about such experiments.
  • Do the exercise “What if...”. Consider an exciting idea or situation, and invite the child to speculate. For example: “What if the world completely shuts down the Internet?”
  • Play Sherlock Holmes. Choose a place familiar to your child — a room, a park, the road home from school — and tell them that a crime happened here. To do this, make up a little backstory and lay out the evidence — for example, a scrap of a note or someone’s scarf. The task of the child is to investigate the crime. During the game, it will learn to pay attention to detail, look at things from different angles and make logical conclusions.
  • Read a book with your child. Reading stimulates our brains and develops our imagination. We begin to understand reality better, consider points of view different from our own, and gain new knowledge that will come in handy in the face of uncertainty.

5. The ability to concentrate

It is more challenging for children to focus on certain things because their brains are not yet fully developed. However, the earlier a child begins to master this skill, the easier it will be for them to attend school and build a career in the future.

Important note: Attention span skills don’t just develop through complex activities. For example, when children draw, build a city from a construction set, watch a video on a tablet or play a game you do not understand the meaning of, they also develop concentration. And at such moments, it is better not to interfere with them.

How to develop a skill

There are various ways to keep your attention on the essential things: 

  •  Learn poetry. Choose a favorite poet or topic that interests your child. Start with one poem (or excerpt) per week and gradually increase the load. 
  • Use the “tomato method” during tasks that require the child’s assiduity and concentration. It was suggested in the 1980s by time-management expert Francesco Cirillo. One “tomato” is 25 minutes of work, followed by a five-minute break. You must “eat” four “tomatoes,” after which you can rest for 15-30 minutes. So that the child will be more willing to work, think of a motivation system. For example, after four “tomatoes,” you can go eat something tasty or browse social networks (read Networking with empathy: what is it, how, and why to build it).
  • Enroll your child in a sports club. The advice is related to concentration. Physical exercise helps the brain to ignore distractions and train willpower. And it affects our ability to focus positively.

6. Self-Reliance

An independent person can understand what he wants from life, make informed choices, and take responsibility for them. In childhood, the will and the ability to self-control begin to form, and new opportunities push children into endless experimentation.

Fostering independence in your child, you have to learn to let it go gradually, to accept growing up, and not to be shielded from mistakes and the opportunity to learn from them. This process is better to start in childhood to form the conditions for a sense of confidence in any changes and achieve tremendous success in their careers. Read Five ways to become more confident instantly.

How to develop a skill

Psychologists recommend the following techniques: 

  • Start developing independence with simple household things. At 2-3 years, a child can learn how to get dressed without the help of an adult, make the bed and wash their hands — at 4-5 years old — tie shoelaces, clear the table, feed animals, or water flowers. Ages 6-8 — pack a backpack for school, wash and maintain hygiene.
  • Practice a “counter question” exercise. When a child asks you something, don’t try to solve everything for them immediately — let them think for themself. 
  • Use counter-arguments: “What would you do?”, “Let’s think about it. What are our options?” or "Which answer works best for you? As they get older, increase the number and complexity of the questions. That is how children gradually realize that you can come to any decision in life on your own. Give your child the right to make mistakes. When he makes his first breakfast, it may not taste good or inedible, but it will be his mistake, which must be analyzed together. Otherwise, the child will always rely on you and blame others for bad decisions in the future.
  • Support the rules with personal examples. Children are so built that they are good at imitating everything adults do. Tell your son or daughter about your accomplishments — how you got into college without the help of your parents or how you got a job on your own. It will inspire your child and make it easier for them to take responsibility for their decisions in the future.

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