Are We Instilling Key Life Skills in Our Children?

If you want to give your children the best education and work towards their success in life, The Woman Post will provide you with important information that may be new for many parents!.

The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía Pizano

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According to experts, development in children cannot be solely measured by their performance at school. 

Conventionally, we have evaluated the abilities of our kids by using external measurements such as school grades. Fortunately, Harvard experts have confirmed that the future success of our children cannot be predicted by grades obtained in school or higher education. Research in child and adolescent development, education, psychology, and neuroscience has shed light on what are the different factors that contribute towards healthy and productive lives. According to the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, there are a core set of skills that help children face challenges as they grow, more than grades and extracurricular activities. What are these 5 important core skills?

1. Planning: The planning skill alludes to the ability to set concrete roads and a plan to achieve them successfully.

2. Focus: Refers to being able to center attention on whatever is important at a given time. 

3. Self-control: This ability is related to the way we react not only to our own emotions but to stressful situations that may come. 

4. Awareness: Relates not only to understanding and noticing situations that surround us, but also comprehending how we can fit in.

5. Flexibility: This alludes to the ability to adjust our behavior to changing situations. 


Harvard experts have also mentioned that children and adults can learn and practice these skills without a time limit, but two specific periods are particularly relevant, early childhood (ages 3 to 5) and adolescence/ early adulthood (ages 13 to 26). During these two periods, developing and practicing these skills can help them endure for a successful future. But having identified their importance, how can you develop these core skills in your children? The best way to learn an ability is to put it into practice, and experts reveal important advice on ways to cultivate these skills.

For developing the planning skill, it is a good idea to involve children in planning, vacations, study time, and even simple activities such as fixing clothes or organizing toys. Cooking and baking are also good for practicing planning. For focus, parents should try to implement schedules in which screens are not allowed and encourage them to play with building blocks or to read a book.  

For practicing self-control, experts advise parents to talk to their children about emotions and how to deal with them. For instance, teaching breathing techniques is useful. For self-awareness, experts recommend parents promote the participation of their children in volunteering experiences and also eating meals with family members. Finally, for flexibility, it is important to teach children to act spontaneously and when they fail, teaching them to stay optimistic!

We all want our children to cultivate skills that will not only help them to be successful but to be happy and healthy, so what are you waiting for to start sharing time with your children while practicing these valuable abilities?

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