Thursday, 25 April 2019

5 Ways to Prepare Children for the 21st Century


Life skills are incredibly crucial for success. A life skill refers to an ability that is required daily for one to take part fully in life and succeed. Today, numerous changes are happening, and as such, these skills come into play to give people the ability to cope with the changes and situations. No matter how intensive one’s formal education is, it cannot replace the value of life skills in any way. Therefore, a child should obtain both classroom and life skills education. This will benefit them not only in their daily lives and relationships, but also in their adult careers, when they contribute productively as members of society.  Employers have learned that life skills are just as important, if not more so, as the technical skills needed for a job, and they scrutinise the depth of the life skills of a job candidate very carefully.  As a result, it is always good to identify a suitable training institution and enrol your child for a course in life skills to prepare him or her how to handle life and success in the 21st Century.   To prepare children to be successful and live fully in the 21st Century, children require skills for growth, development, and success in the ever-changing world. Luckily, all these are skills that are anchored in life skills training. Given this critical need for life skills, this article focuses on five ways to prepare children for the 21st century.

The 5 Ways to Prepare Children
The best way to prepare your children is to ensure that you allow them to learn a variety of life skills that they can use in each life situation. The most important of these life skills are critical thinking, communication, creativity, collaboration, and time management.

1. Teaching Critical Thinking to Children
Critical thinking can be defined as an ability to engage your mind consciously about something while simultaneously and carefully analysing it. It involves a careful and subjective evaluation of information, fact, structure or phenomenon and ultimately coming up with a sound decision that is well thought out.  When you teach children this significant skill, you have given them a very powerful tool in life. They will always think about something critically before speaking about it or acting. As a result, the child develops an open and subjective mind that always sees everything from a broad perspective.  Children who have this skill will always think about the outcome of an action, and this helps them avoid doing wrong. It helps them make judgments based on evidence and other relevant criteria.

2. Enhancing Communication of a Child
Communication is an essential art that children must learn to succeed in the 21st Century. Communication is the process by which individuals interact and exchange information, ideas, opinions, and beliefs. All humanity is woven together by communication because without it, nothing would be accomplished in the world.  When you enrol your child in a communication class as a life skill, the child will develop self-expression, listening skills, and public speaking skills. These three skills are very important in the life of the child as they give the child a power to let other people know how they are feeling, their point of view, their ideas, and other relevant information. Life would be difficult for a child who does not communicate well, since such a child lacks a clear voice in the world.

3. Enhancing Creativity
Creativity refers to the ability of a child to be innovative and inventive. It refers to the ability to think uniquely and to develop a new idea that has not been thought of before.   Creativity is an important life skill that gives children the ability to think and come up with new things. Creativity sometimes “misfires”, so the children also learn to be fearless in the face of possibly making mistakes, and to learn from those mistakes and propel themselves to even better opportunities and successes. If it were not for his creativity since childhood, it is highly doubtful that Bill Gates would be the great man he is today.  It is, therefore, useful to teach children how to be creative in order to give them the potential to explore and apply their talent and abilities in life and to use them to succeed in the 21st Century.

4. Teach them Collaboration
Collaboration is another crucial life skill that every child must have in the 21st Century for success. Collaboration is the process of working with others in unison and constructively in a particular situation. It brings children together to achieve more. It is anchored in the phrase that two heads are better than one.  One of the most significant benefits of this life skill is that it teaches children the need to work together and the benefits of doing so, including learning new things from another person and leveraging another’s talents. Collaboration also further enhances communication among children, giving them the courage to express their ideas. During the collaboration process, children also sharpen their listening and speaking skills, thus developing them in other important ways.  With this skill, children learn the rewards that come from teamwork and achieving shared goals together.

5. Sensitising the Essence of Time Management in Children
Time management is a life skill that every child must learn for the 21st Century. It is all about doing the right thing at the right time. Time management means that there is time allocated for every activity in a day to avoid time waste and misuse.  We are often told that one critical difference between the child who is at the top of their class and the child who is in position 10 is the way each has managed their study prep time. To some extent this is true, but the value of time management extends well beyond studying for school.  When children learn time management at an early age, they increase their chances of success in every endeavour, and it is a virtue that will guide them forever. It will, therefore, benefit the child in their later lives and careers, equipping them well to make themselves the masters of their own success in the 21st Century.

Final Thoughts
To ensure that your child has an opportunity to learn life skills, you can view our upcoming course in June on Resilience. You can register for this course and other upcoming life skills courses here. We will ensure your child is fully equipped to handle life and success in the dynamic 21st Century.  Also don’t miss the opportunity to join our webinar 'Life Skills: Preparing children to thrive for 21st Century living', conducted by Louise Treherne, Head of Character Education at Role Models.

In conclusion, we have identified creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and time management as five essential life skills that every child must possess to cope with daily life and succeed in the 21st Century.


Rosie Oliveira

Role Models Singapore Regional Director

Find out more about our Life Skills courses.

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