Our long-term parenting goal
As parents, we want to raise children who are confident and self-sufficient. Our long term goal in parenting is to help our children to develop intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically, so that they grow up to become well-rounded, socially-conscious and independent individuals.
How to future-proof your child for the new economy
It is every parent’s wish for our children to have the best possible shot at their future. However, with our ever-changing economic landscape, we may need to adapt and modify our current parenting methods.
Preschoolers of today will enter the workforce in about 15 years in 2035. In addition to the basic skills – reading, writing and cognitive skills – they will also need to learn to be competent problem-solvers, possess critical thinking skills and be able to adapt quickly to changes around them.
Future Skill #1: Problem-Solving
Problem-solving goes beyond academic problem-solving and extends into an individual’s sense of self-worth and achievement as well. For children, being able to solve a problem on their own improves their confidence and reduces their reliance on others, which facilitates in building their independence and responsibility. It also instills in them a sense of purpose as, in the process of solving a problem, the time and effort that is invested may lead them to discover new things either about themselves or of others, or maybe even provide them with the opportunity to discover a new passion.
Future Skill #2: Resilience
We should expect the future economic climate to be vastly different from what we are used to. Not only will these changes be prevalent, they will be fast as well. As such, it is important that we arm our children with the skill that is needed to prepare them to meet these challenges and rise as victors – resilience.
Resilience is the ability to overcome challenging situations and emerge stronger than you were before as a result of having been shaped positively by these difficult experiences. There are 5 key stress resilience skills that you can teach your child at home:
- Flexibility and stability of focus – attention
- Physically letting go
- Mentally letting go
- Developing and maintaining positivity
In schools, project-based work is the key to teaching children resilience. Through project-based work, students are given free rein to be creative, learn through iteration and develop skills to improve and change. Contrary to traditional learning, these work as more effective learning tools than having only one answer to every question.
Future Skill #3: Critical Thinking
Asking questions, or more specifically the right questions, is essential in learning this skill. In order to better explain why critical thinking is important now, and will continue to be important in the future for our children, here is an example:
Your child may turn to Google to find the answer to a simple question for their homework – e.g. “What are the factors that contribute to healthy plant growth for hydroponic plants?” – they find the answer and are able to complete their work. However, this piece of information and knowledge they obtained is merely superficial because they failed to ask further questions that will allow them to know more about the topic.
Learning should go beyond reading and memorising the right answers that you later regurgitate onto an examination paper for grades. This is where critical thinking comes in as instead of learning the correct answers to certain questions, children learn the correct questions to ask instead. In developing this skill, children will be fully equipped with the essential framework necessary in order to ask the right questions for them to truly thrive in a fast-paced, ever-changing world.
Steps to raising independent children
Raising an independent child is perhaps one of the most important parenting goals. Where should the line be drawn between supporting a young adult in their autonomous development and being overprotective of their daily activities? In order to help your child achieve more when it comes to their individual independence, parents should always remember to:
1. Allow your children to be independent – if a child is corrected at every step by an adult it will discourage them from performing specific tasks, because the mindset that slowly forms over time is that: since the parent knows better, he/she will probably do it better.
2. Let your child learn through independent discovery and experimentation.
3. Celebrate your child’s achievements – Comparisons adversely affect internal motivation. It should be accepted that each of us is different, has different preferences and predispositions.
4. Show respect and help the child if he asks.
Start with baby steps – completing homework with minimal supervision
1. Allow your child to relax after school. It is worth specifying the time frame of rest and allowed activities.
2. Praise your child. Doing homework should be associated with a feeling of satisfaction when the work is done.
3. Provide comfortable conditions. Toys and all non-learning items should disappear from the desk while doing homework. Eliminate loud sounds of conversations, or audio from the computer, TV or radio.
4. Provide support. In the first couple years of school, parents should supervise the child’s work but avoid sitting at the desk with them. Help should consist of checking if the child understands the content and context of the tasks. Instead of giving ready hints, you should encourage them to think independently.
Children should be introduced to independence gradually. It is also important to note that each child is different and learning things at their own pace and in their own way. As parents, what we can do to help our child develop independence and confidence as students is to continually learn and grow ourselves. Together, we can prepare the next generation of thinkers and leaders to flourish in the future.
For more information on resources and training on how to teach your child independence, please contact us.