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3 soft skills for children: why they matter and how to develop them at home

16 Jun 2020

We believe every child has the potential to become a successful and empathetic global citizen who will have a positive impact on the community. At BSS we do that through the Holistic approach. However, this article is for you to see what we focus on and try to implement it at home with your children.

A hard skill, like knowing how to code from early age, for example, is a crucial skill in the 21st century. However, empathy, understanding, friendliness and all the rest are also important: moral, spiritual, religious, social and cultural values. Because the future doesn’t require us to be robots. We need more and more of those soft skills to distinguish ourselves as human beings.

 

1. Communication

The communication skills are crucial in all aspects of life in a society. You need to be able to speak your mind and understand others. Through verbal and nonverbal communication you can express yourself and if done correctly, you will be heard and the points you make will likely matter. That’s why it matters.

What we do at school in this regard is our Assembly practice. Every morning our pupils share their thoughts and expectations of the ay with each other. They calm each other if someone is upset. They lough together is everyone is happy.

How to do this at home

You can shamelessly copy and paste what we do. We will even be happy if you do so. When your children wake up in the morning ask them how they feel and why. After hearing them out, tell them about your expectations of your day. About your mood. Because sharing and empathy are two of the great cornerstones of communication.

 

2. Critical thinking and decision making

The critical thinking and decision making are just like the cutlery in your kitchen: they need a whetstone in order to work properly. No matter if you are a CEO in a multinational company or if you need to write a home assignment in first grade, you need to be able to understand the problems, think critically and devise solutions. Because you won’t always be a first grader. And because you need to be ready for the outside world - the sooner, the better. That’s why critical thinking and problem solving are essential.

An example of how we do it at BSS is the Golden time rule. It is rewarded to those who have kept the school rules and who excel at their studies. The best students are awarded half an hour every week where they decide what the whole class will do. It can be anything from extra math lessons to watching a short movie. The point is: it has to be something educational and it has to be decided by a single pupil. This way the decision maker has to critically think what would benefit the whole class and has to step up and actually announce his/her decision.

How to do this at home

Most households have some internal rules. Some don’t eat meat. Some don’t watch TV after 8:00 p.m. Some have electronic blackouts during the weekends. The point being if you obey the rules, you get your own Golden time. A perfect way is a parents’ example. If one of the parents obeyed the rules and is unanimously voted the best by the family, he or she gets to decide what the weekend plans are going to be. Next week try implementing this with your children. Ask them to think what will be beneficial to everyone and to make the decision what the family will do during the weekend.

 

3. Teamwork

Whether you participate in tons of team projects or you have a group assignment in school building on your teamwork skills is important. You need to be able to effectively and efficiently work together with others for achieving common goals. This is true even if you don’t meet them personally but for example during the online lessons in the COVID-19 pandemic.

We promote teamwork values with our Lego lessons. There the students need to work in a closely knitted team in order to create a more complex projects. One student builds roads. One designs the parks. One decides what kind of animals will be grazing in the grass. And all these intertwine in a bigger structure – sometimes even a whole city, for which welbeaing the whole team is responsible.

How to do this at home

Why not use Lego? Almost all children and even some adults love this Danish wonder. That is until you step on one of the little bricks. To avoid this mishap, you can always play a team sport with your child. Another way to train the little ones teamwork is to share the house chores. For example, you can let your child use the vacuum cleaner after you have dusted off the library at home.

 

As you can see, everyone can contribute to his/her children’s development of soft skills. However, the hard skills are not to be neglected. See for yourself how the Primary and Lower Secondary curriculums do that at BSS.

You want a piece of the action during the summer? Check out our Summer School programme.

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