Creative Kids, Family & Parenting, Lifestyle

Five Skills to Teach Children if They Must Excel in the World of Societal Achievements

Charity begins at home.

How many times have you heard it in your lifetime?

If you’ve never come across this adage of saying, it simply means that whatever you learn at home is what you will eventually portray outside unconsciously.

So if you learnt that generous giving is the route to receiving anything in life, you tend to be more charitable.

You see life as purposefully designed to give to your fellow human without necessarily expecting anything in return.

But with the assurance and confidence that, since life is karmic, whatever you sow will be reaped abundantly.

Therefore, it’s highly beneficial for parents to teach what they want their children to exhibit in the world, what type of skills and talents will suit that particular child, and how it will benefit them.

Moulding children and providing an environment conducive to their character and abilities will assist them in flourishing beyond their wildest dreams.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case – either the parents have a perceived notion of what field and career path they want their children to follow, or they don’t provide a great environment that will nourish their children’s minds and souls.

Imagine the stories we hear about parents enforcing specific career paths that have been in the family for generations and even though it may make the family legacy last or support the family status quo of excellence. The children of these family dynasties suffer if they desire a different path.

Usually, they are forced to either choose the commitment to family allegiance or break the mould and pursue their passion and desires, only sacrificing the alienation from the family unit.

It’s a tough choice and sometimes heart-breaking to see children suppress their God-given talents to make amends with family customs.

Luckily growing up, my siblings and I didn’t feel the pressure of family obligations and were allowed to pursue whatever career path we considered ideal and profitable.

We had the freedom to try as often as we deemed necessary, except for taking education seriously.

We could choose whatever field we wanted to study as long as we completed and pursued a career path within this sector. We were blessed and grateful to have that opportunity and freedom to explore and experiment.

Within the family, we have a doctor, an accountant, an IT professional, a politician, a project manager, a sales professional, a business owner and an entrepreneur.

A very diverse and highly versatile sector which can easily position us to reach the pinnacle of societal success.

Since becoming a parent, I aim to create an environment that will set the children for success in every area of life. I envision them to excel and reach self-actualised positions.

Incorporating these five topics below alongside academic studies will be highly suitable and valuable in aiding the children’s decision with their career paths.

Whether they want to become computer coders, film scientists, actors, gamers or writers (currently the aspirations of my Eleven and Eight-old boys), by combining these skills, who knows what they will become in twenty years!

NEGOTIATIONS

Every day as a parent, you are constantly negotiating with your children. It could simply be trying to agree on what to have for dinner, who should wash the dinner plates, or when bedtime should be. 

Every day can be a battle if negotiation skill is not taught or practised in the home. Therefore, with the various definitions, I would say that negotiation is the primary method whereby people settle any differences and try to reach an amicable agreement without argument and dispute. 

The beauty of building up children’s negotiation skills is teaching them the vital ability to persuade people to their point of view, taking into consideration these essential pointers:- 

  • Treating the other person with respect.
  • Separating the person from the problem.
  • Understanding their point of view.
  • Listening first and talking second.
  • Sticking to the facts.
  • Exploring options together.

Mainly it involves the child using their empathy, ability to compromise and the importance of enhancing these abilities.

When they are encouraged to explore and appreciate the necessity of the skill, children foster substantial confidence, self-esteem, and social relationship skills with adults and children in their age group. 

By practising the skill early in their young lives, they could calmly and confidently arrange with their friends and family members when deciding what games and toys to play with, which steer them when older in business or career life.

This attitude helps them build better relationships which will last and foster quality solutions rather than poor short-term solutions that do not satisfy the needs of either party. It solidifies and avoids future problems and conflicts.

To improve and strengthen children’s negotiation skills, there are a few techniques that parents can help children implement so that they stay helpful and valuable:- 

1. Be Prepared. Preparation is the first step to negotiating successfully. 

2. Children can set up Goals that they want to achieve. 

3. Consider Alternatives. 

4. Don’t Sell Yourself Short. 

5. Take Your Time. 

6. Communication is Key. 

7. Listen Carefully. 

8. Explore Other Possibilities.

There you go; yes, Rome wasn’t built in a day, or anything worthwhile doesn’t come easy, so with that knowledge, keep challenging your children to step out of their comfort zone and help them hone this essential skill; they will thank you later. 

When they want to extend time spent on the gadget, get them thinking about how they can negotiate more time by debating and arguing the benefits of using technology. They may surprise you with their wits and technological savviness. 

PSYCHOLOGY

How can psychology help your child succeed, and what is it all about anyway?

As an adult, I am fascinated by how people behave and how some individuals seem to glide effortlessly and smooch through life. 

Does the environment you grew up in affect your mental power? 

Do the people we surround ourselves with affect us?

Does the food we eat impact our physical wellbeing and mental capacity?

Suppose you answered with a resounding yes that our environment, the people we communicate with daily and surround ourselves with and having the proper diet makes a massive, unmistakably difference in how we fair in life, then you’re on the right track. 

What is the connection with psychology, and how can it position a child and even help parents understand human behaviours and thinking? 

Most definitions of psychology centre on the studying of the mind and human behaviour; however, an appropriate insight can be summarised as 

 ‘Psychology’ literally means the science of the soul. (Psyche—soul; logos =science).

Hmm, not so readily evident to see the human soul.

Still, we can feel the essence of the other persona by the way they think and act, especially in certain situations when we get the privilege to get a full glimpse of a person’s soul.  

Imagine meeting someone for the first time; aside from the first physical appearance, the only time you experience and become acquainted with the person is, by the way, their soul communicates with you.

It’s not words spoken, which accounts for only 30%, but primarily through their nonverbal gestures and the inner radiation of the person’s soul. 

Do they make you feel warm, or their uneasy demeanour sends chills down your spine? 

Do they make you feel positively joyous by just being in their presence? 

If the latter resonates more when you connect with another human, then chances are, you are experiencing someone whose psychology is attuned and refined. 

We must accustom ourselves and learn that the power to connect and build a healthy, productive relationship is necessary and crucial.

Parents must instil and model these skills to their children so that, when they become an adult, they will fully understand the incentives and motivations behind others’ actions, a soft skill that is useful in sales, investing, dating, and conflict negotiation.

The ability to interpret another person’s mental processes and telic behaviour is a skill that not everyone has; it must be learnt and become habitual to think similarly to another.

Empathy develops when the skill is honed. It makes the person you are connecting with feel confident in building a trusting relationship with you. 

Since individuals can learn about their own experiences by opening up to their inner perception and introspection, it allows that individual to look inside to understand the emotions they are experiencing.

Whether it’s fear, hope, apprehension or deceit, they can have a process that will aid in finding a solution, the best way out of unpleasant situations, or ways to heighten that positive or pure natural inner bliss. 

Teaching children the science behind building and connecting with the right type of individuals, engaging with and ultimately deciding whether to pursue a relationship and confidently relating to anyone and any situation is a skill that can be learnt early and improved upon. 

If children can understand other telic behaviours, it assists them in making wise decisions.

The more advanced they become in spotting a specific action, they can make a clear decision on what intentions from other is legitimate and which has red flag alerts. 

Even adults find this hard, and some experience hardship as the human soul is fickle; however, by learning the vital essential traits of human psychology, we can successfully play the right game to win in life. 

Therefore, as Buddha said, ‘We are what we think. All that we are arises from our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world”.

SALES

Sales are typically associated with or portrayed as guys on Wall Street selling financial services to people who don’t want or need them or girls in call centres persistently calling to sell donations for animals or children in third world countries. Highly generalised assumptions and stereotypes.

If you understand the true nature of sales or selling, you will start loving the skill and using it more to your advantage.

I only wished I had known earlier in life; however, no regrets and I’m glad to be educated and in tune with the benefits. Just imagine a child in a supermarket or grocery store who wants the parent to get them a threat.

They could either have a mind-body experience by throwing an explosive tantrum where the parent may cave in to avoid the discomfort or the child can skilfully (mind you, at the tender young age, they don’t understand the power they will be using but one that used correctly and candidly can get them anything in life) find a way to persuade the parent to get them the item they want, not necessarily need.

 This skill that the child unleashes is now classified as a soft skill that most employers and business owners need to grow their business exponentially. 

It is the act of persuasion, or simply the act of selling your ideas so that the other person can confidently see your point of view without sensing that you are selling them your ideas.

It might sound simplistic, but unfortunately, as humans, we like to complicate and make things complex through the sheer power of fear.

Fear grips us, and everything goes through the window. Now going back to the child in the shop, all they understand and think about is how can I make mum or dad get me what I want. Bingo! Persistently persuade them by asking differently until mum and dad say yes.

I know that the first NO is just frustration or automatic response, so, the more I ask politely and tactically with a dash of charm and sweetness, they will eventually give in and, to possibly shut me up, will say YES (maybe after 10 or 20 Nos).

Imagine the child following this statistic to get what they want; I think adults lose this knack as their fears compound and tear at their soul strings.

Lessons to learn from little children and these stats…

Or this straightforward quote 

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time 

Thomas Edison.

Now we have the basic foundation of the impact and benefit of teaching sales to our children, now to emphasise and put more meat to the bone; these are some essential benefits to them if they learn and build up on this skill:-

It builds their Self Esteem

It helps them resist marketing attempts.

It builds their Financial Skills, another essential skill to know. 

It helps build empathy for others in them

It helps them build relationships

It helps them learn more

Conclusively, teaching children the power of sales techniques may seem farfetched and unnecessary, but based on the fact that sales techniques are required for just about everyday transactions, it makes sense for a parent to want their child to excel at sales.

MARKETING/ COMMUNICATION

Thisskill aligns with the ability to teach children how to sell themselves effortlessly. It is because; it involves having the ability to get your ideas, opinion and argument across effectively and confidently.

While Communication skill is an integral part of ethical marketing, combining both skills and teaching them to children will position the child to be ahead of their peers. 

In the sense that they will be more adverse and vital in relaying and applying their academic abilities within the school setting and also amongst peers while ‘reading’ the impact they are having on the setting. 

What does this mean? 

Well, you see, children are bombarded constantly with marketing messages about a company brand selling their products and services.

Take Disney and Minecraft gaming, and you will instantly see that these companies have targeted young children to buy their products.

Most of the time, companies advertise indirectly through movies and programmes so that children can and usually pester parents to buy their products and services. 

Children are subconsciously aware that they are being marketed to but can’t define or quantify how or why; they know that whatever their favourite product or service from their favourite brand is showing them, they want them. Full stop. 

There are two sides to this skill; you can teach them early so that they understand that marketing’s goal aims to help people sell more stuff.

Teach them how to identify the good and bad marketing tactics companies adapt, so they don’t fall for every product and service advertised. It will help them understand with critical thinking minds to make the clear right decisions. 

The second element will steer them to comprehend why it is essential to learn communications and marketing. It’s not just the terminology or the marketing principles such as the 4 P’s (product, price, promotion and place) that are key; essentially, it’s more about the stability to help them stay engaged and alert while they aren’t in their typical learning environment. 

TIME MANAGEMENT / PRODUCTIVITY

Many books, articles, and case studies are written by bestselling authors, educators and even celebrities on the power of enhancing this particular skill.

Take, for instance, the 80/20 principle book by Richard Koch, which has been heralded as one of all-time best on the understanding of the essential qualities of being excellent with time management and managing productivity.

Closely followed by Stephen Covey book ‘The 7 habits of highly effective people: Powerful lessons in Personal Change’.

These books may be too advanced for children, but if parents extract the golden nuggets from them and break them into digestible pieces, so children understand the concepts, it will be advantageous. 

I agree with this quote from Lynn Meltze PhD, president of the Research Institute for Learning and Development, a non-profit research and educational organisation who said that “When we teach children strategies for time management from an early age, they internalise them, which sets them up for lifelong success”.

Children nowadays have many activities and priorities they must follow and keep, which can be highly overwhelming for their mental health and wellbeing. 

They almost have schedules packed up like an adult working a 9-5 plan, so assisting them to have a better routine from when they get up early in the morning is paramount. 

For instance, the children in Ghana must get up at 4am so they can leave home no later than 5.30am to avoid getting stuck in ridiculous traffic to get to school for an 8am start. 

Just mind-blowing madness, but it’s something that has recently been incorporated into the culture due to infrastructure and traffic management issues in the country. 

I believe our kids are burdened with many hats, which unfortunately add unnecessary stress and anxiety, making them unproductive. Unfortunately, it significantly affects their studies and plans, causing a deep void that deters happiness and joy in life. 

For instance, they must incorporate time for school work, completing homework, extra curriculum activities enforced by working and career-oriented parents, to simply finding time to unwind and play. 

There’s a lot to do. 

To summarise, as a parent, you may strive for solutions to this problem only to unintentional add more pain. Therefore, letting kids be kids and reducing the number of activities and pressures of family obligations will ultimately free the child from unnecessary burdens. 

Moreover, these skills mentioned can be learnt and implemented. Yes, it won’t be easy and may require consistency, dedication and hard work, but when the desire to help children grow and become confident and able to stand on their own, it will be worth the challenges and struggles along the way.

As this quote beautifully sums up, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”

Theodore Roosevelt

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