Family & Parenting, Lifestyle

The One Skill Every Child Needs To Excel in Life

I was writing since I can remember – I just didn’t know it was poetry yet, or that writing could be a career.

Amanda Gorman

Ever wonder why some children seem to have a unique quality to outshine, flawlessly charm and get almost whatever they ask or request from adults than most in general?

I have noticed that and it’s fascinating to witness these qualities in children in everyday life which is quite astounding. For argument’s sake, let me illustrate with an example of this number one skill that is assisting certain children exceed in life.

This particular person shot to worldwide fame just over a year ago when, she braved her fear and courageously smashed them, making history as she became the youngest inaugural poet during President Joe Biden’s swearing-in ceremony.

What makes this so evidently inspiring is Miss Gorman has battled since childhood with speech impediment, a condition that is sometimes overlooked and misunderstood.

The one thing Miss Gorman mentioned that helped her overcomes this challenge and obstacle is through written poetry, because it served as a form of speech pathology, and through lots of practice, she overcame her speech impediment.

“I don’t consider having a speech impediment necessarily as a disability but actually as a strength,” she told CBS This Morning. “It gave me my greatest superpower, which is my voice.”

Looking closely, this story like others emphasise the importance of reading, daily writing to sharpen our written words, the encouragement and support from parents or a guardian.

When someone within the education system helps a struggling child to see their superpower and most importantly, having the ability to practise critical thinking and finding out the best way to influence and make an impact, it’s amazing to see the child blossom.

With this insight, we must understand that teaching children to think critically is vital, but acquiring knowledge and expressing them mustn’t stop there. To enhance and enforce that skill is applying that knowledge through practical and powerful writing.

Learning to outsmart everyone else in a good old fashion way is a deadly weapon to gain, such as teaching children to learn properly, not just through memorisation tools.

Naturally, we believe the job description is assigned solely to teachers in the educational system.

Unfortunately, the trouble with this assumption is that most school systems allow teachers to skip and rinse.

As long as they have covered the necessary materials distributed by the schools, then they have done their job. However, the only people who suffer from these discrepancies are the children.

When children genuinely grasp the concept of why they are studying and apply what they are learning to life, they become unstoppable.  

Sadly, the situation with the gap between those who excel and succeed in life to the majority who are just meandering through life is immense.

“The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next”

Abraham Lincoln

Therefore, the number one skill to teach children, whether they’re educated through the educational system or the personal choice of homeschooling, is when they learn to critically think through the decisive act of teaching them to write effectively. Some children and even adults have no idea why they must chisel that skill to perfection.

Perfection is not the key here, but having an acute understanding of why they must write by practising constantly and consistently is what leads to perfection. Yes, the adage of practice makes perfect is accurate but more powerful is knowing that practising will eventually make the perfection seem natural and enlightening.

Learning to speak effectively, especially in public, is essential.

Learning to read and fast to understand and apply concepts is essential.

The secret that unites and bridges these skills is that combining the ability to read, digest, and clearly express through powerful effective written words. 

Learning to gain grades is the route to failure. It’s crucial to remember that, because it will save many children’s predicament in adulthood.

Generally speaking, the golden ticket to a successful life is not the accumulation of money, instead learning to speak, think, and write is the prerequisite to becoming great in every area of life.

Nothing can ever get in the way to reach the mountain tops. When parents understand that even though grades are necessary to get into good institutions, equipping children with this skill is the most powerful weapon they can provide, not material and consumable items.

The skill provides the self-confidence and self-esteem the child needs to stand up and argue their viewpoints powerfully and effectively to be understood and respected.

The child must learn and understand that every day of their lives, they are judged upon how solid their points are constructed, so if they’re going to make a point, and their opponent makes a point, they better have their points organised.

Otherwise, they’re going to look and feel like an absolute idiot and worse, it will have a knock effect on their confidence, which no parent wants for their child’s wellbeing.

Therefore, children must be empowered to learn how to formulate ideas coherently. As well as make a presentation (the art of public speaking), communicate to and with people, understand how crucial nonverbal communication (soft skills and art of emotional intelligence) and layout proposal or assignment will help them flourish and blossom in every area of life.

This skill leads to all the monetary riches, societal recognition, opportunities, and influence that a good grade only won’t provide. Let’s be honest here; that’s why we aim to send our children to universities, as it solidifies and justifies the path of education.

However, parents and students of the education system are not taught this and, even worse, are shielded and avoided from embracing this skill due to fear of creating more champions and competition. So in replacement, they make students weaker and more compliant.

It’s easier to have a world full of docile and amicable workforce than generations of powerful thinkers and shakers. It’s not made self-evident, partly because of what it may breed and the implications it will have on the government and society as a whole.

If students, parents and the masses are stupid, they will not have the willpower to challenge authority, making it easier to control and manipulate them; the outliers who critically think and voice their points articulately will forever be the champions and heroes.

Then, how do you build children to write effectively and learn this critical life skill; let’s start with these steps and build upon them into adulthood.

Three indispensable ways to build strong writing skills for children to enhance critical thinking

Reading together

Never underestimate the power of story time or morning devotions; spending 15minutes minimum in a day (whether morning or bedtime) is an essential process of stimulating their imagination and helping expand their understanding of the world, fostering the skills to critically express and write.

“The best inheritance a parent can give his children is a few minutes of his time each day.”  

Orlando Aloysius Battista, Canadian-American chemist and author

It can also create a more positive outlook for children to have a rich imagination. It will allow them to develop and generate many ideas enabling them to see several angles rather than one, promoting possibility and other avenues for success. Essentially, building positivity in children can promote healthy mind sets leading to a better present and future behaviour.

The more stories are shared, results in fun pastime and strong bonding time between parents and children; it vitally helps develop language and listening skills. This simple act of learning and bonding prepares children to understand the written word.

Any story is suitable; I would recommend fairy tales or fictional books to get started; as claimed by Albert Einstein, “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

Independent activities

Independence is a skill every child will need while growing and a character trait that every parent wants for their child. Some children are forced to grow up independently quickly due to home and internal family responsibilities.

At the same time, some are slowly led into independence as the parent may overprotect by doing things for their children in vain that they don’t want their children to suffer unnecessarily.

Either way is not correct or wrong, but the vital thing to remember is that independent activities will boost confidence and creativity, a prerequisite for critical thinking.

When children initiate plays alone, it foster imagination, creative play and self-regulation skills, as well as building persistence and problem-solving, and teaching patience and resilience to name a few benefits of independent activities.

So it’s best to encourage children to explore their environment and surroundings and if they become restless, get involved and encourage more play by asking questions and giving more challenges.

Encouraging creativity in children, rather than diminishing it, can lead to great self-discovery.

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”  

Fred Rogers, television personality

Emotional Intelligence

As children grow, they build a reservoir of emotions. Developing them and using them coherently and candidly will steer them toward achieving greatness in every facet of life, specifically building on their critical thinking and writing abilities.

When children are self-aware of their emotions, it enables them to manage emotions effectively and avoid being derailed, for example, by a flash of anger.

Notably, children with higher emotional intelligence are better able to pay attention, are more engaged in school, participate in social activities, have more positive relationships, and are more empathic.

The benefits are immense, and helping children shine and grow by instilling the importance of emotional intelligence will help with creative performance even during creative blocks.

It also creates long-lasting bonds, builds stronger character and increases their problem-solving skills exponentially by engaging in activities that promote the use of their imagination.

Children become more perceptive of patterns that will allow them to think of innovative solutions in their daily lives, ranging from school, home, and playtime.

Taking these three strategies, parents can adapt and incorporate them into assisting their children in having a critical thinking mindset.

It assists children to see the world differently with a diverse mind and help them ask the right and impactful questions.

Also, it enables them to figure things out and make the right judgements, which helps them, build strong writing skills by clearly and systematically improving how they express their thoughts and ideas to others.

In a nutshell, by teaching and encouraging children, they will eventually learn how to analyse logical structure of information, helping to improve their ability to comprehend complex problems and formulate rational solutions.

“I continue to believe that if children are given the necessary tools to succeed, they will succeed beyond their wildest dreams!”  

David Vitter, Former U.S. Senator

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