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Many children (as well as adults) are unsure what soft skills are, and why they’re so important for growth. Here at MakerKids, we encourage children and adults to team up and grow together which helps to strengthen these soft skills and social skills for kids.
In this article you will learn:
- What are soft skills?
- How to encourage your children
- How to help your child demonstrate social skills
- Acknowledge when your child is on time
- How to talk about scenarios in TV shows and movies
What are Soft Skills?
Soft skills are often referred to as “people skills” or “non-cognitive skills” – essentially, the skills that are difficult to directly measure and the ones you can’t necessarily teach out of a book. These social skills for kids are vital for growth, development, and future employment opportunities.
Below are four prime examples that you and your child can get into the habit of doing that will help develop soft skills. While these skills may take a while to learn, the effects are long-term, and helpful in many life skills and experiences. Let’s dive in!
1. Encourage Your Children
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People require attention, but more importantly, they crave encouragement. If your child hasn’t quite mastered a skill that they’ve been trying, it’s important for us as adults to congratulate them on the progress they’ve made, as well as encourage them to keep going.
In a study called the Marshmallow Test, children were tested to see whether or not they could survive not eating a marshmallow as soon as the adults left the room. If they succeeded, they were given a bigger prize.
A lot of children caved and ate the marshmallow, but those who waited were encouraged to continue the path they were on. The lesson? Give up small short-term gains for big long-term wins.
2. Demonstrate Social Skills
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Whether you teach your child how to properly shake someone’s hand or teach them to always say “please” and “thank you”, you’re teaching them social skills. Social skills for kids are so important because, in the future, they’ll open doors to much bigger opportunities. If your child lacks social skills, they’ll be missing out on some great opportunities in the future.
Reading social cues is a language on its own. It can be subjective and not apparent. It’s best to expose your kids and yourself to a wide range of experiences. When you can put your child into different situations, they’ll learn how to react and deal with all types of people. This will especially help them as they get older.
If you teach your child proper people skills when they’re young, the lessons will stick with them for a lifetime. Increased people skills correlate to being more social and more confident, especially when communicating with adverse situations or communicating with authority figures.
3. Acknowledge When They’re On Time
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While your child may like school, they often don’t want to wake up at 7:30 am to start their day after draining their battery the night before. If your child is awake, dressed, and has eaten before you had to tell them anything, make sure you praise them.
These praises will show your child that they’re doing the right thing. Children (and adults) like knowing they’re on the right path. As parents, we often don’t have trouble telling our kids when they’re doing something wrong, but when it comes to pointing out the things they are doing right, like being on time, we tend to lag behind. Making it a point to praise your children when they’re on time will also motivate them to continue on this path.
4. Talk About Scenarios In TV Shows And Movies
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More often than not, your child’s favorite TV show and movie will have hidden tests throughout the movie.
For example, what would have happened if Rapunzel never let down her hair? How would that have affected her lifestyle?
Encourage your child to talk about what their favorite television or video game character did and tell you what they would have done differently. Visualizing different scenarios is also shown to increase creativity, openness, and more openness to risk or new situations. These soft skills are ones your child will carry with them throughout their entire lives.
Everyone thinks differently, after all, and hearing what your child would do in a sticky situation will spark their imagination and help you understand who they’re becoming.
Soft Skills in Action at MakerKids
MakerKids encourages families to get together to practice these soft skills. In our programs, we take “Snack Chats.” During our Snack Chats, we touch on a soft skill and share stories and experiences with other students. Topics include things like what happens when you make a mistake or what do you do if you have been griefed in Minecraft (like trolling, but in Minecraft). These discussions help children to develop their soft skills.
If you’d like your child to branch out and practice these soft skills for kids in real life, check out our virtual classes on our website or call us at 1-844-MAKERKIDS. We offer classes in robotics, coding, Minecraft for kids in grades 1-8. Not only will your child learn soft skills, but they’ll also learn how to code, how to be a team player, and they’ll learn about robotics! We hope to see you at MakerKids one day!