Soft skills are life skills that help us in every aspect of our lives. Early childhood is the right time to inculcate our kids with soft skills. It is not something which should be introduced only when they are grownups. In fact, these skills are required right from childhood itself. Currently, everything is happening online where people don’t meet each other or even know each other. In such a scenario, soft skills are the only skills that can help one to grow online as well as build good relationships with colleagues and clients. Let’s understand how we can help our kids learn soft skills right from their early ages.
Introduce them to the basic values like respecting others, listening to the elders, being honest and kind. These values are the ones that build our character as an individual. Try to instill good and positive values in them by telling different value-based stories or instructing them when they are wrong. One of the best things is to make them understand why they should follow all these values. When they know the reason, they will definitely practice them without being asked to do so.
Through our actions
Children learn quickly by observing others. They are noticing how you are behaving and talking. Behave in a way that you want them to behave. Model good behavior in front of them. Talk politely with others and your child will do the same.
I know when I ask somebody to do something for me, I use the phrase, “would you mind or would you like.” And I was really surprised when one day we went to a relative’s home and my son asked for water, saying, “would you mind giving me a glass of water?” My relatives were overwhelmed listening to this, and they were really happy to see a small kid like him talking so politely and professionally. I myself didn’t know that he noticed me, but this is how we teach them through our own behavior.
Listening to others
One skill which we all might lack is the ability to listen effectively, and in the case of kids, it’s not there at all. Most kids want others to listen to them, but when their chance comes to listen, they might interrupt in between and start talking again. The ability to focus while others speak is when kids learn new words, build new phrases, and also adopt the way others speak. They learn to make facial gestures and at the same time understand what their body language should be.
We really laugh when our kids demonstrate something through their facial gestures. We have a unique gesture to let people know that we don’t know about something, and when our kids use the same expression to say, “I don’t know,” we feel like laughing. This is how they learn to communicate using different modes when they listen to others.
Understand how to present oneself.
As the world is moving towards digital media, it has become very important for us to know how to present ourselves and also how to talk to others. They can be exposed to watching different videos where they learn how to communicate with others politely using positive gestures and postures. They would love to do the hand movements while talking, as well as become aware of many new ways of communicating with others.