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Does Your Child Have the Skills for the World Economic Forum’s “4th Industrial Revolution”?

January 28, 2016

The World Economic Forum reported last month that over one-third of the most important workplace skills will change over the next five years. That’s an incredible rate of change. So what’s a concerned parent to do?

Not panic for starters. Parents who are pleased with their own child’s school (and surveys show that 75% of parents are satisfied) need first and foremost to continue to support their children’s academic learning.

However, students spend on average, only 15% of their waking hours at school. Parents need to foster the essential skills their children will need to be successful in the real world.



Top 10 Ways for Parents to Nurture the World Economic Forum’s Top 10 Skills:

  1. Know your child’s stronger and weaker skills. Keep in mind that these skills develop at different rates, and you should expect a child to be stronger in some areas and weaker in others.*
  2. Be certain your child remembers what he learns. A strong general knowledge base remains essential for critical thinking. Quite simply, students can’t analyze what they don’t know.
  3. Provide opportunities for problem solving. Allow your child to try something, not succeed, and try again. The saying is true – we learn best from our own mistakes.
  4. Ask your child “why”? Why did she enjoy that movie? Why do you want that game? Why is this your favorite class? And when your child asks you “why?” provide a meaningful answer that offers insight into your thought process. The most analytical thinkers are often those who continue to ask questions when everyone else has stopped.
  5. Identify your child’s innate strengths and interests and nurture them. Creativity comes from a place of passion. And we are often most interested in things that come most naturally.

Keep Going, You’re Half Way There!

  1. Know your child’s friends. When your child has a spat with a friend, discuss why the friend might have acted the way she did. People management skills and coordinating with others starts with an understanding of why people behave the way they do.
  2. Show empathy. If you want your child to be understanding of others, start by showing her you understand how she feels. Your child will develop emotional intelligence and sensitivity to the needs of others by first having a good understanding of herself.
  3. Model the behaviors you want to see. If you want to improve your child’s decision-making, talk through your own decisions as you make them. When your child listens to your thoughtful reasoning, he is less likely to be impulsive in making his own choices. Then provide appropriate opportunities to let them make their own decisions…and live with the consequences.
  4. Make service a family activity. If you encourage your child without giving of yourself, it might not feel sincere.
  5. Let your child negotiate. If your child makes a request, discuss it. Don’t give a simple no. Explain your reasoning and let your child make a counter-proposal. Help your child learn to negotiate in a respectful, thoughtful way.

Of course, we would never forget cognitive flexibility. We think it’s so important we wrote a blog about it. We hope you will read it here if you haven’t already.

* For the most part, your school might not help you understand your child’s progress on the top 10 skills on the World Economic Forum list. We believe so deeply that every child deserves an objective understanding of their cognitive strengths and weaknesses that we take this opportunity to remind you to consider a Mindprint assessment as a starting point for success.

World Economic Forum


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