My hubby went on a business trip to New York oh…about two months ago. I am just now getting around to reading the book he brought home for me, “Mind in the Making,” by Ellen Galinsky. Ms. Galinski is the president and co-founder of the Families and Work Institute (www.familiesandwork.org) and has written many books on parenting, including, “The Six Stages of Parenthood.” Her most recent book, “Mind in the Making” (www.mindinthemaking.org) lists out seven essential life skills that kids need to develop to become active and successful adults. Of course, you are curious as to what they are–so here goes!
- Skill #1: Focus and Self Control. Kids need to this skill to achieve goals–especially when there is so much distraction and information overload, media wars, etc. This all involves paying attention, remembering the rules, thinking flexibly, and exercising self-control.
- Skill #2: Perspective Taking. Sure, this has a lot to do with empathy, but there is so much more to it than that. Figuring out what others think and why they think that way. When kids can look at other’s unique perspectives, it decreases their chances of getting into conflicts with parents, teachers, friends, and later–bosses.
- Skill #3: Communicating. Of course, it’s way more than understanding language, talking, reading, and writing–though those things are important. It is also the skill of determining what to communicate and how to do so it’s easily understood by others. In fact, it is the skill teachers and employers feel is lacking today.
- Skill #4: Making Connections. At the heart of intelligence and learning is the ability to make connections and see patterns. Figuring out what’s different, sorting things into categories, and making unusual connections is the core of creativity. Make the connection–then use it effectively.
- Skill #5: Critical Thinking. Kids need to be able to search–and research–knowledge to guide beliefs, decisions, and actions.
- Skill#6: Taking on Challenges. Believe it or not, kids who actually take on challenges are more likely to do better in school and life. We used to think it enough to be able to simply cope with challenges or even avoid them, but not so anymore.
- Skill #7: Self-directed, engaged learning. Finally, it is through learning that we realize our potential. As the world evolves, so can we–as long as we continue to learn.