(Mala Balamurugan is a Shishuvan parent delighted about what her children are experiencing in school. Her daughter Anagha is a student of Std. VI and her son Shlok is in Jrkg.
Mala’s thought on parenting “Being a mother of two wonderful children who allow me to continue believing that good parenting is also about great children….I know I don’t do everything perfect as a mother…but they motivate me to do better. They help me in my never ending desire to learn, contribute and grow.”)
The Future depends on what you do today! Its such a powerful quote. Gets me thinking…like most parents, I too think…what is the future of my children going to be like? Are they moving in the right direction? Is there something that I need to do better, do more? Is there something they are missing out on? There is so much scope, exposure and opportunities out there. But what is that skill set my children should be equipped with to face the future in a confident and enjoyable way…yes…enjoyable is very important!!
Most of the times we teach them to get the highest marks but forget about the usefulness of knowledge; we teach them to be part of a dance group but forget to teach them to develop their unique style; we teach them to be jack of all trades but forget to tell them to master at least one; and we tell them to work on what they find hard to do and not nurturing what their unique gift is !!
Though India has a rich culture, and great values; today we see that parents teach their children to be politically correct and give more importance to others’ opinion about them, than their own self worth!! And because we are teaching them to seek external affirmation, this continues throughout their lives and they hand over the keys of their happiness and lives in the hands of others. We can see the effects of this stress and pressure among people from all ages and walks of life today.
It’s time we nurture the right values along with equipping our children with skills that are the need of the hour.
I had read this article somewhere and it has been on my mind ever since then. It said the top 10 skills that our children should be equipped with are as follows: (The more I think about it, the more sense it makes !!)
1. EQ and knowledge of basic human psychology:
EQ stands for “Emotional Quotient” . The corner-stones of EQ are –
Self-awareness – the ability to recognize an emotion as it “happens” and developing self-awareness ie: tuning in to your true feelings. If you can evaluate your emotions, you can manage them.
Self-regulation – learning how to regulate emotions, have self-control, adapt to different situations and manage them innovatively.
Motivation – to motivate oneself for any achievement requires clear goals and a positive attitude. An achievement drive, a sense of commitment and taking initiatives in any situation as well as being optimistic is very essential.
Empathy – The ability to recognize how people feel is important to success in your life and career. The more skillful you are at discerning the feelings behind others’ signals the better you can control the signals you send them. An empathetic person excels at: anticipating, leading ad coaching others, handling diversity and understanding others.
Social skills. The development of good interpersonal skills is tantamount to success in your life and career. In today’s always-connected world, everyone has immediate access to technical knowledge. Thus, “people skills” are even more important now, because you must possess a high EQ to better understand, empathize and negotiate with others in a global economy.
There has been enough and more research papers that prove; a high IQ doesn’t guarantee success and happiness, if not coupled with a good EQ! Eg: If I am super intelligent, but cannot get along with people, how far will I go? Or, I am a boss but, people under me are miserable, does it make me a leader?
Basically children should be equipped with the skills to understand the working of the human brain.
2. Prudent thinking:
Our children learn various subjects in school and are taught to think in specific ways, but it’s even more important to think on your feet and that too prudently to sail through various situations in life.
3. Never fear fear:
Yes, face fear and overcome it, but do not fear fear!! As easy as it sounds we adults make it most difficult for children to overcome this. Children need to know its ok to fail. You win some – you lose some. If children become fearless the way they were as toddlers or newborns…they will be able to handle any situation or stress in life.
4. Handle money matters:
Accountancy, Finance and Management courses can teach you how to secure a good job at a finance company, but it still does not teach you to handle personal finances and invest wisely. Entrepreneurship is another skill that is highly required for future leaders; as the training, acumen and skills that one gets while training to be an entrepreneur, cannot be received anywhere else.
5. Being a Handyman:
Like army training teaches its cadets everything a man needs to know to survive and live comfortably, each person should learn skills to become like handyman – plumbing, painting, carpentry, electrical work etc.. You can, not only save monetarily but also add value to your house and life. You do not have to depend on anyone to get simple things fixed.
6. Being a home chef:
Cooking is no longer a job of only women and housewives, it is a skill that enables you to eat healthy, cook healthy and be healthy. You can handle your own appetite and plan a meal that suits your palette, plus keep your family happy as well.
7. Communication skills:
You may have a 1000 great ideas in your head, but if you are not able to put them across to someone in an effective and impressive way, those 1000 ideas are worth nothing. Communication skills are a key that set you apart in any scenario – a job interview, or being a leader.
8. First aid:
A basic knowledge of First aid and to give relief in case of any medical emergencies is another skill that can make a big difference between life or death for near and dear ones.
9. Self- defence:
This helps one to protect oneself or a loved one in the time of need. Being prepared is better than repenting.
10. Sales & Marketing:
Whether you want a raise, or convince friends to go for an outing or get a job…skills from the marketing world come in handy. Whether we realise it or not we are selling or marketing something throughout our lives.
Many of these skills are not taught in our education system because it’s assumed that the children will learn them along the way or from parents. Infact, once our kids are out on their own..these very skills help them thrive. So, along with the best degrees from the best universities…if the children walk in there with these skills beforehand…it will ensure success.
A famous quote from a lovely movie - Beta kabil bano kabil, Kamyabi tumhare piche jhak maarke ayegi.. – Be capable and skillful …success follows and so does happiness!
Another reason why Shishuvan attracts me most as a parent is because I can see kids learn many of these life skills – consciously and sub- consciously ….and no matter what, Shishuvan kids kaabil zaroor bante Hain!!