This original article was first published here: How Non-Academic Skills Aids Early Learning
Parents are most times more focused on ensuring that their kids know how to recite their ABC’ s, count correctly, and also write the letters of the alphabet. The focus placed on a child’s academic skills often means that other areas where the child might be lacking are overlooked.
What are non-academic skills?
Non-academic skills are essential life skills that will serve your child in their early years in school, and later in life. The skills they learn at an early age will form the foundation on which they make their life decisions, and will strongly influence how they behave in their adulthood. Most of these skills are learned all through toddlerhood and childhood, and they include:
The term ‘helicopter parents’ means exactly what it sounds like; parents who hover over their kids, overseeing their every action, and swooping in to save the day (even when not needed). Most parents make the conscious effort to not be a helicopter parent, even when the urge to assist their child seems overwhelming.
Allowing children to take their time to assess situations and come to a solution is very beneficial to build their problem-solving skills. This will significantly help them in dealing with some everyday problems, as well as boost their self-confidence.
It is important that you allow your kids to learn how to self-soothe, and regulate their emotions. When your kids are upset, it might be tempting to soothe and try to placate them all the time, but sometimes it is necessary to allow them work through their own emotions and know when to stop a negative emotion.
Children should be taught from a young age that their actions can affect other people, and not just them. Groom your child’s social awareness from an early age so that they can gain control of their behaviour, and consider how their actions and behaviour affect other people.
From learning how to print the letter A in their unsteady handwriting, your children will eventually master the art of penning down the letters of the alphabet and writing words. Teaching your child to perfect their motor skills will go a long way in helping them learn to write quicker.
Your child’s hand to eye coordination will ready their mind for more advanced forms of learning; from math to fine arts, and even music.
Your child’s logical reasoning comes hand in hand with their problem-solving skills. To help your children develop their logical reasoning, you must first help them understand the importance of problem-solving. These skills will set a strong foundation for their future critical thinking and analysis.
How to Develop your Child’s Nonacademic Skills
No doubt that you have seen the importance of fostering nonacademic skills together with your child’s education, and you’re wondering how you can develop these skills in your child.
Luckily, there are quite a number of ways to help your child grow in their non-academic skills.
- Build an effective and communicative relationship with your children, where you talk to them and they respond. Teach your kids to converse with you, and encourage trust and openness in your relationship.
- Rather than simply disciplining or punishing your children, talk to them, and explain the reason for their punishment. Help them understand what they did wrong, and how they can understand their emotions.
- Help your kids understand that failure is bound to happen to everyone, at some point in their lives. However, this should not stop them from striving to achieve their goals.
- Interact with your kids during fun activities, such as playing board games, or watching screen media. You can also engage them with learning apps and exciting worksheets from some educational website for kids and parents.
Kids learn better when their parental figure is there with them, helping them explore what they are learning. With your attentiveness and care, your child will be able to build a solid foundation and grow into productive members of society.
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