Building Soft Skills in Children: A Collaborative Effort between Schools and Parents

Tuesday, 04 July 2023

In today's rapidly evolving world, academic success alone is no longer sufficient to prepare our children for the challenges that lie ahead. As society becomes more complex and interconnected, the need for a comprehensive set of skills, known as soft skills, has become increasingly apparent. These skills encompass a wide range of attributes such as communication, teamwork, adaptability, problem-solving, and resilience. To ensure our children are equipped for the future, it is crucial for schools and parents to work together in cultivating these essential skills from an early age.

Soft skills are fundamental to a child's personal growth. They not only contribute to effective communication but also foster empathy, emotional intelligence, and collaboration – qualities that are vital in establishing healthy relationships and navigating the complexities of the modern world. By prioritising the development of these skills, schools and parents can empower children to become well-rounded individuals who are better prepared to succeed in their careers and lead fulfilling lives.

Schools play a pivotal role in nurturing soft skills among students. To support this endeavour, educators can incorporate interactive learning methods, such as group projects, socratic discussions and debates, into their curriculum. Encouraging teamwork and collaboration allows students to develop effective communication, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills. Furthermore, providing opportunities for public speaking or presentations can enhance their confidence and ability to articulate ideas. Additionally, schools can organise extracurricular activities, clubs, and sporting teams to foster teamwork, leadership, and resilience in a non-academic setting.

Equally important is the role of parents in building soft skills. Parents can start by cultivating a supportive and nurturing environment at home. Engaging in open conversations, active listening, and expressing empathy can help children develop strong communication and emotional intelligence. Encouraging responsibility and independence in age-appropriate ways allows children to develop problem-solving and decision-making abilities. Moreover, parents can promote resilience by teaching their children how to cope with failure and setbacks, emphasising the importance of perseverance and a growth mindset.

Collaboration between schools and parents is key to effectively building soft skills in children. Communication and shared goals are crucial in aligning efforts and creating a consistent approach to skill development. Schools can provide resources and workshops for parents to enhance their understanding of soft skills and strategies for supporting their child's growth. Regular parent-teacher meetings and progress updates can facilitate a constructive dialogue about a child's strengths and areas for improvement. By working together, schools and parents can provide a holistic framework that reinforces the development of soft skills across various settings.

In conclusion, the importance of building soft skills in children cannot be overstated. By nurturing attributes such as communication, teamwork, adaptability, problem-solving, and resilience, we equip our children with the tools they need to thrive in a dynamic world. Schools and parents must collaborate to create an environment that encourages the development of these skills. Through interactive teaching methods, extracurricular activities, and supportive parenting practices, we can empower our children to become well-rounded individuals, prepared to face the challenges and embrace the opportunities that lie ahead. Let us recognise the significance of soft skills and make them a priority in our children's education and upbringing.

Nick Johnstone 

Dean, S. (2017) Soft Skills Needed for the 21st Century Workforce

McCrindle, M. (2021) The Future of Education: Insights in today’s student and their future expectations