‘It’s all about learning life skills at an early age’

Following on from last month’s topic about ‘soft skills’, Grace Olugbodi considers a few more of the attributes needed to become a fully-rounded and successful individual

‘It’s all about learning life skills at an early age’

In part two of my discussion about ‘soft skills’, I will cover the subjects of ‘empathy’, ‘critical thinking’, ‘problem solving’ and ‘team work.’

I ended last month’s article by explaining that children needed to develop emotional intelligence. And this could only happen if their parents teach them how to recognise and categorise their feelings.

Responsibility for this also falls on their teachers at school. One way for children to learn this skill in the classroom, is for teachers to demonstrate to young kids how to write a diary, create art, or even talk to a close friend or relative, as a method for expressing their emotions.


This is all about having the capacity to comprehend and identify with the emotions of others – and then to react in a kind, considerate manner. Empathy is a crucial soft talent that will help to create lasting connections, as well as sensitively handle disagreements. It’s about working well with people. Parents should teach their children to imagine themselves in other people’s situations. This requires the skill of listening actively and ultimately responding with compassion and empathy.

Critical thinking and problem-solving

Thinking critically and to solve problems effectively, are two crucial skills that are vital to achieve success in practically every aspect of life. Youngsters who develop critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities are better equipped to handle challenging situations. This will help them to make wise decisions and accomplish their objectives.

To foster these two skills, parents and caregivers need to encourage children to adopt an inquiring mind, to tolerate diverse perspectives, and to stimulate creativity. They can also allow kids to work through real-world difficulties, such as mending a damaged toy or finding answers to social problems.

Teamwork skills

Teamwork is essential for success in many areas of life. This includes school, work and social situations. A valuable soft skill is working effectively with others, such as collaborating on projects and contributing to a positive team environment. Always encourage your children to participate in group activities, sports and clubs. All of these outlets will help to develop your child’s teamwork skills.

And finally, for this month gaining soft skills is an ongoing process that requires conscious effort and practice. In my next article, I will discuss how we can all gain and improve our soft skills, to assist us on our often complicated journey through life.

Dr. Grace Olugbodi
Dr. Grace Olugbodi

Share via
Copy link