How to Help Your Child Thrive in an Uncertain Future
As parents, we often worry about our children’s future and try to give them as many advantages as they can. After all, it’s a highly uncertain future and competition is getting more intense. And literally, the world’s going crazy because of the pandemic, climate change and other serious potential threats that affect both adults and children.
How to help your child thrive in an uncertain future
The uncertain future brings with it huge and rapid changes in the nature of jobs and businesses. Many of the careers and businesses today didn’t even exist 10 years ago. A decade or two from now expect more drastic changes to come. Some futurists even predict that there will be a “useless class” because many jobs will be taken over by robotics and artificial intelligence.
As parents, our job is to help our children position themselves in that uncertain and rapidly changing future. It’s likely that many of what they’ll learn in their formal schooling will be obsolete by the time they start their careers or businesses. As a result, this demands a different kind of preparation that goes beyond academics.
Thankfully, professionals and organisations have recognised that a long time ago (and one of the results is the play-based learning and the Early Years Learning Framework). Equal emphasis has now been placed on play, social skills and interaction with objects and the environment. This is a huge help for children to thrive in the uncertain future. After all, professional and business success also requires social skills and not just literacy or numeracy.
To better equip our children for the uncertain future, it also helps to shift our focus from performance to process. Most times we’re inclined to set up goals and measure the scores (e.g. “how did you perform today?”). Perhaps right now it’s good to emphasise the process (How was your day? How did you do it?). We mentioned earlier that many lessons in formal schooling might become obsolete sooner or later. If children put their all into those soon-to-be-obsolete lessons and metrics, it might not help them much in their succeeding years. What would better help is putting more attention to the process and problem-solving skills.
Process, not just performance. If we can help our children better understand the complexity and that events and systems are the sum of interconnected parts, they become several steps ahead. They could also get in a better position to learn much faster and connect the dots among different fields. This wider and interdisciplinary perspective is much needed in the uncertain future.