Parents play a crucial role in their child’s ability to develop these seven skills. Take the time to explore what resources are on hand to instill these skills in your child. Reshape the way you ask questions. Discover the projects and inquiry based activities that develop those skills. Provide stops along the paths you already travel to grow together with your children these essential 21st century skills.
Innovation: To imagineer a more beautiful world by synthesizing creativity with practical engineering skill and entrepreneurial drive. Innovation requires openness to multiple answers, a willingness to fail and a tenacity to return to the drawing board. The need for the skill of innovation to thrive in the new economy and world causes us to look for teachers, classes, and projects that invite our child to be creative and look to produce answers that aren’t merely one of several multiple choice or in the back of the book.
Critical Thinking: To seek credible articulations of truth by testing what information is critical, questioning the information heard, and discovering the surprising limitations of our own intelligence. Critical Thinking requires us to entertain new perspectives and enables us to act confidently on key insights gained. The need for critical thinking has us withdrawing from easy arguments (“because n said so”) and sitting uncomfortably with our children through the time consuming process of research and reasoned thought.
Collaboration: To unite with diversity for a common good by constructing a future both those like us in thought and background as well as people from different from us in their backgrounds, worldviews, and experiences. Collaboration requires truthfulness and consistency in how we present ourselves alongside a cautious trust that others are likewise people of integrity and good will.
Emotional Intelligence: To mourn possibilities lost by acknowledging and respecting what has gone before, what is lost and sacrificed in the process of growth, and what should be salvaged in cradle to cradle processes of creation and destruction. Emotional intelligence requires the inner resources to set aside immediate gratification and do the hard work needed to achieve a worthwhile goal.
Resilience: To trust kindness in dark times by discovering a source of personal strength and perseverance. Resilience requires time set aside for play, daydreams, and reverent silence and is crucial to survive broken relationships, economic instability, and catastrophic failure. As parents, we are on the lookout for coaches and teachers that risk change and failure and spend ample time making it an opportunity for growth.
Leadership: To abilify the gifts of others with confidence, wielding power in ways that share and multiply it. Leadership requires a humble and empowering acknowledgement that all our actions leave a wake or footprint upon a fragile planet, a tenuous economy, and most importantly vulnerable human beings.
Vision: To quest for a legacy worthy of the best of humanity. Vision requires looking through the rubble of the fallen images of constructed heroes to discover what is truly valuable, then striving, with a modicum of forgiveness, to reach for the stars through all hardships and anxiety.