We, parents, are heroes and heroines without a cape. We work hard to give our children the best life we could give. Despite our hectic schedules, we spend time googling parenting tips and attending workshops; reflecting on how to be their best support system.
We constantly ask ourselves, what is the best way to make my child shine?
We hire private tutors, and enrol our kids into extracurricular classes; believing that academic excellence and talents alone will help them become the greatest that they could ever be. However, I remember a conversation I had with another mom like myself. She confided that,
“My child is at the top of his class, but I worry about him still. He is too shy, so he is missing out on all these opportunities I know he is capable of.”
It is fair to say that we all can sympathise with her at one point. I, myself, used to say similar sentiments as well.
So, if academic excellence and talents are not enough in nurturing our kids, what is missing? It’s soft skills, or the interpersonal skills that involve character traits, and social cues.
In the 21st century, technology has changed the lives of everyone, even our little ones. Gone are the days where a complete family eats and prays together. Gone are the days where you can hear kids giggling as they enjoy running and playing ball at the park.
Even if there are few “outdoor activities”, they only last for a short while because electronic gadgets are waiting for our kids at home. Indeed, kids are now busy playing games on their computer, talking with virtual friends and finding enjoyment from the cartoon shows they watch. Sadly, who they often see on the internet becomes their influencer.
As a result, technology has exacerbated parenting problems, and even, introduced newer ones. Hours are now spent by parents convincing their children to take a shower, change their clothes, and have a haircut. Hearing kids shouting at their parents or displaying unruly behavior at home or even in public are no longer uncommon these days.
The children’s inability to handle actual social interaction outside the house has become one of the parents’ challenges. Even more upsetting is how they lost the ability to communicate with others and their very own family. Yes, even with us, their parents. Respect through communication is now becoming unfamiliar.
Then, our kids become teenagers. Hormones change as puberty begins. Puberty stage is known to be the most critical stage in the developmental milestone. This is a time of many physical, mental, emotional and social changes. It is a notorious time when most insecurities set in due to the changes they are experiencing.
Teens start to show more interest in themselves especially to their physical appearance — body image, style and clothes. They also begin juggling high expectations and lack of self confidence. They also often feel stressed, and they get upset easily.
Since, in this stage, they start seeking for more friends from outside the house, they become vulnerable to high peer pressure. Unfortunately, oftentimes, their new environment promotes lack of interest on education, and instead, interest on unsafe activities such as alcohol, drugs, and unprotected sex.
To make the matter worse, they struggle to communicate feelings of sadness or depression to us, leaving them even more susceptible to bad decisions. Indeed, we struggle to find ways to help them as they start to show less affection towards us. Sadly, many parents find their interactions with teenagers to be tainted by rudeness. Indeed, when we try to teach our teens valuable life lessons, they only become temperamental.
Truly, parenting our teens during puberty has been difficult. Not to mention, the advancement in technology has introduced new hardships in raising our kids.
Now, let’s go back to the initial question, “if academic excellence and talents are not enough, what is missing?”
The sentiments mentioned earlier are examples of soft skills, or the lack thereof. Our kids can be the smartest and most talented person we know, but if they do not have the soft skills, they will not reach their full potential.
As parents, let us not just invest in tutors, and extracurricular activities. Let us also invest in their Personality Development Training.
Miss Ruby is our CEO and one of our Senior Trainers. She is a Certified Life Coach specializing in Emotional Intelligence and Personal/ Professional Branding. In 2019, she was recognized as one of The Most Influential Filipina Women in the World by the Filipina Women Network. To learn more about Miss Ruby, please refer to her profile.