This is a Daily Moment—short perspectives on life and times through a dad’s eye.
What should we be teaching our children?
Every parent should care a lot about this question.
Because the future is a great big question mark. And as parents, we’re supposed to figure out what to feed our kids so that they’re best prepared for the uncertain future they’ll inherit.
What skills will kids need to survive?
I think one answer is crystal clear: the ability to adapt.
Many common jobs today won’t exist in a decade or two. And we’ve learned through these coronavirus years that what constitutes a “normal” work environment is complete up for grabs. So having a mind that can shift and adapt to new circumstances, and stay resilient through change, will be pretty useful.
Another clearly needed skill: empathy.
This might sound fluffy or soft to some people. But it’s far from that.
Being empathetic is about understanding other people—their feelings, desires, and perspectives. It’s the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. There are some biologically-based barriers to being empathetic. But empathy is largely a skill that can be developed.
A basic input for developing empathy is awareness that other people are different than us. So exposing kids to a wider variety of people, thinking styles, and ways of communicating are helpful experiences.
And of course this is a far from exhaustive two-item list: empathy and the ability to adapt. So I’d love to hear your thoughts: What else should we be teaching our kids?
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