Soft skills are those personality traits that, like your technical skills, do more than just get the job done.
They’re also the ones that make or break your career, and they’re essential to a healthy family life.
Soft skills are the ones that keep you calm and steady when the going gets tough. They’re the ones that give you the best chance of handling each new challenge life throws your way.
But while they’re essential, they’re also under-valued.
And that’s pretty much because there’s a lot of hubris in the world.
So much so, that even parents are far too quick to discount their soft skills in favor of their technical skills.
Empathy is the ability to understand someone else’s emotions and thoughts. But it can also be a powerful tool for parents as they navigate their way through the ups and downs of family life.
When children are upset, when they’re struggling with school, when they have a problem at home, empathy can help parents connect deeply with them. And more importantly, empathy helps parents to do what they need to do to help their children feel better.
So as a parent you must be empathetic in order to be an effective one.
Communication is the one skill that parents need to have in spades. This includes the basic ability to listen, which is of course key. But it also includes the more advanced skills of being able to express thoughts in a straightforward manner and tune out other people’s voices if you need to focus on your own.
Being able to speak up for yourself is another important soft skill, and it’s one that all parents need to develop at a young age.
It’s important for parents to be able to keep the peace when arguing with their kids.
That doesn’t just mean agreeing with them all the time, but also understanding where they’re coming from and realizing that it might not be possible for them to see things from your point of view.
Instead, you need to show empathy.
Parents should try and understand where their children are coming from in terms of what makes them tick, and help them learn how to talk about their feelings in a healthy way.
Focus on your relationship with your partner
One of the most important soft skills is being able to maintain a healthy relationship with your partner. It’s easy to forget that when you’re busy and you’re working all the time, but it will make life easier when things get tough.
For example, if you can manage to have a healthy relationship with your partner and you keep each other accountable for making time for each other, then you will feel more supported during stressful times.
Plus, this relationship will be something that will support everything else in your life, including your children.
This is the skill of recognising and accepting your strengths, weaknesses, and other personal qualities.
It’s knowing what you’re good at and what you need to work on.
Self-awareness goes hand in hand with self-management.
Being proactive is a skill that should be taught from a young age. If a child is able to teach themselves how to think ahead, they will have an advantage of those who are slower to learn.
It’s the ability to identify problems before they happen and plan accordingly.
Soften and Steady the Chaos
The first soft skill is being able to deal with the chaos around you. Parents are so busy taking care of their children, that they often ignore the need to look after themselves. This can lead to burnout and exhaustion, which in turn leads to worse parenting. The best way to avoid this is by developing your soft skills.
Parenting is tough and it’s not always easy to stay positive and patient when you hear yourself yelling and screaming at your child or when you feel hopeless about what sort of future they’ll have because of the mistakes you might have made in their upbringing. You need a strong ability to handle these intense emotions without losing sight of what’s important – your child’s happiness first and foremost.
Parents today have the opportunity to, not just be the one who brings up their children, but to be a part of the process. As someone who has grown up in a family with parents who were very involved in their kids’ lives, I’ve seen how important these soft skills are.
The best way to learn these skills is to teach them to your children as much as possible. They are a set of skills that will serve you well in all aspects of your life—not just in your kids’ lives.