By Lavern Nissley
A 19 year study completed by researchers from Penn State and Duke University has identified 2 skills learned as kindergarteners that made people twice as likely to obtain college degrees and have full time jobs by age 25. Deficiencies in these skills were correlated with higher chances of being arrested, engaging in binge drinking and living in public housing.
So, if you were guessing the 2 skills needed by 5 year olds that would positively affect their success in life, what do you think they would be?
A 2015 study published in the American Journal of Public Health found the 2 skills to be social and emotional competence.
Typically the skills learned in school relate more to intellectual competence. Baby Einstein interactive multimedia products and music are supposed to heighten development. Although some studies have shown live interaction with parents to be more effective than watching videos.
Amy Morin, author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, suggest several simple strategies to help build social and emotional competence:
Morin reassures parents whose children are past kindergarten. “You can teach those skills at any time--but it’s important to give kids the opportunities to practice using their skills firsthand.”
So, if you’re a parent, grandparent, or someone who interacts a lot with young children, set them up for success by remembering the 2 skills needed to help them succeed in decades to come.
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.