With all the emphasis on whether we are over-preparing our kids to get into college, what happens afterward -- actual employment -- sometimes gets ignored.
“Generations Y [Millennials] and Z express just as much desire for novel, challenging work as older workers. But they lack the skills and confidence required to manage uncertainty when it occurs, and are more likely to become anxious.”
What is behind this lack of wherewithal? In part, Wilterdink says,depriving kids of the time and freedom to make their own fun and solve their own problems is "depriving them of the opportunity to build important skills necessary to succeed later in life."
To give that back to kids we must allow them to confront some challenges with our blessing, but not our constant help. He goes on to quote Let Grow co-founder, Boston College Professor Peter Gray saying:
"When children play independently of adults they learn how to make their own decisions, solve their own problems, create and enforce rules, negotiate differences, and maintain the peace and order necessary for the play to proceed. These are extraordinarily important skills, which cannot be taught but can only be learned through experience, and the best experience for learning these skills comes from play with other children, away from adults."
In addition to likely helping kids stay mentally healthy as they get older, the same skills they learn from unsupervised free play are also increasingly valued in the modern labor market.
Read the whole piece here.
So this weekend, when lots of families will be getting together for Easter or Passover (or both!), it's a great time to send the whole gaggle of cousins into the yard or basement to have their own fun. When one of them comes back to the table to complain about this or that, let them know they can sit with you (boring!) or go back to the kids and work things out.
You're not only helping the kids to bond. You may be making them eminently employable.
Photo from Max Pixel.