Welcome to 2020, the beginning of a new decade. The world is fast evolving and a lot is changing. What we used to know is rapidly becoming obsolete—the truth is, the world in which our children are growing up in is very different.
However, many parents are more like spectators, watching and barely keeping up with the evolutionary changes in norms, creativity and lifestyle. Even our values have been upturned such that what used to be seen as unacceptable is now normal. It can be scary to think about all the things that have changed in a matter of years; global warming, extreme weather conditions, food crisis, nuclear weapons, sexual orientation etc. Even the rise in mental health issues, especially depression and suicide amongst children, is quite alarming.
Parenting in the 22nd century requires a deliberate and conscious effort towards preparing your child for a constantly changing world as our children are being raised in a world shaped by technology and social media. The skills required to succeed amidst the milieu of challenges are dynamic and go beyond what the traditional education has to offer.
Providing your children with a good education is great because it improves their IQ and chances of getting a good job. However, having a high IQ is no longer enough to succeed at present! We are talking: artificial intelligence, machine intelligence, robotics and revolutionary technology.
To succeed in this era, it would require a game-changing plan. You cannot raise your kids the way you were raised. The level of a child’s IQ is only a small fragment in the multifaceted structure embodied in the composition of adaptive skills for children to thrive. Four core components that enhance the chances of a child’s success in the future include Intelligent Quotient IQ, Emotional Intelligence Quotient EQ, Social Quotient SQ, and Adversity Quotient.
- Intelligence Quotient: Is the ability to grasp and apply knowledge. IQ reflects the level of human intelligence of a person. It is a measure of a person’s ability to reason and solve problems through standardized tests. Children with high IQ do well in tests and traditional education. They usually achieve high scores and points. It is easy for them to succeed in academics. Does a high IQ automatically mean a child will succeed in the future? Psychologists believe IQ is not enough to determine a child’s chances of succeeding in the future. There are other aspects of a child that needs to be developed.
- Emotional Intelligence Quotient: Emotional intelligence simply put is the ability of a person to understand and manage his or her emotions as well as the emotions of others. Daniel Goleman a proponent of EQ strongly believes that EQ is twice as much a determinant of future success than IQ. EQ helps you deal with difficult situations, resolve conflict, work with others and manage your emotions.
- Social Quotient: SQ is the ability to form social connections and relate with others. It is being able to build social networks. One’s social network influences one’s net worth. We were created to connect and socialize. It is like being ‘street-wise’.
- Adversity Quotient: AQ is the ability to go through tough situations and come out stronger. Life can be hard and unexpected circumstances are bound to happen, but being able to overcome these challenges is very important. Today’s world is full of countless disasters, some are natural, some are self-imposed, while some are imposed by other people. Deliberate preparation for challenges can help one build a mental fortitude that can withstand or overcome difficult times.
Today, children are more exposed to dangers and most of them are not equipped with the level resistance required to tackle such challenges. The likely cause of the rise in depression and suicide rate in the world may be due to the unpreparedness of society, to deal with the inherent problem.
Each of these components plays a major role in preparing children for the world they live in. Parents can be deliberate as they invest in their children by focusing on how their children can improve in these core areas IQ, EQ, SQ and AQ. A child versed in each of these 4 components is more likely to excel in today’s world.
Written by Chinelo Nkennor
Head of Counselling Services
Greensprings Group of Schools