What Are “Soft Skills” and Why Are They Important?

Maple Box Dolls
Soft skills is a term often associated with a person’s “EQ” (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, interpersonal skills, managing people, leadership, etc. that characterize relationships with other people.¹
Life skills have been defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life”. They represent the psycho-social skills that determine valued behaviour and include reflective skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking, to personal skills such as self-awareness, and to interpersonal skills.
Practicing life skills leads to qualities such as:
  • Self-esteem
  • Sociability
  • Tolerance to action
  • Competencies to take action and generate change
  • Capabilities to have the freedom to decide what to do and who to be.
Life skills are thus distinctly different from physical or perceptual motor skills, such as practical or health skills, as well as from livelihood skills, such as crafts, money management and entrepreneurial skills . Health and livelihood education however, can be designed to be complementary to life skills education, and vice versa.²

If you research “Soft Skills” or “Life Skills”  you will find thousands of scholarly and local articles published on the importance of these skills.  However, very little curriculum exists to empower parents and teachers to easily and effectively implement these skills in real ways.
Life Skills-Based Education (LSBE) has a long history of supporting child development and health promotion in many parts. In 1986, the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion recognized life skills in terms of making better health choices. The 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) linked life skills to education by stating that education should be directed towards the development of the child’s fullest potential. The 1990 Jomtien Declaration on Education for All took this vision further and included life skills among essential learning tools for survival, capacity development and quality of life. The 2000 Dakar World Education Conference took a position that all young people and adults have the human right to benefit from “an education that includes learning to know, to do, to live together and to be”, and included life skills in two out of the six EFA Goals.

WHO Department of Mental Health identified five basic areas of life skills that are relevant across cultures:³

  •   decision-making and problem-solving;
  •   creative thinking and critical thinking;
  •   communication and interpersonal skills;
  •   self-awareness and empathy;
  •   coping with emotions and coping with stress.

tracy-clark-noncogs-banner9

  • dealing with conflict that cannot be resolved
  • dealing with authority
  • solving problems
  • making and keeping friends/relationships
  • cooperation
  • self-awareness
  • creative thinking
  • decision-making
  • critical thinking
  • dealing with stress
  • negotiation
  • clarification of values
  • resisting pressure
  • coping with disappointment
  • planning ahead
  • empathy
  • dealing with emotions
  • assertiveness
  • active listening
  • respect
  • tolerance
  • trust
  • sharing
  • sympathy
  • compassion
  • sociability
  • self-esteem

One of the most effective ways to teach life skills in ways that your child will remember is to pair the implementation with fun activities such as crafts, videos and films, puppet shows, cartoons and illustrations (such as books) compelling storylines.

This is why we have created stories and powerful illustrations with crafts, recipes and charms for each of the dolls and the life value that they teach.

We feel that strengthening the foundation of our society with a generation  of young ones that are fully prepared with abundant life skills is pivotal to success!  And our heart is to make it easy for you as parents to implement these in fun and memorable ways!

Hop Over HERE to read the full story of Joyful Jenny™ and how she can teach joy through difficult situations.

Joyful jenny Cover

Also, stay tuned for our trip to Huntington Beach California as we meet with the designer and manufacturer of our line of dolls!  Things are moving quickly and we are SO happy to have you aboard!

We are still planning our Kickstarter launch for May of 2016 where a limited number of lucky people will get to PRE -ORDER Joyful Jenny and be the first to get her!

This entry was posted in Doll Inspiration, Life Skills,, Weekly Update. Bookmark the permalink.

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