It’s all about the six Cs
Wednesday 5 July 2017 07:48 BST
Parents receive a lot of mixed messages surrounding how best to bring up their children.
How strict should you be? Should you be more of a friend or guardian? How much independence should they be given?
And current parenting culture may not actually be setting kids up in the best way, according to two professors.
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“We’re training kids to do what computers do, which is spit back facts. And computers are always going to be better than human beings at that,” says Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, developmental psychologist, professor at Temple University and co-author of Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children.
“But what they’re not going to be better at is being social, navigating relationships, being citizens in a community. So we need to change the whole definition of what success in school, and out of school, means.”
Hirsh-Pasek and her co-author Roberta Golinkoff from the University of Delaware believe children should be assessed in the six Cs: collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation and confidence. And they go in that order too.
And it’s the roles of parents to encourage children in these six areas: “So, if you’re going to have a kid who engages in critical thinking, you’re not going to shut them down when they ask a question,” Golinkoff says.
“You’re not going to settle for ‘because.’ You’re going to encourage them to ask more. And you want them to understand how other people think.”
There are then levels to each of the six Cs, which reflect how strong you are in each skill, and Golinkoff and Hirsh-Pasek say parents can use the system to evaluate their own relationship with their children too.
The authors believe it’s crucial that parents supplement what children learn in school and they stress that social interaction – rather than gadgets – are crucial.
“What we do with little kids today will matter in 20 years,” says Hirsh-Pasek. “If you don’t get it right, you will have an unlivable environment. That’s the crisis I see.”