Our children\u2019s lives have changed quite drastically over the last few months. They have become highly dependent on technology in order to occupy their time when the pandemic hit. They are on Zoom and Google Classrooms to \u201cattend school\u201d and even use them for ballet, music, tuition and sports enrichment classes. The recent pandemic has shown us that we can absolutely live in isolation with the help of technology supporting our lives. There\u2019s no denying that the digital age is the way forward, and our children must blend in, if not grow alongside, this new way of life. An Unprecedented Time For Parents In the near future, it is foreseeable that artificial intelligence (AI) will easily take over human jobs. Then, what becomes of our children\u2019s future? How can our children set themselves apart, when knowledge is easily accessible to everyone? How can parents help their kids grow in such an environment? I have so many complex questions left unanswered. Fortunately, I came across role-model parents, Kelvin and Luisa, of Heroes Headquarters, who have some interesting perspectives on this. They will show us some simple yet fundamental ways to prepare our children for the digital age. Together, Kelvin and Luisa have years of experience sharing and leading parents in bettering their parenting journeys. Their mission is to equip parents to be heroes to their kids through active positive parenting.\u00a0 Read on for some interesting insights. Raising Children With Qualities That Give Them An Edge Q1: Kelvin and Luisa, how do we help our children differentiate themselves when facing a technologically advanced and highly competitive future? In all likelihood, our children will grow into a world where almost everyone is tech-savvy. They will drive technology as much as technology will also drive their lives. However, even in a hi-tech era, a high human touch to life will still prevail. What sets one person apart from another will be the fundamental qualities that mark their individuality. We define these fundamental qualities as the 4Cs: \tCharacter \u2014 being able to have qualities of positive traits.\u00a0 \tCreativity \u2014 being able to turn imaginative ideas into reality to create solutions, art or beauty. \tCommunication \u2014 being able to confidently articulate thoughts and to connect effectively with others. \tCoordination \u2014 being able to have the balance, motor skills and coordination to do everyday tasks.\u00a0 Our role as parents is to build them up with these qualities, by intentionally weaving the 4Cs into their lives. Q2: Starting with character building, how do we go about it? To build a child\u2019s character, we need to be intentional on instilling positive traits like resilience, respect, patience, integrity, empathy, hard work, etc. We do this through simple daily activities such as these: \tExecution of chores in the home\u00a0 \tParticipating in team games \tLearning new skills In our experience, these are great platforms for building positive character. The key to this is for parents to name those characters when it is exhibited by our child. It is important that we call out those positive behaviours that we have observed, and let them know the things that they are doing right, so they can keep repeating it. For example, in this scenario: The child sticks in there even though he feels like giving up in Taekwondo class when the exercises get tough.\u00a0 We can say, \u201cSon, I noticed that you demonstrated perseverance just now when you felt that the exercises were really tough. I was really proud of you for pushing yourself through it and hanging in there till the class was over. I know it\u2019s going to be easier when you keep working on it. So, keep it up!\u201d Possessing these qualities help them persevere and thrive in their adult life.\u00a0 Adding on to Kelvin and Luisa\u2019s narrative, I personally feel that these positive affirmations play an important part in encouraging our children to be better versions of themselves. They will also feel appreciated that their efforts don\u2019t go unnoticed. As parents, we often call out their mistakes and bad behaviours, with a good intention to correct them. I think we should do the same with the things they have done right. Q3: How do you build and encourage creativity in your children? Creativity is about being able to turn imaginative ideas into reality. Our secret to encouraging creativity? Simple! Let them be bored!! Boredom is a big problem for them, and they come out with great ideas when they\u2019re bored! Before you dismiss this idea, consider the benefits of boredom. However, the matter is whether we are willing to allow them the freedom to create. It will require some parameters and limits and guidelines, but the benefits of creative mess far outweigh the tidy idleness. Trust me! You will be amazed!\u00a0 There\u2019s another thing. Many a time, when children face a problem, we are quick to giving them answers immediately to solve the problem. To raise creative children, we need to be asking them questions that will lead them to the answers.\u00a0 This strengthens their problem-solving skills and resourcefulness, instead of depending on others to provide answers. Instead of thinking, \u201cI\u2019ve got this!\u201d, we\u2019ve got to approach each problem with, \u201cYou\u2019ve got this, kiddo!\u201d Some helpful enrichment classes that promote creativity are music, art, coding, and more. These skills enable them to have the foundation to be a creator when they are put in a position to do so. Q4: How do we build communication skills? It is said that most of today\u2019s problems are caused by poor communication amongst people. It\u2019s a matter of effective communication. The world will be a much better place if we all knew how to communicate with respect and articulate our thoughts in ways that foster goodwill and understanding. With that said, the best thing we can do for our children is to create an atmosphere where we role model respectful communication. We talk to each other in pleasant tones, and we communicate our expectations clearly so that everyone has mutual understanding and can behave their best.\u00a0 Effective communication also means listening well to each other. When we practise reflective listening, they feel heard. In return, they will reciprocate by trying to understand us when we need their attention. Activities that promote communication skills are like speech and drama classes, debating clubs, choral speaking teams, etc. The skills learnt in such activities include speaking in public, gaining general knowledge in current affairs, enunciation, pronunciation. All these will help a child to feel more confident about speaking up and articulating their thoughts. Building them with these traits that give them the ability to present their thoughts and ideas in a clear and effective way will help them to stand out from others in the AI age. Q5: When it comes to coordination, what\u2019s your advise? To raise well rounded and balanced children, there must be coordination of their mental, emotional, social and physical capabilities.\u00a0 A positive character coupled with a creative flair and good communication skills will take care of their mental, emotional and social aspects. Never neglect their physical coordination and capabilities, as being poorly coordinated can result in a child feeling self-conscious and have low self esteem. On the other hand, being well-coordinated, a child will have the balance, motor skills and coordination to perform daily activities with confidence and ease. When a child is involved in more complex physical activity, let\u2019s say, gymnastics, the child uses muscle groups that they would not normally use in daily activities. Performing cartwheels and handstands requires greater coordination of various parts of the body. This helps the child manoeuvre through everyday things easily and with confidence, like jumping over a drain without the fear of falling. We saw this in our youngest daughter who started gymnastics at four years old.\u00a0 One Step At A Time Raising a child well needs patience, effort and time. The journey isn\u2019t always easy. Some of our kids are a little harder to work with than others. Every child is different. There isn\u2019t a one size fits all, so if we aren\u2019t seeing the results we aim for, don\u2019t despair. Patiently try other angles that work best for your child. We\u2019re here to support each other and share lots of parenting tips and advise to help all mummies be at their best. Building up our children with the 4Cs is one of the best things we can do for them. It's a sustainable legacy that will prepare our kids to be successful in the years to come. It's one of our greatest gifts we can offer to them.