3 skills to build in your kids

The one feeling that I seem to be wedded to after becoming a parent is a deep sense of fear about the child’s well being. All parents whom I have met and interacted with seem to express this fear, whether your child is 3 or 30. Parents of younger children worry about their developmental future and rightly so.  We are also overloaded with a lot of content on what to do and what not to do. Our team decided to curate the 3 most important things that one needs to grow up into a successful human being


Delayed Gratification:


The Stanford Marshmallow experiment is very popular, but let me quickly recount it here. The experiment was conducted on 4 to 5 year olds. A Research assistant gave them a single marshmallow and told them that if they waited till he returned before eating it, they would get a second one. As can be expected, some children waited and some didn’t. The interesting thing about the study is that it was a longitudinal study, which means that these children’s life progress was recorded. The children who waited till the researcher returned generally tended to do better in life that those that didn’t.


There is another interesting study, which gave the Marshmallow experiment a twist.  Children were split into two groups, both were told to wait to get better prizes. In one group, the research assistants were consistent and kept their word. In the other control, they were inconsistent with the rewards for waiting, that is sometimes the kids got a bigger prize and sometimes they didn’t! Not surprisingly, on repeating the experiment, the first group with consistent researchers did better with the patience and waiting!


What this means is that delayed gratitude is a very important trait for success and it can be worked on.  As parents, we can try and be consistent with rewarding children.  This one intervention from us can go a long way in building patient kids!




A two-year study from McKinsey Global Institute suggests that by 2030, intelligent agents and robots could eliminate as much as 30 percent of the world’s human labor.  But, every technology shift usually creates more jobs than reduces. It is just that the nature of work will become very different. Ability to have good human interactions and getting work done through others will be a bigger skill set in future, even more than today.


As parents, building social skills in our children will be more important.  One of the simplest things we can do is to expose children to more social situations – such as after class activities, Free play with kids in the neighborhood, interacting with the parents peer group etc. The more people they meet, the quicker they realize how to adapt to situations



Traditional structures such as extended family, community etc are slowly becoming obsolete as we live across the globe for economic reasons. These traditional structures provided security and emotional well-being. In the absence of this, it is very important to build resilience in our younger ones.  Gratitude towards life helps them provide stability.


As parents, we can inculcate the habit of talking about our life and what we are grateful for. Slowly, children will inculcate the habit of looking for positives in life too.


Most of the skills mentioned above are life skills, which is not to say that academics, sports etc are not important. They are the basics and are extremely essential for success, these 3 skills are to be developed over and above the academic skills!


About the Author:

Roomana Basha is the founder and CEO of ekdali.com , prior to this she has extensive experience working in the spaces of skill building and talent management.  She is mother to a 5 year old girl