Friday, 3 December 2021

10 Skills and Strengths Your Child Should Develop in High School

Some of the most important life lessons are learned in high school, a time that is considered by many as a juncture between childhood and adulthood. As a grown up, you most likely have experienced this firsthand, which is why it’s understandable that you’d want the same rich and meaningful learning experiences for your own child.

With that in mind, what particular strengths or skills should you encourage in your child during their high school years? Which competencies will be the most rewarding to them during their school lives, as well as during their college and working years?

To answer these questions, we’re presenting a list that will be very helpful to parents and their children. Parents can impart these modern-day skills and strengths to high schoolers enrolled in local or international secondary schools in Singapore, and watch them bloom as exemplars among their peers.

Language and Communication Skills

Facility with language is a skill that will serve a high school student well even outside their English, literature, mother tongue, or foreign language classes. Knowing the value of clarity, precision, and substantiation in one’s words—as well as the best way to communicate those words to other people—will help the student get their point across in myriad situations. Encourage your child to deepen their knowledge of language and communication in high school by reading books, practicing their reading and writing skills, and learning the basics of a language other than their mother tongue. 

Analytical and Problem-Solving Skills

High school is also the perfect time for your child to build their analytical and problem-solving skills. These are valuable skills to have, as they will inspire major breakthroughs for both your child and the communities they will eventually grow to serve. They can build the discipline for it in their math, science, or information technology classes, and they can also join extracurricular activities like debate or model UN, which will allow them to deepen their critical thinking skills and imagine solutions for problems from different perspectives.

Visual Communication Skills

Not every student is a born artist, but everyone has the capacity to learn how to think more visually and to incorporate visual elements into their communication style. Whether your child has dreams of becoming an entrepreneur, a marketing professional, a scientist, or a teacher, they’ll have a considerable advantage in their chosen field if they can hone their visual communication skills. Motivate them to learn how to visualize complex information and how to break it down for themselves and other people using visual elements. They can do so by taking up digital illustration, basic graphic design, photography, or filmmaking during their high school years.

Tech Literacy

Technology plays a huge role in today’s world, and it will leave an even bigger impact on the world of tomorrow. Your high schooler may have grown up as a “digital native,” or as part of a generation that is familiar with social media and high-performing consumer technologies from a very early age. But that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing more for them to learn about technology and how it can be used in the advancement of different disciplines. You can read up on the role of educational technology in your high schooler’s formation, and you can encourage them to participate in activities that will bolster their tech literacy and tech mastery. Some examples include basic coding and basic web design lessons, which are readily available to high schoolers. 


It may seem old-fashioned to teach your high schooler the fine art of note-taking, but this may not be a skill that they’re innately good at or something that’s actively taught to them in class. All the same, it would be beneficial for them to learn how to process new concepts, how to be concise in their writing, and how to chunk and un-chunk information in a way that will help them study better. Help your child practice efficient note-taking, and have fun adapting traditional note-taking styles with modern-day note-taking implements like apps and tablets.

Time Management

Time management is another soft skill that may not be formally taught in the classroom. But if your child becomes proficient at managing their time and balancing different responsibilities in high school, they will have a much easier time in college and in their working years. Don’t hesitate to share your own time management tips with your high schooler, as you may have developed some awesome “hacks” in your lifetime. In addition, remind your child of the things that are essential to their time management strategies: prioritization of tasks, step-by-step fulfillment of goals, and ample time for rest and relaxation.


Team players are valued in any field, and people pay attention to individuals who can cultivate a strong sense of teamwork among their peers. Luckily, teamwork is something that any child can learn, and there are many opportunities to strengthen one’s performance in a team in high school. Support your child if they’re interested in a team sport or in a collaborative art like theater or choir. This is where they can hone their skills for listening to other people, inhabiting key roles, and working with groups to achieve positive outcomes.


Creativity is an extremely adaptable strength, as there are multiple ways to develop it. A student may not grow up to be a fine artist, but they can definitely incorporate their creativity in many of their future interests. Do your best to nurture your high schooler’s creative spirit whether they like to write poetry, play music, draw, sing, or take photographs. They will develop imagination, attunement to their inner lives, and courage to express themselves—and in doing so, they may grow up to inspire others.


Though your high schooler may not be an adult, they’re in a good disposition to learn the life skills that they will practice often in their adulthood. One of these is self-sufficiency, or the ability to do things without your supervision or assistance. You can help your child build resilience and independence by helping them practice the most important “adulting” skills. These include taking public transport, cooking, cleaning, doing basic finances, and first aid. The more self-sufficient your child becomes in high school, the easier their life will be when it’s eventually time for them to strike out on their own. 


Lastly, it’s good for your high schooler to develop strengths that are based on the betterment of their greater community. Civic literacy and cross-cultural skills are among the 21st century core competencies for students in a globalized world. Whether they’ll choose to stay home after high school or further their education and career abroad, community-centeredness is a strength that will keep your child grounded and cultivate their sense of purpose. Tell your child about how they can use their unique skills and interests, like any of those detailed above, to help improve the lives of their fellow Singapore citizens  and global society at large.

Final Words

Your child may still be of a young age, but much of their personhood can be developed during high school. Do your part as a parent to help them learn about the kind of person they want to be—and let them know about how much good they can do for themselves and for others, even while they are still just in high school.


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