Encourage vacists to learn a new skill

Vivian Agaba

What you need to know:

  • Support those interested in learning how to play different musical instruments, for instance, piano, drums, guitar, trumpet, or those talented in various sports, you never know where such talents can take your child.

Yet again, the holidays are here and learners are back home.

Yes, it is true children deserve to have time to rest from the exhausting and demanding pressures of school and have their bodies and minds rejuvenated by the time they go back to school.

But much as they need rest, they shouldn’t be left to slumber. It is a good idea for parents and guardians to use this long holiday to support their children, especially the vacists to learn new things, acquire useful skills and knowledge as they prepare them for adulthood.

The world has become very competitive, work places are looking out for employees with multiple skills, and parents must support and prepare their children for such a competitive world.

Some of the skills vacists can learn include; computer literacy, enrolling them for cooking/baking classes, teach them basic gardening, cleaning, and washing the car, taking part in meal preparation and home maintenance. Such skills prepare them to be responsible adults when they start life of their own.

Support those interested in learning how to play different musical instruments, for instance, piano, drums, guitar, trumpet, or those talented in various sports, you never know where such talents can take your child.

Parents should also encourage their children to learn new languages such as Kiswahili, French, or any international language of their choice. There are many advantages that come with knowing how to communicate in more than one language, like your child being able to land a good job in future, and working with international multi-companies and organizations.

For parents who own businesses whether big or small, take your children with you to your work places during the holidays. Having your own children involved in the family business equips them with skills such as selling and marketing, customer care, creates room for bonding, children learn business principles, and it may interest them to pursue a career in entrepreneurship in future.

It is important to involve children in the family business for known reasons. One, to prepare them to take over when the parents can longer manage the business either because of old age, or when something unexpected happens like permanent injury, or sickness, or death of a parent(s), and two, to ensure there is continuity of the business when the parents are no longer around.

There have been stories where businesses collapsed or were sold off by children following the death of their parents, because the former were never part of the family business, and had no idea of how to manage and run a business.

Apart from hard skills mentioned above, it is also important for children to learn soft skills. Soft skills are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. These include; effective communication, creativity and imagination, positive attitude, listening, stress management and time-management skills among others.

All these skills prepare children to become better adults who are able to work well with others, become responsible adults, better employees, and make positive contributions in their communities, families and places of work.  Don’t let holiday makers, particularly the vacists spend the entire holiday in front of the television or on their phones, for there is no much value in binge watching or scrolling through social media platforms all day long.

I remember in my Senior Four vacation over 10years ago, I spent all my time watching different television series, including an American supernatural teen drama television called ‘Vampire Diaries’.

It was so addictive that many times I would miss meals, and when a season ended , I would rush to town to buy a new one. I didn’t do anything productive with my time, and I regret it.

For all parents with vacists at home, make sure they learn a skill or two, this keeps them actively engaged, further sharpens their minds, and such skills will help them in the near future.

Ms Agaba is a journalist, and consultant writer, and editor

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