Is Your Child Ready for Reality 2022 and Beyond?

Imagine your child 15-20 years from now. 

Your child has excelled in their pre-university course with flying colours, and they have been accepted into their dream university! They are going to fly there in one month.

Your child has to be prepared.

In Malaysia, you two scoop out rental spaces around the university online, arrange visas and buy all the winter clothes your child needs.

When your plane land, you and your child buy all the things your child needs, and remind them of all the household tips and tricks you’ve learnt. Along the way, you go sightseeing and get some souvenirs for yourself (and your extended family).

When your child has settled into their dorm, you say your goodbyes and embrace your child, knowing that this will be the last time in a long while. 

And that’s it! You have prepared your child for the next stage of their life. Back in Malaysia, you collapse in your bed after a long flight back and a long car trip from the airport. 

A phone call rings. 

Excited, you pick it up:

“Mom, how do I cook rice?”

Why can’t my child cook rice?

It’s okay. Many children can’t cook rice, even as young adults. 

Some families invite their children into the kitchen to help with chores; other parents don’t so that their children can focus on their studies. 

Each child has their own unique set of academic and life skills. 

While it may be a bit embarrassing to not know how to cook your own rice, it’s a minor problem that can be fixed.

34% of students believe their schools are not preparing them for success in the job market.

These concerns don’t come from any fault of the students, their parents or their schools. 

The knowledge we gain from the Cambridge syllabus, Malaysia’s national curriculum or any other education curriculums are valuable in our daily lives. 

However, the focus on knowledge and theory alone is not sufficient enough to prepare us for reality. 

To be ready for 2022 and beyond, we need to learn beyond our IQ capabilities.

Mainstream schooling was designed to focus on IQ alone because when it was first practised during the Industrial Revolution, there were high demands for thousands of factory workers.

That’s why in schools today, students are trained to memorise facts and are tested regularly.  

But since the beginning of the 2000s, digital technology and artificial intelligence (AI) fulfil many roles in our society, including memorisation of large data, and standardisation of mass production.

As a result, 85 million jobs may fade into obscurity due to technological advancements by 2025.

So does this mean our schooling systems have become useless? 

No, but they are failing to meet the requirements of our world today.

So what do I need to do to prepare my child for the changes in the 21st century?


Change is scary, but it is not a problem. 

According to that same report by the World Economic Forum:

97 million more may emerge to meet the demands of future tech.

So instead of working within the old education system that doesn’t fit our current needs, we should take a step back and ask ourselves:

What skills does my child need to meet the demands of the world today?

We can’t say with 100% certainty what skills your child will absolutely need by the time they graduate. 

Society changes over time – sometimes drastically as the pandemic has taught us.

Often, we have to play by ear adapt to the changing circumstances.

Within this year, 40% of respondents to the Future of Jobs Survey say that they will need to reskill in 6 months or less.

Take note that more people recognise how important it is for them to gain technological skills after the pandemic. As a result, these numbers may have increased. 

While it can be hard to predict the future, our current marketing trends, global initiatives and our own lives can give us an excellent blueprint to help us prepare for reality.

First off: Education should prepare our children for their future jobs

The purpose of education is to prepare children for life. Therefore, it should equip students with the necessary skills to perform basic jobs as demanded in the market. 

In today’s context, students need skills that give a competitive advantage against machinery to provide long term value. So while we can’t beat gadgets as masters of IQ, we can master other ways of thinking to make up for a computer’s weaknesses. 

Therefore, your child will need:

A good blend of IQ (intelligence) + EQ (emotional intelligence) + RQ (resilience)

This combination is critical to unleashing your child’s potential.

Creativity is also a skill that computers cannot conceive; it is a skill that your child can master.

Cultivating your child’s creativity and emotional intelligence falls in line with UNESCO’s plans for education.

In their document “Education in a post-COVID world: nine ideas for public action”, UNESCO outlines 2 core purposes to education:

  1. Education should develop a strong base of knowledge about oneself and the world.
  2. Education should be integrated and based on themes and problems that allow us to live in peace with our common humanity and shared planet.

Holistic education gives your child the opportunity to understand who they are for themselves: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and more. 

Because holistic learning requires self-driven learning, your child would better understand the world around them, how it relates to themselves and how they can make real change in their communities.

Currently, some innovative schools like Tree Top International School can help your child gain a more holistic self-driven learning experience. 

However, it will take some time for this new approach to become mainstream

How can I give my children an education that prepares them for reality?

You don’t have to wait for the school system to change to prepare your child for reality! 

All you need to do is identify the skills required for your child to become an independent adult and a valued worker. 

Once you have that down, all that’s left is to train your child in those skills. A straightforward 2-step approach – and we’ve already completed part 1 for you!

Here are some of the most important hard and soft skills your child will need to be prepared for reality 2022 and beyond.

The Hard Skills : Tech Literacy

Our children are probably more competent than us when handling their devices! They know how to play multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG), watch videos on Youtube, and even switch tabs in a second to look like they’re studying!
With digital technology becoming more ingrained into our daily lives, it is time to advance their digital literacy. Advanced digital literacy could mean something as simple as mastering Spreadsheets or learning a whole new skill such as programming and coding.

There are some programming camps in Malaysia your child can participate in if they are interested!


Health & First Aid

Health is the number one concern for parents after the pandemic. We worry about our children getting sick – but do our children know what to do if they are sick? Do they know how to identify diseases and how to treat them? 

According to the British Red Cross, only 5% of adults are confident enough to administer first aid. 

Whenever your child falls sick or injured, teach them about the tools you use and the proper medication for their ailments. Then, as your child gets older, encourage them to take first-aid courses. Who knows? They may be able to save someone’s life!



Yes – this seems like a no-brainer. So much so that sometimes, we forget it is a skill we need to teach!

What may seem simple to us may not be simple to your child. Teach your child how to mop and sweep the floors, wash the dishes, and do their laundry. If they make mistakes, show them an easier way to do it. 

Then, get your child to do their chores. Your child will gain a host of life skills, confidence and a sense of independence.

Budgeting and finance management

Until your child earns a salary, they will not understand the value of money and the means to spend it.

Financial management is an invaluable skill. But, unfortunately, many Malaysian young adults today don’t know how to manage their finances. Currently, 47% of Malaysian Youths have high credit card debt due to the inability to make monthly payments

Start training your child how to use their finances wisely by giving them an allowance. Show them simple financial options such as spending and saving. Once they are older, introduce them to more economic prospects as they pursue bigger projects.


People have been building their cooking skills ever since the pandemic started. So while we may be eating out more often, your child will still need to develop their cooking skills.

Start training your child by inviting them to do simple tasks in the kitchen, like stirring and adding ingredients. Then, move on to more complex tasks such as cutting and boiling. 

Along the way, teach your child a variety of recipes. It is one thing to know how to cook, but another to learn what to cook!

The Soft Skills: Creativity and Innovation

Creativity is more than paintings and songs; it is about thinking outside the box. 

Give your child fun challenges that will force them to think of creative solutions, like making the tallest newspaper tower. 

You can also train your child with “what ifs” scenarios. For example:

“What if we had pasta every Wednesday instead of chicken rice?”

While these examples can be pretty straightforward, it challenges your child to think differently.

Complex Problem Solving and Decision making

While computers are intelligent enough to process large amounts of data and solve complex multiplications, they can’t tell you why your plants aren’t growing properly. 

Computers only handle data, do the math and show us the results. It is up to us to figure out our own conclusions and make decisions based on the evidence. 

To build these skills, your child has to learn how to observe a situation, understand it, evaluate all options at hand and make a decision. It is okay if they make wrong decisions! Through trial and error, your child will be able to make wise decisions and solve problems.


Our children are growing up in a good time where many of life’s blessings are provided for them. However, this also means they have yet to be exposed to the dangers of the world.

Don’t take their naivety as a sign of ignorance. Instead, treat it as a beginning stage for your child to learn and cope with life’s struggles. If they get hurt, comfort them and help them accept that challenges are a part of life. If life gets too emotional, show them a way to cope. 

By showing them ways to deal with challenges rather than ‘tahan’, your child will build a healthy form of physical and emotional resilience.

Social Skills

Online learning has taught our children how to stay in touch online. However, there is much more to social interaction than facetime. 

Aside from reading body language and social cues, social skills such as people management and negotiation are also essential in the workplace. 

Teaching social interactions often only happen when they occur. However, you can still teach your children skills by setting an example. For example, show your child how you negotiate and interact with your friends or colleagues when they come to visit. Be aware of how you act in front of your child. 

Children learn best by observing their parents.


How many times have you nagged at your child to put their shoes away? How many times have you called them to come down for dinner on time?

Whether it’d be working on organisation or time management, your child needs to see examples of how other people organise themselves and develop their organisational habits. Making their schedules and routines will help them with the many responsibilities adults have.

While it may be easy to set a schedule for your child to follow, it may feel unnatural to them. So instead of giving them a schedule, show them tools to help get themselves organised like schedules, checklists and sticky notes. From there, they can manage a system that works best for them.

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