DEAR GRANDDADDY- A Teen, Parent, and Educator Advice Column BLOG #67

Dear Granddaddy, what skills would you advise high school students to learn today. Josh- a father.

Bestselling and award-winning author, speaker, educator, and TV host.


Well, Josh, I imagine some of the members of the younger generations may disagree with me on what I’m about to say, but I’m going to say it anyway because I believe in its value. One of the skills that our kids should learn is typing. Learning how to type will speed up their written and electronic communication. In this world that seems to be spinning faster and faster every year, where people are always hollering about how time is money, being able to type something up quickly makes a lot of sense.

So, too, does learning how to debate within set guidelines. This forces our children’s courage muscle to grow as they learn critical listening skills, analytical thinking and reasoning, and persuasiveness, as well as playing within the rules and public speaking.

Speaking of public speaking, high schools should offer a class on public speaking. With everything digitized these days, the old human form of face to face contact and actually being able to confidently speak to a group of people is becoming a lost art. These skills are going to be more and more important as people increasingly park themselves behind a computer screen.

Another thing all kids need to learn is social skills. With kids thumbs now actually moving faster and more frequently than their mouths, social skills and social-emotional intelligence are going to be game changers for the kids who know how to speak to others in a way that comes off as likable.

Also, training in computers and other technology makes sense. It would be nice if our kids can someday control the robots that are coming to take over life as we know it, instead of the robots controlling them.

And one can never forget the three R’s of reading, writing, and arithmetic. These three academic skills will help our kids get a job and make money someday, while the communication skills mentioned above will help our kids effectively connect with others and make a life for themselves.

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Dan Blanchard is a bestselling and an award-winning author, speaker, and educator who has appeared in several of the world’s Top Ten Podcasts, and over 100 television and radio shows. He now also has a weekly TV show of his own. To find out more about Dan or to submit a question to him, please visit him on his website at: