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  • Writer's pictureThe Parents' Guide to

How to help your child stand out from the crowd this summer

The holidays provide a fantastic opportunity for teens to spend some time doing things they enjoy which will also help build their skills. Taking part in different hobbies and interests can improve their ability to communicate well, work with others, problem-solve and be adaptable (to name but a few) whilst also developing personal strengths, such as improving confidence, being resilient, compassionate and empathetic.

Learning takes place outside the classroom too

Schools out for summer, but learning never stops. What’s great is that outside the classroom, it doesn’t feel so much like learning – which doesn’t make it any less effective. Academic qualifications are important, but it’s what students do alongside their studies that develop their character and build their skills. It’s often these qualities that makes them stand out from others, both on application forms and in interviews, especially when other applicants are of a similar age, have studied similar subjects and possibly have similar grades.

Teenage boy practicing the guitar in bedroom
Different hobbies - different skills

How hobbies reinforce skillsets

What your teen does for fun helps shape their character and gives them essential soft skills (sometimes called transferrable skills) that can only be gained through experience. Soft skills are highly valued because they are essential to running a business well; the way employees relate to one another and how they go about doing their job underpins their ability to succeed and consequently, the business’s ability to succeed. Because soft skills are not industry specific and have equal worth in different job types, students that develop a strong set of soft skills have more opportunities to switch between different sectors to find the roles and industry that suit them best.

Different hobbies – different skills

Different activities develop different skills. For example, team sports might harness commitment, good communication, collaboration, perception and teamwork, whereas solo sports might harness commitment, decisiveness, determination, independence and self-reliance.

If your teen has a keen interest in listening to podcasts and watching short videos, this might expand their general knowledge, broaden their interests, help them identify and explore their passions, whilst improving their skills in assimilation, comprehension, listening, research and prioritization.

Bookworms will develop their language and communications skills, whilst demonstrating focus and a curious mind for trying new reads. Those that are keen to be in the limelight, perhaps making their own videos to post online, will become adept presenters, great communicators and have insight into holding an audience’s attention (very useful for work meetings later on in life!).

Core values

As well as skills, these non-academic interests encourage personal growth, developing capability and potential. This includes personal traits (or values) such as courage, honesty, integrity, kindness, loyalty, optimism, reliability and trustworthiness. There are numerous others; all are vital in creating rapport and aligning values with individuals and businesses alike.

The Parents’ Guide to helping your child stand out from the crowd

Learn which hobbies develop which skills and why. Your teen will know what they enjoy, so why not check our explanations detailing how different hobbies develop different skills. There’s many different interests to appeal to all different personality types, so if there are gaps in the skills your teen is building, it’ll be easy to spot different ideas to plug them. We also explain how your teen can demonstrate practical application of their values and soft skills during interviews. Click here to learn more now

We always love to hear from you, so do let us know if there are any subjects you’d like us to chat to you about. Stay safe and keep happy, Vanessa and Darius -


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