Helping STEM Students Build Soft Skills – Strategy #4: DRIP IDEAS

Dear Readers: In lieu of reading this post, you can view the embedded video (bottom of post).

Hello, and welcome. This is Strategy #4, DRIP IDEAS. It’s about “dripping ideas” on your child by sharing articles, blogs, videos, and books.

Drip Ideas

DRIP IDEAS on your child by sharing articles, blogs, videos, and books that you think she might enjoy reading and get good value from, especially those that deal with soft skills.

A Personal Example: Our 3 BoysBoys2

Although my wife and I read to our boys a lot during their early years, they really didn’t turn into avid readers in middle school or high school.

This was somewhat disappointing to me, but I didn’t let it keep me from continuing to suggest good books, articles or blogs, when I found one I thought they might warm up to. 

I tried to not be a nag, but I wanted them to know how important it was for them to be reading regularly to expand their thinking and to explore new ideas.

A favorite example of “dripping” I want to share involves an outstanding book I bought and read in 2005. It’s titled, The World Is Flat.STG3WorldIsFlatBook It’s essentially the story of how the Internet flattened and connected the world.

Although I don’t recall convincing all three boys to read it, it still became an influence on them because it prompted me to regularly give them these two pieces of career advice,

  1. Find something you enjoy doing,
  2. Make sure it’s a job that can’t be shipped on the Internet, because if it can, it will continually move across the globe from lowest cost producer to lowest cost producer.

Even though our boys are all in their twenties today, I still occasionally email or text them links to articles, TED talks, books and blogs that I think would interest them.

What’s cool now is that they will often reciprocate by sending me links to good content they’ve stumbled across.

Maybe all the dripping I did wasn’t a waste of time after all!


ACTIONS TO TAKE NOW:

ACTION #1:

Begin sharing reading recommendations with your child.

Of course, to make suggestions to your child requires that you be reading regularly yourself. If you’re not currently a regular reader, a simple starting point might be to find a blog or two that seem to resonate with you.

Once you find a couple of blogs, stick with them for a few weeks to see if the author consistently writes content that holds your interest. Then decide if the blog posts provide ideas that you think would interest and benefit your child. If the answer is yes, then send a link to the blog to your child, along with 1-2 reasons why you think she might like it. Or maybe start by sending her a single blog post.

Two blogs that I find especially fascinating and helpful are Shane Parrish’s blog titled, Farnam Street. I get his Sunday digest that he calls the Brain Food newsletter. The second blog is Eric Barker’s, BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE.

Both of these blogs provide lots of posts, and hyperlinks, related to soft skills of all kinds, plus lots of other topics, but yet they are structured to be quick and easy reads.

ACTION #2:

Please forgive me if this seems self-serving, but I do want to suggest that you steer your child to the ENGINEERINGCAREERLAUNCHER.com website….especially the blog and the resources in the Learning Store.

Ideally, some of my content will resonate with your child and will help her learn new skills. I created the site especially with STEM-focused young people in mind.

ACTION #3:

Point your child to the wonderful selection of TED Talk videos available on the TED. com site.STG3TedTalks

You might want to suggest a couple of good ones that you’ve watched.

The learning opportunities with TED Talk videos are unlimited.

There truly is something there for everyone.

ACTION #4:

Watch for drip worthy content that you come across in your life at work and at home. Then send it along to your child if you think it would interest her and help her.

Two general rules to follow when dripping ideas on your kids are these:

  1. Don’t overdue it…in other words, don’t nag.
  2. Follow-up whatever you send your child with a request for a conversation to talk about it.

4 More Powerful Strategies Still to Come…

Next up is Strategy #5, it involves a soft skill that is vital for STEM students today: WRITING. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you.


 If desired, you can view this entire post in the video below:

Questions: What ideas will you “drip” on your child today? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Note: This post is one of the chapters in the free PARENT’S GUIDE TO HELPING STEM STUDENTS BUILD OUTSTANDING SOFT SKILLS. On THIS PAGE, you can learn more about the GUIDE, watch a short summary video and request a FREE downloadable PDF copy.

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