Top 5 social skills to teach kids in 2024

Leigh Scanlon

Hi there! It's Leigh.

As a Mom to two teenage girls, I am constantly thinking about how I can prepare them for the world beyond our home. My oldest daughter only has a little more time under our roof and although she's smart at school, I worry about her ability to navigate her way socially. I often find myself overwhelmed with thinking...

"Is she socially ready for the big bad world? Will she be able to chat at a table with new friends in a dorm? Will she be a team player in a group setting? Can she adapt to new ideas and perspectives of new people she will meet? Can she pass an interview screening, write good emails, create healthy relationships and make good choices away from home?" ...Whew!

As a society we put lots of focus and energy on the importance of academics. At home most of us read with our kids, practice spelling words, help with homework and sign up for activities that give our children an academic boost. All of these things are important to bettering our kids' literacy skills and getting them to graduation and beyond.

But what about those important social communication skills? What about those soft skills that are 100% necessary to have after graduation? No matter what path a child chooses after high school; college, tech or job, soft skills are required. 

Are we teaching those skills to our students and kids? Am I teaching those essential skills to my daughters? What soft skills am I modeling in the classroom when I teach? What soft skills am I modeling when I am at home? 

In the “non-working world” we don’t say we are working on “soft skills” with our kids and students. But many of us are teaching these soft skills daily. We just call them different things like social skills, life skills, or possibly SEL skills. These skills are important to develop during the school aged years, but absolutely crucial to have after graduation. 

So, what are the essential soft skills in demand for 2024? Well, it depends on what expert you ask. Both Forbes  and Link-Ed rank Communication Skills as their #1, and Market Watch ranks Leadership. But everybody has these 5 on their radar:


If these are the in-demand skills for graduates to have after they leave high school, what am I doing to help my daughters strengthen these skills? These skills need to be taught just like math and reading. Everyone who is raising or teaching kids wants to send successful, happy humans out into the world. Why aren't we doing more?

At Story Stage, Rebekah and I have made it our mission to create research driven social language games for professionals to use with students. This comes from our own journey of wanting more resources for our own children and also from the many calls from educators, parents and professionals. Let's give of our kids the tools they need to grow into sucessful young adults who can communicate and connect.

Story Stage