by Emanuel Pietersen


There is something incredible in the way youth have the ability to bounce back from bad experiences.  I remember as a child, climbing every possible tree I could find – and almost always falling out of them – and then simply getting up and dusting myself off.  Yes, there were scars, but I rarely let them affect me long-term.  If I try that now as an adult, chances are I won’t be able to get up from a fall.


During the last couple of years, there have been worse than good experiences for children, especially when it comes to school closures, stress at home due to financial issues, and uncertainty about the future.  But what are the long-term effects of these problems on our youth?


It has been proven that there is a small window period at the beginning of a child’s life where the neuro pathways and certain habits are formed.  These are the habits and thinking patterns that they will take with them for the remainder of their lives and could be a good or a bad thing.  For instance, take the issue of constant school closure.  Besides the learning that obviously happens at school (good or bad) one of the things children learn by waking up every morning, getting dressed, and just getting to school is the routine of showing up – which will become a habit.  Whether they want to be an entrepreneur and self-employed or enter the workforce, the most important thing is to show up.  Chances are if a child has a disruptive schooling schedule, they will not understand the value of “showing up” when they are adults.  If children are not taught the value of time, how can you expect them to value time when they are adults?


Another valuable argument that can be made is that with constant change children are taught to think on their feet and will be able to adapt when they are adults.  Even though I feel there is truth in the statement, if the child is not taught how to adapt and how to learn from the constant change, then chances are that they will not understand the logic behind it.  We cannot take for granted the fact that children bounce back from trauma, it is our responsibility as adults to guide them through the path.  We must teach them how to adapt and learn from experiences.


So, what can we do to help our children? We know the world is changing rapidly and that the 21st-century workplace is much different from what we know, but looking at the current schooling curricula, not much has changed in decades, except for the disruptions all over the world for various reasons.  Even though many are trying to change the way our schools teach, it might not change soon, so we as adults need to realise what the issues are and find alternative solutions.  I am not saying we need to take our youth out of school and teach them from home (even though it has its benefits and drawbacks) but we need to find alternative add-ons that will assist our youth in evolving with the 21st century.  The question is, where should I start looking when is the right time and how do I know the programme I choose for my child is the correct one?  With the window period being so small at the beginning of life, what if I as the parent make a mistake by making the wrong choices for my child?


Here are some tips:

  • Do your research.  For instance, the MiniChess programme has proven results in not only university studies, but in-school programmes.  These results include school readiness, improvements in all STEM-skills subjects and even showed a cast improvement in school attendance in schools where priority from children to be at school is very low.
  • Is the programme adaptable to your lifestyle and schedule?  MiniChess has various options, from in-school programmes all over the country and franchises internationally too, but they also have an online option where parents can choose times that suits their busy schedules.  MiniChess also has the choice of MiniChess Clubs in certain areas.
  • Is it affordable?  We all want to give our kids the best of everything, but with current school fees, after-school activities and sports and the current economy and fuel prices, we cannot always afford to still pay for additional classes or programmes.  The MiniChess programme is one of the most affordable programmes incorporating all 7 learning styles in every lesson.
  • Will it really benefit my child in the long run?  MiniChess does not simply focus on the NOW, but the programme teaches skills that your child will need in the future workplace.  The programme benefits have been proven to increase learning ability, concentration and the social aspect of the programme is vital for teamwork or just for your child to have a fuller life.  Your child will learn that it is ok to make mistakes (which is a part of our daily lives), but we use those mistakes as a lesson to learn from the mistakes.


The bottom line is that you must act NOW while your children are young.  We must give our youth the best chance at a sustainable future because the truth is, we cannot always provide for our children when they are adults.  They would need to provide for themselves in a future that is changing and becoming more challenging every day.


To learn more about the MiniChess programme and options, contact MiniChess now: +2712 881 8875 or  You can also book a free online informational session by visiting