As a parent, you are probably overwhelmed with many different opinions and recommendations on what you need to do and how you need to do it. I’m not here to judge, but I do want to mention that 1) most things are NOT important and 2) there are things that you can do for your kids, to make sure they are reaching their potential. Here are a few of those things that you might want to consider-
Get them into sports
There are a lot of different ways to keep your kids active, but getting them into sports is one of the best things that you can do for them: physically and mentally. The fact that is helps them create and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle is one perk. Playing sports can help to reduce body fat, control body weight, help fight depression and anxiety and strengthen bones. Developing an active lifestyle early means that there’s a better chance that kids maintain it in the long run. But, two of my favorite reasons and why I think getting your kids into sports is so good for them? They learn about teamwork, to start. Teamwork is an important life skill. It’s also an essential part of team sports. Participation in sports allows kids to make lasting friendships, develop communication skills, feel a sense of community and learn to respect their teammates and coaches. And the second reason is that it actually helps them learn to listen and respect others a lot more. This is always a good thing, right?!
Make sure they are being challenged in school
The worst thing that you can do for your kids is to NOT push them to be challenged in school. They need to be able to go above and beyond their potential…and one way to do this is by ensuring that they are challenged in school. Push them to do their best, but if they are struggling, of course, let them know it’s okay.
Consider therapy, when needed
If your children are struggling mentally or physically, with a heavy mental load, with a speech impairment, or in any other way, get them into therapy. There are a ton of different types of therapies, but one that I want to focus on today is speech therapy. There’s a great Atlanta-based business that offers speech therapy and pediatric occupational therapy in Atlanta called Talk About Therapy – Speech Therapy. Talk About Therapy was founded because they believe in and love providing “intuitive, effective, and sustainable therapy to our patients and their families to improve their feeding and communication skills. We pride ourselves in treating our families like they are our own. Our philosophy is to help our patients and their families build a strong, functional foundation towards communication and feeding, and slowly build upon that foundation to create lasting results. We offer clinic-based and teletherapy Early Intervention Speech and Language Therapy, Pediatric Occupational Therapy, Feeding Therapy, and Tongue-tie Therapy to families in the Metro Atlanta area, including: North Atlanta, Buckhead, East Cobb, Decatur, Sandy Springs, Smyrna, Vinings, Suwanee, Chamblee, Druid Hills, Tucker and Marietta, Georgia.”
Spend quality time with them
A lot of the time, kids just want to be shown love and affection – they want to feel like they are important. Participate in their lives as much as you can. I know that you might be balancing work, home chores, and more, and you might feel like you are on the verge of losing it yourself at times because there is so much to do and only so little time, but make sure that you are able to 1) keep yourself emotionally healthy so that you can be there for them and 2) get involved – whatever this looks like for your individual family. Spend more quality time together and really invest yourself in your child’s life.
Get them outside frequently and away from screens
There is study after study coming out about how screens are not-so-great for us, especially for kids. And on the other hand, there is study after study coming out about how nature helps with mental health, physical health, and even development, as well. Even brain development! In fact, JAMA says that too much screen time is associated with attention and learning problems, lower academic performance, obesity, and negative behavior in children. And really, children should spend at least 60 minutes of unstructured playtime outdoors each day. This can reduce stress and anxiety, as well as give kids a chance to build their strength, balance, language, and social skills when they are outside.
If you are struggling to think of things to get for them to encourage development of these skills then fear not. There are many play things you can get for your children to fill the garden. You can get a trampoline to encourage the physical side of things, you could also get a playhouse to get them thinking of stories and develop imaginative play. Take a look at a backyard playhouse that will fit comfortably in your garden without taking away space where your children can run around.
Show them that hard work matters
There is something that many people struggle with – the desire to actually work hard. But, it’s so important and hard workers have the capability of doing absolutely anything that they want to with their lives. It’s a really great skill to learn as a child!