Raising a child is a complicated and challenging business. It’s not just about making sure they eat enough vegetables or do their homework. You also want to ensure that they’re using their time away from school positively. It’s important that they get to play and act like kids, but too much can be harmful. This is especially true for video games. In fact, the World Health Organization has classified “gaming disorder” as a mental health condition. Instead, you can encourage them to use their free time productively.
Here are three different ways you can help your kid reach their maximum potential:
Play an Instrument
Enroll them in music schools and summer camps. There are several research studies proving the positive effects of music on children. It can be a way for them to express themselves or to just have fun. Music can also help them develop social skills. If they’re in a class or a band, they can learn the values of teamwork early on. Playing an instrument is also linked with brain development. According to a study by the Northwestern University, it can even improve their literacy which can help their grades. The catch is they have to be active participants. It’s not just about attending the classes or listening to the music. They have to play the instrument themselves to reap the benefits.
When it comes to music education, it’s crucial to consider a few factors. One is the children themselves. If they have no interest in music, it might best to pick a different extracurricular activity. Their talent might lie elsewhere and you don’t want to force them to do something they don’t want to do. Another factor to consider is the instrument. You don’t want them to struggle to carry their cello or tuba. Pick something right for their size and personality type. If they’re big enough, let them choose their own instrument. Perhaps the most important factor is the purpose. The goal should be to help your kid develop skills and get experience. It’s unrealistic to expect them to master an instrument at an early age.
Learn How to Swim
Swimming is one of the most important skills a child can learn. It’s a great form of exercise since it involves practically all the muscles in your body. It can also prevent risky accidents and save lives. In fact, drowning is one of the leading causes of death in the US. This is especially true for kids. Figures from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention show that one in every five people who die from drowning are kids aged 14 and below. Even if you don’t have a pool or rarely go to the beach, consider teaching your kid how to swim.
The great thing about swimming is that young children can learn at a very young age. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids to start learning at one year old. This can help them feel comfortable in the water, so they won’t be afraid when they grow older. If you don’t like the idea of starting lessons at such a young age, you can always enroll them in classes later. Check out the swim lessons in your area. Some programs have an age restriction. Before you spend anything, cover all your bases. Ask about the instructor to student ratio. You want the class to be small so that each child gets apt attention. Explore the facilities and ask other parents about their experience. They may have good recommendations that can help.
Speak a Second Language
Kids are often dismissed as small and adorable humans. But they’re capable of things that even adults would struggle with. One of which is learning a new language. At a young age, children can be fluent in two different languages without much difficulty. According to Cornell University, learning a second language won’t cause confusion or delay for kids. It’s been proven that bilingual children can actually focus better than monolingual kids.
No matter the age, one of the best ways to learn a second language is by immersion. If you’re bilingual, you can help their development by speaking in a different language at home. They can learn English at school. You can also use entertainment to improve their skills. There are shows and games in foreign languages that can improve their vocabulary.
Children are capable of amazing things. A parent’s job is to help them improve and foster their talents and skills. On the other hand, it’s also crucial to take the well-being of the child into account. Kids should still have time to act like kids.