Parenting is multi-faceted; there are so many different things you have to think about to raise a wholesome, well-adjusted, successful child. Of course, you’re there to put a roof over their head, teach them right from wrong and help them with their homework, but you also need to ensure they are physical and emotional healthy. As with most things, this is easier said than done, but here are some tips from a prep school in the South West to get you started.
Reduce Screen Time
Nowadays, children are spending worrying amounts of times on their digital devices. This is not healthy for them, mentally or physically. With that said, it’s important that you enforce some rules around screen time to ensure your child is engaging in other activities as well. It would be impossible and perhaps quite unfair to ban screens completely, but you could establish a rule that they’re only allowed on their phones for a maximum of two hours a day.
Younger children find it difficult to entertain themselves, so if you limit their screen time, you may have to help them find other activities to replace it, especially at first. Encourage them to play out in the garden to get some fresh air and exercise or go for a walk together. You could also provide them with some crafting supplies or cooking equipment so that they can channel their creativity in a productive way.
Encourage Extra-Curricular Activities
Extra-curricular activities are a great way for children to spend their free time because they promote positive physical and mental health and also teach them a variety of key skills. What’s more, encouraging them to pursue their interests is a way for you to show them that their opinions and desires are valued.
There are so many clubs and classes for them to choose from, such as football, swimming, gymnastics, music lessons, chess, crafting, cooking, to name but a few. It’s important that your child pursues something that they are genuinely passionate about because otherwise it will be a waste of time.
Provide a Supportive Environment
Try and create a home environment for your child in which they feel safe and confident enough to speak up, even about something difficult. They need to know, that no matter what, you love them, and you are there for them in times of need. If they own up to something they have done that you disapprove of, for example, try not to be judgemental or harsh, but instead praise them for coming forward.
Essentially, you need to build a relationship with them in which they know they can come to you with anything. Without this type of support, your child may not want to share their worries and problems with you and will bottle them up instead. This is not good for their mental health, as it could lead to problems such as depression and anxiety.
The above ideas and suggestions merely scratch the surface when it comes to raising a mentally and physically healthy child, but they should certainly get you thinking and point you in the right direction.