February 20, 2022
How To Raise Balanced Kids (you might be surprised!)
All parents want to do their best. I think that to raise balanced kids we need to give them three things. See if you agree!
Parenting can be hard and we all want to raise balanced kids. As my three children get older I find myself torn between different activities and questioning whether I am making the right choices for their wellbeing and their future.
It is not an easy job, however, each time I get overwhelmed I come back to a three-point method, if I feel we are covering those three areas then I feel the balance is right… one might surprise you!
1. Stay Physically Active
Exercise is important for everyone, young and old. It is, however, particularly effective for children and teenagers as they grow to find a sense of purpose and achievement. Furthermore, I notice when my kids have not had a physical outlet that day. They tend to feel restless and fall asleep less easily.
I would always endorse running around outdoors, cycling and going to the park but I also make sure my kids have one structured activity a week. In the UK, we have lots of choices. Here are some from around the country!
Edinburgh Leisure has always had a great range of affordable coaching activities. Check your local leisure centre!
Try out J’amies Gymnastics Academy for a variety of preschool and older kids classes around the South East. Gymnastics is a great way for girls and boys to learn what their bodies are capable of!
Enjoy-a-Ball is a national franchise that always comes recommended and may be a good option for children who are not sure which sport to take up.
Overall, having a sport or a physical challenge makes up one of my three check-points for raising balanced kids!
2. Mental Stimulation Outside School
For me, bringing up a child who genuinely loves to learn new skills is important as it is an attitude that they will take into adulthood. It means finding a subject or area they can get interested in and not making it a chore. This could be coding, a musical instrument or a language.
Time and again, studies show the benefits learning a language has for children and is not only an academic experience! Language tuition exposes children to other cultures and norms different from their own. Children gain a greater appreciation of the world around them in addition to a sense that there is more out there than their immediate sphere. Just make sure to choose a tutor who makes the learning fun!
Other benefits of learning a second language become more apparent as children grow older. Often, they are more adept at reading music, performing maths calculations, and making unique observations in the world at large. Later in life, knowing another language is an advantage when applying for university, landing a professional role, and of course, travelling.
3. The Gift of Doing Nothing
This one may surprise you but in today’s frenetic and digitally connected world, children do not have as much unstructured time as they did in the past. An essential life skill is learning how to do nothing or the art of being bored. Here is a short video on the merits of being bored.
It is in these moments, if they have had a good balance of the above two areas, that I find my children eventually fully relax and even get out crayons or toys that they haven’t played with for a while without instruction. Down-time is so important!
Give your children the best future possible by engaging them in activities that will benefit them now and in the years ahead. But, also know… you are doing a great job! Parenting is not easy,