What activities should my children be involved in? Are they missing out on something? What is my child is meant to be cricketing legend and the other who paints masterpieces? How will we know if we do not introduce them to all these things? These are just a few of the big existential worries that spiral out of the mind of thousands of Gurgaon parents
As good parents we want to help our kids learn skills, gain confidence, find interests and try new things. When they’re young, it’s easy to want to give them every opportunity. It is also important for us to make them realize that they can achieve anything, that they understand big rewards come from perseverance and hard work. These classes can be an effective mean to teach our kids basic lessons of life. However, these basic essentials get ignored in our zeal to ensure that our child gets everywhere and everything. We do not allow our busy schedules to pause for a moment and think about the real purpose of such activities. Most of us end up over scheduling our kids lives and hopping from one class to another.
The purpose of these activities can vary from parent to parent, however it is important to know the same and approach the activity accordingly. If your child shows deep rooted interest towards an area of art or sport. It is important for a parent to recognize the same and provide appropriate opportunities to hone and enhance the same. Ritika often found her son drumming tables and toys in a rhythmic manner. His keen interest in music, made Ritika enrol her son in neighbourhood music classes at the age of 5. Keep an eye open on what are the basic interests of your child and accordingly scout for an activity. “I have never spotted my son with a color stick in his hand but my younger daughter is forever making ‘love you mother’ cards” says Poonam. We as parents are in the best possible position to know what our kids like, what we really need to do is to stop, look , hear and then act. Some parents use these classes to bridge an important skill gap. Handwriting improvement classes and various study support classes come in handy for this. There are clinical psychologists recommending art classes for children suffering from ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Some parents opt for such classes to expose there kids to new areas of skill that otherwise they might not come across like robotics, ballet form of dance or chess
However while scheduling classes for our kids we should take care that we do not overschedule the lives of our kids The key is to do things in moderation and choose activities with a child’s age, temperament, interests, and abilities in mind. If something’s too advanced, the experience is likely to be frustrating. If it isn’t engaging, kids will be bored. And when kids do something only to please their parents, it defeats the whole purpose.
Here are some simple suggestions to make it enjoyable for kids and parents alike
- Agree on ground rules ahead of time: For instance, plan on kids playing one sport per season or limit activities to two afternoons or evenings during the school week.
- Know how much time is required: For example, will there be time to practice between lessons? Does your child realize that soccer practice is twice a week, right after school until dinnertime? Then there’s the weekly game, too. Will homework suffer?
- Even if kids sign up for the season, let them miss one or two sessions: Sometimes taking the opportunity to hang out on a beautiful day is more important than going to one more activity, even if you’ve already paid for it.
- Try to carpool with other parents to make life easier.
- Try to balance activities for all of your kids — and yourself: It hardly seems fair to spend time and energy carting one kid to activities, leaving little time for another. And take time for yourself, to do the things you enjoy, and to spend time together as a family.
- Set priorities: School should come first. If kids have a hard time keeping up academically, they may need to drop an activity.
- Know when to say no: If your child is already doing a lot but really wants to take on another activity, discuss what other activity or activities need to be dropped to make room for the new one.
- Remember the importance of downtime: Everyone needs a chance to relax, reflect on the day, or just do nothing.
Riding a bike, taking a walk, playing a game, listening to music, or just doing nothing for a while can give kids some much-needed downtime. And never forget how important it is for kids to simply get together to play. KIDS NEED TIME TO BE JUST KIDS!!.