These days there is no limit to the number of activities your kids can be involved in. You’re taking them from extracurriculars at school, to soccer practice in the afternoons, youth group at church, girl scouts, art classes, and even more. On one hand, the opportunity to introduce your children to a wide array of experiences can provide them powerful inspiration in their lives. On the other hand, each new hobby drives them farther away from the things that matter most.
Set Reasonable Priorities
It’s easy to say that school should always come first. But the truth is, what’s most important is to help them build a healthy and balanced life with a reasonable set of priorities. Obviously a child’s education is very important, but you wouldn't’ say that it’s more important that their health or their family. In order to help your child understand the importance of prioritizing their own lives, you can involve them in the process. For instance, start with a list of things that are most important to them and to you. It may look something like this: health, family, school, friendships, play time. Once you’ve come up with this list you can work together to find a good balance for each of these items in their current life. Once your priorities are in place you can begin to plug in the other activities. Eventually, your child’s schedule will fill up and together you can begin the process of choosing what activities are most important and which can wait until another time.
Draw Healthy Boundaries On Their Time
As adults, we are used to the unhealthy, zooming-around lifestyle that has come to be expected of us these days. But your kids are not used to it, nor are they prepared for it. Kids need downtime, and sleep is especially critical for children to cement their new learning. Additionally, play time is known to be an important element in promoting healthy child development. Part of empowering your children to manage their lives and prioritize education is the task of helping them to understand how much sleep and other kinds of downtime they require to feel good and function well.
Make Education Part Of Every Day
Learning takes place at school, but it doesn’t have to remain there. Parents can weave educational elements throughout each and every day helping to cement new knowledge and spark a passion for learning. One fun way to integrate learning into everyday life is to explore their school subjects in fun new ways. If your child is learning math, it may be fun to make “play” money for them to test out their math skills, or when they begin a unit on Florida history you might take them to a local museum and let them see first hand how the first Floridians used to live.
However, you choose to help your children balance their education with the rest of their lives, including them in the process will help them to continue making healthy choices for themselves in the future. If you’d like to learn more about how to make education a priority in your family, give us a call. We’d love to share more with you about what you can expect when you join the St. Barnabas family.