Is your child a budding musician or soccer star? It’s instinctive for parents to want the very best for their children. Exposing children to a variety of activities provides for a rich childhood and life shaping experiences. However, in the rush to see our children excel at a myriad of activities, too many parents push their children into a grueling schedule of after school activities. The child loses and the family loses. Kindergarten teachers are quick to say that the most important thing a child can bring to kindergarten is not the ability to count to ten or recite the alphabet, but the ability to get along with other children, share and show kindness. These are life lessons that all too many adults are lacking today. Step back and limit activities to twice a week after school and one sport per season. While team building skills are important, they certainly should not be developed at the expense of family time.
Not all children are scholars, athletes, thespians or musicians. Allow time for your children to explore, imagine and learn to entertain themselves. You’ll have to succumb to plenty of adult peer pressure, but your child and family unity will emerge stronger.
Take advantage of the awesome deals offered by Groupon coupons and introduce your child to the wonders of music at the Guitar Center. Music stimulates different parts of the brain and introducing music at an early age can set the stage for a life-long appreciation of music. Let your child take the lead – it should be a pleasure, not a chore. Music is not a competition but an opportunity to explore. If your child shows interest in sports, by all means encourage him. They’ll learn the value of team work and understand that it takes hard work and commitment to excel. Again, let this be child driven.
Raising children is the hardest job you’ll ever have. Seek to find a balance between family time, time with friends and time to imagine and explore. Childhood goes by so quickly, give your child time to grow and develop without spending all of their time in the car heading from one activity to the next. They’ll appreciate it and be stronger for it for years to come!