Kids are busy. They have school, sports, music lessons and plenty of other activities to attend. It can be hard for parents to know how much time is right for their kids to spend on each activity. All too often they will push their children towards one activity or another because it's more convenient for them. This blog post will discuss why balance in life skills is important for kids and how you can help your child find that balance themselves!
Balance in Skills Helps Kids Grow Up Healthy
If you want your kids to grow up healthy, they need a balance of skills. This means that they should be able to take care of themselves and be responsible for their own needs on most days. It is important that children can cook some basic meals, get out the door for school on time, and do their own laundry. If you are constantly doing these things for them then they will never learn how to take care of themselves!
A Balance in Skills Helps Kids Learn Responsibility
Another way that balance is important is because it helps kids become more responsible. This means taking on real tasks with meaningful responsibilities. When your child has a sense of responsibility they will be more likely to get their schoolwork done on time and take better care of the things that are important to them.
This Means Letting Kids Make Mistakes (And Yes, Fail)
Finally, balance is important because it allows your child to make mistakes and learn from those experiences. If you always swoop in to save the day, your child will never learn how to make better choices on their own. This is why kids need parents who are willing to let them fail sometimes (even if it's just letting them eat cereal for dinner because they ran out of time).
It Starts with YOU!
As a parent you have one of the most important jobs when it comes to teaching your child skills. You are in charge of putting them into situations that they will have to learn from, so it's important that you do this well! If you can put balance in life for your kids then they will be much better off later on in life.
How Can I Help My Child Achieve Balance?
There are many ways to help your child achieve balance and we've outlined a few of them below:
- Set Routine Hours - If you have kids, then it is very likely that they will be in school. Their schedule should reflect this reality! For example, if they get up early for school each morning then their afternoons should be used for free time and rest. If they're out of school then you can set more hours, but keep it consistent!
- Encourage Them to Pick Something - Kids don't just need downtime; they also need an activity that stimulates their brains or keeps them physically active. It could be something like playing a sport, taking lessons in an instrument, or participating in some sort of club. Whatever it is, your child will need something to look forward to each day!
- Let Them Make Choices - Kids want more than anything to feel like they are in control and making their own choices. If you give them the opportunity for this then they'll take advantage of it every time! Remember, kids learn from what we do as parents so if you want them to be responsible then YOU need to take the lead.
- Make Sure They Can Take Care of Themselves - This is a big one and it should start early! Kids who can tie their shoes before they start school will have an easier time getting ready in the morning. This means that they should be able to get themselves dressed, do their hair/makeup (if applicable), eat breakfast, pack their lunch and bag for school, etc. All of this comes down to teaching them skills in an organized way so that they don't have any trouble later on!
- Set Clear Boundaries - Kids need limits. Without them they will run amok and cause all sorts of problems for themselves (and others). It is important to set clear boundaries with your kids so that they know what you expect from them.
- Be Consistent - Kids need consistency. If there are certain things that must be done, make sure everyone knows about it! This means not changing things on them and having the same routine every single day. If you want your child to be responsible then they need a consistent schedule that is followed without fail!
- Let Them Fail - As we mentioned above, kids need to learn from their mistakes. This means letting them make choices for themselves (within reason) and holding them accountable when those choices have negative outcomes. This is how kids learn and grow into responsible individuals!
- Take Time for Yourself - Just like your child needs time to relax, so do you! If you don't take some "me" time then it's much harder to be a good parent. Remember that when the going gets tough; things will get easier if you take care of yourself!
- Get Support When You Need It - If you are struggling to find balance then it's important that you get support. Whether this means talking to someone about your problems or just taking a walk during the day so that you can clear your head, do what you need to in order to keep things together for everyone involved.
- Respect Their Privacy - Once your child becomes an adolescent, it is important that you respect their privacy. This means not asking questions about who they are hanging out with or what they do during the day (unless something seems off). Remember: this isn't a time for more boundaries; it's a time to trust and let them learn from their own mistakes!
- Have a Regular Family Meal - Eating together as a family is one of the best ways to stay connected. If you make this a priority then it will be much easier for everyone in your household to feel like they belong and can come to you with any problems that arise during their day. Remember: balance starts at home, so make sure you are setting a good example for your kids!
- Have Family Fun - Balance doesn't mean that you can never have fun as a family. In fact, it's the other way around: if everyone in your household is happy and relaxed then balance will come naturally to all of you. Make time for board games, movie nights, and family fun days so that your kids know how much you love them!
- Check Your Expectations - One of the main reasons why parents struggle with balance is because they have an idea in their head about what a perfect day looks like. If you take a moment to examine these expectations then it will be easier for everyone involved to relax and enjoy the ride. Remember: you can't control everything and it's important to leave room for spontaneity!
- Let Kids Make Choices - Part of being a kid is making choices about what they want to do with their lives. Rather than fighting them every step of the way, give your child some space so that they can come up with their own decision about what they want to do.
- Teach Them How to Deal with Stress - One of the best ways you can teach your kids how to deal with stress is by being a role model for them! If you are constantly stressed out and tense then it's important that you find other ways of dealing so that this doesn't rub off on your child.
- Make Family Time a Priority - The best way that you can show your kids how much they mean to you is by making family time a priority! Even if it's just once per week, make sure everyone knows their schedule so that everyone can take part in the activities they love most. This will help keep balance at the forefront of your minds!
- Have Family Meetings - One of the best ways to stay connected as a family is by having regular meetings. During these meetings, you can address any problems that need solving and work together on setting goals for each other. These are great opportunities for kids to learn how to brainstorm ideas and come up with solutions while they are still young!
- Keep Things in Perspective - One of the best things that you can do for yourself is to learn how to keep everything in perspective. If your child gets upset because they don't get their way, try not getting overly emotional about it and reminding them what's most important (i.e., family time). Remember: it's important to stay calm so that you don't pass your stress onto the people who care about you most!
- Make Time for Yourself - If you have kids, then it can be really easy to forget about yourself. Don't let this happen because if everyone in your household is feeling neglected and unhappy then nobody will feel balanced. Take time out for yourself so that you can come back to the family feeling refreshed and ready to connect!
- Get Help from Family & Friends - It's important that your kids know how much they are loved by everyone in their life. If a grandparent or friend is able to keep them while you get some time out, then take advantage of it because they will learn the importance of balance from an early age. Remember: you can't do everything, so it's important to stop and ask for help every once in a while!
- Schedule Time with Friends/Partner - It's equally as important that your kids see how much time their parents are spending together. If they see that both mom and dad are able to keep an active social life then they will better understand that balance means having time for yourself and others!
In summary, balance is an important life skill for kids because it teaches them how to relax and have fun while still prioritizing their responsibilities. There are a lot of different ways that you can help your children learn this essential life skill, so try implementing some of these tips today!