First of all, let’s define what is a well-rounded child. A well-rounded child is someone who is educated in many different things. In other words, it is about a broadly developed child not only in the areas of education and sports but also including basic daily activities like getting dressed, taking baths, and even making friends. On the other hand, we as parents have to be careful of overdoing things or else we may end up having a child who is a jack of all trades but a master of none. The idea here is balance. Without balance, we may end up stressed with too many activities that make a lazy Sunday morning feel threatening.
Here are 10 ways to raise well-rounded kids.
1. Promote Reading. It shouldn’t only be practiced in school but also at home.. No matter how busy you are as a parent, you have to find time to read to your child as early as possible. Reading plays an important part in developing a well-rounded child because it helps them broaden their imagination, language and general knowledge about the world and society. I have always mentioned in many of my articles here at Emilyrecommends.com to take advantage of your local library as much as possible because buying books is not enough. No matter how many new books you can afford, they won’t be as many as what you can find in the library.
In the beginning, especially during the early years, it may be hard for a child to get acquainted with reading. They get bored easily. Their attention span is just not there. But if you develop a habit of always reading at night starting with short stories or big picture books he/she will eventually get used to it and form a daily reading habit.
To help you advance your child’s interest in reading, “theme” the books that you borrow in the library. For example, during the month of January think of borrowing books that celebrate New Year’s eve. If you are expecting a second child then borrow books that relate to having become a big brother or a big sister. It will help your first child to be more aware of the challenges and changes of having a newborn in the house. You may also borrow books about tooth brushing, numbers, the arts, dressing up, bullying and making friends. Consider looking for books that have been recognized with “Caldecott Medals” or “Newbery Medals” or borrow books with diverse characters in them to suggest to your child that people come in different colors, shapes or sizes.
The possibilities of having a theme for your child’s books selections are unlimited. It is your duty as a parent to help your child discover all of the possible interesting things in their surroundings and the world in the general.
2. Go out and Play Outside.. Put down that gadget or smartphone and encourage him or her to play outside with other kids and just be a kid. If you’re not in the right neighborhood for children’s activities, bring them to the park or enroll them in activities to see what they may like. Ask, observe and listen to your child’s needs and interests instead of focusing on what you think their activities should be. This way he/she will develop natural skills and learn how to be more sociable with other children.
3. Saying “You’re Smart!” may not always be the Smartest Comment. Recognize your child’s effort and hard work rather than just saying something about their accomplishments. Saying alone, “You’re Smart!” is not enough. You have to explain to your child why they achieved such accomplishment and encourage them to continue to be good at the things he/she was doing well. Otherwise, it is possible that the child will grow up lazy because in their mind he/she doesn’t need to do better anyway because he/she’s already smart.
4. Travelling and Bringing your Children to New and Different Places are a Great Introduction to the Possibilities of the World. If you can afford to travel, do it! It helps your child develop a more open mind and with greater understanding of how things are outside his/her natural environment. Appreciation of other people’s cultures and foreign surroundings are essential to their development. Global cross-cultural skills are necessary to succeed in global economy. In fact, I find it essential for a child to study abroad (like in college or part of his/her post-graduate studies) because globalization is here to stay.
5. Keep a Happy, Stable and Loving Family Relationship. A child that is happy at home tends to have more focus in life than those in dysfunctional households. I understand that families are different in many ways but whatever the situation at home is, do your best as a parent to have a happy, stable and loving relationship together. This includes building self esteem.
6. The Child has to Have a Goodnight Sleep or Complete Rest. Children with complete rest or good sleep tend to perform better than those with less hours of sleep.
7. Give Kids Real Responsibilities. Encourage children to help and serve others not the other way around. Teach them how they can participate in the household and show that it is family effort. Spoiled and lazy kids don’t end up well-rounded. Self-discipline is also important.
8. Well-Rounded Children eat Well-Rounded Meals. I know it can be hard to sometimes feed our children with well-balanced meals. Vegetables and fruits are not usually popular among them. But do your best to teach them the value of eating healthy so they realize the importance of having a healthy body. Having good health is everything.
9. Know Your Child Well and Whom They are Friends With.. There is an old saying, “Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are…” It is very important to know who your child chooses to be around when you are not around. Friends have a lot of influence to your child because sometimes they are with them more often than you as parents so it is vital to know who they are comfortable to be with aside from their own family.
10. Be an Involved Parent. Parents who continuously support and encourage the children’s learning and development produce well-rounded kids. A child’s achievement should not be dictated by income or social status but the extent to which the family is able to provide a good learning environment (which starts from home) and know how to express realistic expectations for their children’s achievements.