A new year offers a fresh start, making it the perfect time for children to focus on forming new habits that will help bring them success in their future. With that, January is the perfect opportunity for you and your child to discuss areas where there’s room for improvement. Below are some ideas to promote a happy, healthy, learning-filled year.
Encourage your child to eat a balanced diet. Not only will this resolution help your child’s body stay healthy, but there are benefits for their brain, as well. While switching from sugary snacks to nutritional noshes can be a difficult transition for kids, it doesn’t mean treats have to go away completely. Try using the term “cutting back” instead of “giving up”—it will make the task much less daunting.
To thrive academically, kids of all ages – no matter if they attend preschool or are college students—need an abundance of sleep to help excel throughout the day. A well-rested child has energy, the ability to focus, concentrate, retain information, and be creative problem solvers. All of these skills depend heavily on healthy, consistent sleep., Aim for at least eight hours of sleep per night. Encourage reading in the evening, instead of stimulating activities such as watching the TV, surfing the web, or playing video games.
Studies show that kids who read more frequently for pleasure have higher GPA's, greater intelligence, and more general knowledge than those who don't read for fun. How many books do you and your children have on your shelves that you’ve never cracked open? When was the last time you took a trip to your public library? Together, you can make this the year that your entire family becomes bookworms. Find recommended reading for kids of all ages, and encourage your children to keep a reading chart or book diary to rate and summarize the book.
Some people believe technology stimulates the mind, but others feel that technology is holding children back from accomplishing their full potential. Modern-day children don't use their brains in the same capacity that we used to before technology advancements became as abundant as they are now, which means that their ability to expand their minds and think creatively has become limited. Make the decision to unplug more in 2016 and teach your children that life is fun and exciting without games, Instagram, and the constant connection to the virtual world. Inspire them to find the value in shutting down and tuning into their surroundings.
Children are under a lot of pressure that shouldn’t exist. Elementary-aged students feel the need to perform exceptionally both in the classroom and on the field. Middle school children are expected to continue to excel in the classroom to set the stage for their high school academic success. However, regardless of the societal pressures, happy kids are the ones who are most successful at school. This year, help your children explore their passions so they can achieve happiness. Dial back the intense worry about college acceptances, high school accolades or middle school sport accomplishments, and encourage them to follow their dreams.