I’m going to take a different angle on this. Bet you were expecting something on Physical or emotional or mental or spiritual or financial or social Health & Well-being ? But this article is going to be about none of those directly.
TRAINING YOUR CHILD’S BRAIN
I read an article which I’m dying to share with you all. Not all of it , but just a part of it. It is written by an occupational therapist , Victoria Prooday . She maintains, and I agree with her 100% that we as parents we can make a difference in our child’s life by training their brains so that they can successfully function on social, emotional, and academic levels.
HERE IS HOW:
1. Limit technology, and re-connect with your kids emotionally
Surprise them with flowers share a smile, tickle them, put a love note in their backpack or under their pillow, surprise them by taking them out for lunch on a school day, dance together, crawl together, have pillow fights. Have family dinners, board game nights, go biking, go on outdoor walks with a flashlight in the evening.
2. Train delayed gratification
Make them wait !!! It is ok to have “I am bored ” time – this is the first step to creativity. Gradually increase the waiting time between “I want” and “I get.” Avoid technology use in cars and restaurants, and instead teach them waiting while talking and playing games. Limit constant snacking.
3. Don’t be afraid to set limits. Kids need limits to grow happy and healthy
Make a schedule for meal times, sleep times, technology time. Think of what is GOOD for them – not what they WANT/DON’T WANT. They are going to thank you for that later on in life. Parenting is a hard job. You need to be creative to make them do what is good for them because most of the time, that is the exact opposite of what they want. Kids need breakfast and nutritious food. They need to spend time outdoors and go to bed at a consistent time in order to get to school the next morning available for learning ! Convert things that they don’t like doing/trying into fun, emotionally stimulating games.
4. Teach your child to do monotonous work from early years as it is the foundation for future “workability.”
Folding laundry, tidying up toys, hanging clothes, unpacking groceries, setting the table, making lunch, unpacking their lunch box making their bed. Be creative. Initially make it stimulating and fun so that their brain associates it with something positive.
5. Teach social skills
Teach them turn taking, sharing, losing/winning, compromising, complimenting others, using “please and thank you.”
You might be asking , “What has the above article got to do with Looking & Feeling Good ?” You can be forgiven for wondering this, but children look to us adults for role models, without a doubt. And often the role model they choose is a poor role model. Do you want to be a poor role model to young children and young people. The only way, in my opinion, to be a good role model is to practise what you preach. So if we have that Look Good – Feel Good philosophy to life, then hopefully they will imitate us. If we are eating an ice-cream every day, what signal does that send out to a young mind ? Do you get what I’m trying to say in my simple way ?
So this is why I shared this article, to give us adults some direction . Remember this doesn’t come from me, it’s from the mind of an occupational therapist with years of experience working with children parents and teachers. And just by the way, I taught in schools in South Africa, the US, the Middle East, Botswana and more recently for 12 years in England. Made many mistakes, as will also be the case as parents. Have had children come back to talk to me years and years after they have left my classroom and have shared things which we did in class which I have long forgotten. They do remember what they are taught. They watch us adults all the time. We don’t think they do, but they do. And they notice the good and the bad. Try not to be too bad 🙂
Now here is another snippet which interested me greatly:
Using technology as a “free babysitting service” is, in fact, not free at all. The payment is waiting for you just around the corner. We pay with our kids’ nervous systems, with their attention spans, and with their ability for delayed gratification. Compared to to virtual reality , everyday life is boring. When kids go to the classroom, they are exposed to human voices and adequate visual stimulation as opposed to being bombarded with the graphic explosions and special effects that they are used to seeing on the screens. After hours of virtual reality, processing information in a classroom becomes increasingly challenging for our kids because their brains are getting used to the high levels of stimulation that video games provide. The inability to process lower levels of stimulation leaves kids vulnerable to academic challenges. Technology also disconnects us emotionally from our children and families. Parental emotional availability is the main nutrient for a child’s brain. Unfortunately, we are gradually dpriving our children of that nutrient.
If this article has sown just a small seed in your minds my friends, I will be a happy man.