Everyone wants their child to excel in every single thing in this overly-competitive world. Have you found ways to ensure that you are raising an all-rounder? Well, here is how you can do so!
In today’s competitive world, the focus of parents seems to be more on how to raise smart kids, as opposed to raising well-rounded individuals. A well-rounded child does not only perform well in academics, but also maintains successful relationships with people in their life, an approach that will take them far on the path of success.
Do it Right – 15 Tips to Raise Well-Rounded, Smart, and Successful Kids
A well-rounded person is someone who is capable or knowledgeable about different things, and is a success in their personal life as well. Pressure and comparison, while providing negative motivation, will not help to bring out the best in your kids while they strive to achieve success; neither can it guarantee that they grow up to be well-rounded individuals. There are much healthier methods by which you can raise your kids to become smart and kind folks, who are assets to society.
1. Become Your Little One’s Strongest Support System
Build a conducive environment at home for your child to fearlessly explore their interests. Your child should feel confident about their abilities, ambitions, and most of all, grow to understand the way to pick themselves up even if they have failed. This helps them grow as an individual, discover various facets of their identity, understand that the cliched ‘failure is a stepping stone to success’ is true, and that they always have you to fall back on.
2. Let Your Kid Find Their Own Identity
Start early – right from a young age, let them explore various choices and interests on their own, provided that they are age-appropriate and safe. Don’t restrict your child from treading into activities which are conventionally gender-specific. A boy can like plenty of worse things than the colour pink! Keep calm and stay patient as he experiments and understands what they enjoy and can identify with best. The media today provides an influx of information which kids see and incorporate in their life, which can distort the way they form their identity. Ensure that you are aware of the digital information your child is exposed to, to ensure that they establish the identity in a healthy manner.
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3. Applaud Efforts, Not Abilities
When you praise your child’s dedication and their efforts in accomplishing something, as opposed to their innate talent, it gives them the impression that as long as they work hard towards what they want, they can achieve that goal. Whether or not they have the natural ability for it becomes immaterial to them, as they will put in additional hours and efforts if required. This makes them more well-rounded and more confident, as they become open to trying out several different activities.
4. Keep Their Curiosity Alive
Kids are forever wondering about the how’s and what’s of the world around them. Never let this wonderful trait subside, as it encourages learning and makes for great teaching opportunities. Don’t dismiss their questions or shush them; instead, answer them respectfully, or ask their opinion on what they think – and slip in a lesson or two, if possible!
5. Get Started on Reading Habits – It’s Never Too Early
Reading opens up worlds of imagination like nothing else. Not only is it a necessary life skill, but reading to your child daily creates a wonderful bond between you both, promotes the development of their language and literacy skills, and it becomes a session for both of you to look forward to! Introduce them to stories with morals and teach them why it’s necessary to do the right thing through story-telling. For the tech-savvy parents out there, there are kid-friendly YouTube videos and channels that you can watch with them as well; just ensure that it doesn’t become a substitute for reading books!
6. Understand Different Learning Styles
Not every child has a photographic memory; neither can they all take to fractions for the very first time. Kids have different learning styles and while it’s difficult for teachers to focus on each child in school, you can revise your child’s lessons with them in a style that suits them. Whether visual, auditory, or tactile techniques, or a mix of the three, you’ll see that your child takes more interest in the learning process once he’s able to relate to it!
7. Encourage Communication
Keeping lines of communication open between you and your child is critical, because he should feel like he can approach you for any matter without fear or embarrassment. Communication is a two-way street; kids should be taught how to talk, as well as to listen to others. With preschoolers or slightly older children, you can ask them to repeat what you’ve said to ensure that they were listening. Even if they weren’t, let them tell you that they didn’t hear what you said. Growing up, listening becomes a valuable quality in any environment.
8. Ensure Healthy Bedtime Habits
Young ones need their rest in their developing years. Make sure that your child gets the necessary hours of sleep recommended for their age, as it plays a major role in developing their cognitive abilities. Identify if your child seems to be facing any sort of sleep-related difficulty, however minor it may be, as it can impact their cognitive abilities.
9. Make Them Participate in Team-Sports
Apart from the exercise that games provide to get your little one moving, they also teach them to abide by the rules, play as part of a team and be responsible for their actions, and develop qualities of sportsmanship. It teaches them to lose gracefully, and instills the importance of practice to become good at what they do.
10. Teach Them The Value of Friendship
While competition should be encouraged among kids, ensure that it is kept healthy and does not teach your child to damage relationships with their peers. Teach them that friendship is valuable, and that ego or the need to do better should not come in between them and their friends.
11. Teach Them to Be Respectful of Others
This involves setting boundaries from a very young age regarding several matters, be it talking to someone; letting someone else talk and learning to listen; accepting feedback even though it may not always be praise; helping around the household; being polite to not just elders, but everyone around them; and so on. Children observe their parents very carefully and tend to mimic their actions; so ensure that you’re setting the right example for your child!
12. Introduce Them to the Field of Arts
Whether its music, dance, drawing, or any kind of art form, it provides for a creative outlet through which the child can express themselves and also boost their auditory and cognitive development. In fact, some studies show that babies who had listened to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” while they were still in the womb responded to the original song once they were born, which showed that they recognized and remembered the tune. Growing up, they can pursue it further if they are interested or has a natural affinity for this. One thing to remember here is to never pressurise the child into enjoying something, as this can ruin their interest. It should be treated as a fun extracurricular activity and as a break from the routine of school subjects.
13. Provide Exposure to Various Cultures and Environments
As much as possible, travel with your child. Teach them how there are different kinds of people living in different conditions, and how they can learn from them. Let them develop their knowledge of the world and learn not to become judgmental of something that they are not familiar with. As they grow up, these experiences prove to be a solid foundation for their interactions with the world around them.
14. Shower Them with Affection
Being a positive force in your child’s life and showing signs of your affection builds their confidence and optimism. It helps them know that they are safe in your hands and can come to you with any problems that they face. The positivity they receive from you becomes a character trait in them, that they can share with the world around them. Studies have shown that adults who had received warmth and affection from their parents in their childhood are now happier and less anxious than the adults who weren’t raised with affection.
15. Do Not Be An Overprotective Parent
While your natural instinct may be to ensure that your child is doing fine in everything they do, sometimes it’s best to watch from the sidelines, even if it means your child fails. By doing so, it helps them realise that challenges are part of life and that they have to learn to cope with them. Don’t lose to them on purpose at board games, or run to them as soon as he/ she trips on the playground. You’ll be surprised to see how resilient kids truly are!
How Being a Well-Rounded Child will Help Your Kid in Future
As mentioned earlier, success is not linked only to intelligence or brain-power. When the child is able to dabble in different activities, works hard to achieve their goals, rises again after failure, and use their strengths to help the people around them as well, they can be called a well-rounded child. Such individuals ensure that they are not stunted by resources and make the best of opportunities that come their way, while also contributing to the community around them. They are able to identify what they are good at, and can bank on their support systems to keep them going too. When it is time to face the real world, such kids will be able to take on the challenges that come their way, and be positive about it as well!
Researched and compiled by Xplorabox staff
About the Author – Raveena Nijjar
Raveena Nijjar is born and brought up in Delhi. She studied in the USA as a child. Ms Nijjar is well known as Miss Multitalented. She loves to write and can write on any given topic. Additionally, she loves to travel and is popularly known by the nickname RV. She can’t go a day without completing her diary/ journal entry.