Is your child’s success in life based on good grades? A scholarship to college? The right friends?
Many parents associate their child’s success with possessing intelligence, which is a misunderstanding. A child’s IQ usually measures his ability to solve problems, which means that it does not measure the child’s emotional quotient, his imagination, or his creativity.
Intelligence is a bonus factor; possessing other qualities whether social or emotional over and above his intellectual abilities as measured in the form of IQ, is often what helps the child work in the direction of his goal and do well at it. Raising a successful kid, therefore entails more responsibility than simply helping to enlarge their intellect. First Cry Parenting.
How do you know if your child is growing to be a “well-rounded” person? When I say well-rounded, I’m referring to a person that is honest, courteous, respectful and hard-working. Well-rounded individuals usually have many interests and are able to balance the relational, professional, creative and physical areas of their lives.
If your goal as a parent is to raise children who become well-rounded adults, then your parenting must become very intentional. Raising a well-rounded person will not happen by chance.
It goes without saying that childhood shapes a person’s development and it often dictates how they function in society in the future. The United Nations explains that during this period, a child’s brain grows as they learn to interact with their environment. In the first few years, over a million neural connections are made, the fastest throughout one’s lifetime.
The early years of your child’s growth are so crucial. I cannot stress enough the importance of the parent’s presence and positive guidance in the early years. Kids do not just need to be baby-sat, they need to be loved and taught with purpose and intentionality.
The adults in a child’s life should do their best to provide a nurturing environment where they can learn to become functional people who contribute positively to their communities. This means teaching them, as well as letting them have new experiences that add to their journey to becoming a well-rounded adult. Here are just some of the ways you can help shape them to become well-rounded adults.
Let them be independent
As children get older, they should be able to stand on their own two feet, physically and emotionally. As you encourage them to be independent early on in their lives, they will build this skill. This starts with small children when you allow them to make small decisions for themselves. For instance, let them pick out their clothes for the day. This gives them authority and confidence.
An article on ‘How to Teach Problem-Solving to Your Kids’ highlights how allowing them to deal with little things on their own will lead to better decision-making in the future. Be sure to lead by example and always offer to help, but also remember that at the end of the day, the approach they choose to take should be up to them (within reason).
Teach them empathy
Emotions are difficult for children to understand because they are still learning about the world as well as their place in it. It is important to teach them about empathy so they can be in control of their emotions and better understand the people around them.
Wellness platform SymptomFind’s article on empathy states that you can do this by exposing them to the appropriate media, such as books and movies, and asking them about how they understand the characters’ experiences. Have they felt the same way? Do they know the word for the feeling? The more they are exposed to different emotions, the greater their understanding of it will be. This will help them be more connected to themselves and others emotionally as they get older.
Help them socialize
Look for opportunities to help your kids develop their social skills. Unfortunately, when kids were forced to do school at home, their socialization was stunted. Forbes reports that there has been an increase in separation anxiety between children and their caregivers after lockdown restrictions were lifted.
As parents and guardians, it is important to help your kids get more accustomed to being around their peers so they can adjust properly. However, make sure not to force them into situations where they feel uncomfortable; it may cause unnecessary stress.
I am not anti-home schooling. In fact, I home-schooled my kids for a few years. In fact, there are many opportunities for home-schooled kids to be around peers and get the socialization they need: sports, music, clubs, classes, and church, to name a few.
Give them time to play
Play should not be a luxury for kids, or even a reward for doing something good. It should be a MUST.
Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction notes how play not only helps keep children healthy, it also promotes cognitive development. For younger kids, play is one of the main ways they exercise and explore. As they grow older, their bodies will rely on the physical development made when they were younger. This is why it is important to incorporate playtime when possible.
In today’s competitive world, it’s tempting for parents to focus on raising smart or athletic kids, rather than well-rounded individuals. But studies show that well-rounded children not only perform well in academics and athletics, but also maintains successful relationships with people in his life, an approach that will take him far on the path of success.
If you’d like some tools to help you raise a well-rounded child, please schedule a free intro call here.