The achieve-at-all-costs educational culture is taking its toll on kids and their performance at school. Experts suggest that there are six things that kids really need to succeed in the classroom.
As you’ve probably noticed, children don’t usually do well with time constraints. They need time to rest, play, be with family, and explore the world without excessive restrictions on when to move to the next activity. As a parent, this can be tough to understand while balancing a busy schedule, but just remember that they are soaking in the world around them at every turn.
Science is pretty clear that getting enough sleep is critical for health, attention, and memory of children. Research suggests that school-age children need at least 10 hours of sleep each day to feel refreshed in the morning. Make sure to schedule homework time in advance so children aren’t staying up late to do it.
Play is not the same thing as structured baseball practices and dance rehearsals. While those activities are beneficial and healthy for children, they don’t encourage imagination and dramatic play. Children need time to play, preferably away from screens, to relax their minds and explore the world around them. You never know what they might discover!
Children need genuine support from their parents or caregivers without the pressure to succeed for future scholarships or awards. There may be activities that your children only do for a few years, and that’s okay. What’s most important is that they’re having fun and learning new experiences. Children blossom best without intense pressure from others to go pro or win first place all the time.
With an increasing amount of pressure for children to perform well on standardized tests, many kids have lost the ability to think of solutions not found on a list of multiple choices. Help encourage your child to think outside of the box by giving them open-ended questions to find a solution. Doing so helps expand their understanding of the world around them and encourages critical thinking.
A New Idea of Success
A major problem facing children today is the idea that they have to finish first to be considered successful. It’s up to us to show them that they can be successful without getting into the most prestigious college or earning the most in their field. The new definition of success needs to focus on personal happiness and well-being – things that can’t be measured in a bank account or displayed on a trophy case.
Kids need us to show them, through our words and deeds, that what counts most in life is integrity, wellness, purpose, interpersonal connections, and most of all, joy.
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