“Mommy, I can’t understand this math problem, can you help me?”, asks a 7 year old to his mom. “Honey, I have had a long day at work, go ask Daddy.” Frustrated the 7 year old goes to his father, who is working away on his laptop, trying to meet his deadline and fearful of the consequences, shrugs the plea of the 7 year old.
This is such a common occurrence and it happens all the time. Infact, I am guilty of this scene as well. However, this is not helping the child prepare for a battle, the battle of life and the uncertainties that it brings with it.
You may wonder what the correlation between preparing your child for a battle and the above scenario is?
Kids at a young age look to their parents for guidance and it is the parent that needs to be responsible for equipping a child with the tools.
Here are a couple of strategies to help prepare yourself as a parent and your child to build a solid foundation:
- GET OFF YOUR CELL PHONES! Your phones are a time suck and you as a responsible parent should create a schedule where you spend a couple of quality hours a day with your child, playing, reading, practicing music, studying with them.
- Expose your child to crafts. This may sound silly as a strategy but by having your child play create something from scraps, will inculcate a sense of building and a sense of completing what was started.
- Read to your children. Technology though a benefit and though we need it so much can’t beat a book, when it comes to reading. Carve out 5 minutes a day to read to your child.
- Introduce your kids to Boardgames such as Chess, Checkers, Monopoly that will challenge their brains and problem solving skills.
- Dinner Time! Sit down as a family to have atleast one meal a week. The meal time is a time when you can catch up on the events during the week and create a sense of normalcy in chaotic times.
- Be Mindful: Energy levels as parents can get low through the day, especially during weekends when you know you have to spend hours with your child. Take small mindful breaks such as have your child read to you as you focus on your breathing and collect you thoughts.
- Be consistent! This is important and I am the worse culprit, but am making a conscious effort to overcome this. Consistency and Discipline are key to teaching success and what it takes to be successful.
In a fast changing world, it is becoming increasingly important to make sure that you as a parent think beyond just feeding, clothing and providing shelter to your child. Think creatively on how you can help this generation succeed and live a fulfilled life in the future and prepare the next generation for battle!