Raising Balanced Adults: A Simple Stress Plan for Parents and Kids
Did you know that happy, relaxed kids stand a better chance of growing up into balanced adults than kids who feel pressured to perform? It’s true. Peers, parents, teachers and society in general can add a lot of stressors to a young child or teenager’s life. In the interest of raising well-adjusted children who turn out to be well balanced adults, we are pleased to present a simple plan that anyone can follow.
Togetherness in a friendly setting
Friendly family mealtimes help everyone feel more connected and at ease with one another. Healthful courses piled high with crunchy veggies and sweet fresh fruit for dessert help the whole family stay healthier, too. Serve bubbly, unsweetened seltzer water in lieu of sugary soft drinks and be sure to lift a toast to everyone’s happiness and well being. Turn off cell phones at the dinner table. Amiable conversation during which kids can say how their day went is a huge improvement over a tv in the background. Turn it off, too.
Ensure all your kids participate in at least an hour of physical activity every day. Team sports such as soccer and little league baseball are entertaining, but overt competition can also cause stress. Incorporate other activities, too. Swimming, hiking and bicycling are fun, non-competitive activities that help kids burn off excess energy. On rainy days, playing indoors with a Wii or other super active video game is the next-best thing to outdoor exercise. Kids who work off energy in the daytime generally sleep better at night.
Speaking of sleep, be sure you understand its importance in a kid’s balanced life. As a rule of thumb, six- to 13-year-olds need from nine to 11 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. 14- to 17-year-olds need at least eight to 10 hours, says Strong4Life magazine. Tired kids are stressed kids who may become easily frustrated by daytime tasks.
Routines allow children to feel more in control of their happiness. They do best when meals and snacks are served at about the same time each day. The same applies to bedtime and wake-up time, too. Routines help kids feel secure and relaxed.
Art and music are creative stress relievers
Kids who play an instrument generally grow up to enjoy a variety of intellectual endeavors. A great music teacher offers constructive critique that allows a child to excel at an instrument that they like to play, says Parents magazine. Don’t force music lessons on an uninterested kid. That would only serve to stress out the kid and frustrate the teacher.
Most kids are natural artists. Encourage their talents with creative Android apps such as an Android mandala coloring book app from Google Play. Coloring mandalas is a time-honored technique for calming the mind.
Every parent wants their kids to grow up to be happy adults. Give your children plenty of time to relax between activities, and you’ll be on your way to raising balanced people.
Leo Wright is a Dad to a 6 year old and works part-time as a support assistant as his child’s school. He writes about parenting, educating and family matters