Help your child excel outside the classroom
Hearing a child say they got an A on an important exam is every Singaporean parent’s dream, but are we limiting our children’s growth in areas outside of academia? Here’s how parents can help their little ones find a niche outside of the classroom!
Children are known for their boundless imagination and insatiable curiosity, so don’t hold them back when it comes to hobbies and extra-curricular activities. Take time to speak to your child so that you can understand why they love what they love. Showing interest and taking part in your child’s hobby will also help to form a strong bond that lasts well beyond childhood.
A common mistake that some parents make is expecting their children to participate in an activity that they loved when they were kids but weren’t able to do. Even though every parent sees themselves in their child, it’s important to remember that each child has a dream and talent of his or her own. Forcing a child to participate in an activity they dislike will only bring on additional stress for them.
Instead of telling your child to focus solely on one extra-curricular activity, encourage them to try a little bit of everything so that they can get a feel of what they really enjoy. When children are still young, allow them to try out activities where they can exert themselves physically (dance/sports), as well as activities where they can express themselves emotionally (arts/music). This helps children make informed decisions on how they want to spend their time as they grow older. It also prevents them from feeling pressured into doing something they don’t enjoy.
Make sure that your child has free time set aside for him or her to just… be a kid. Whether that involves playing outside with their friends, watching their favourite cartoons, playing video games or simply playing dress up, it’s important for kids to have their own time to enjoy and cherish. Overworked children often have difficulty focusing and are more prone to anxiety attacks.
It may take some time for a young child to find an activity that they are truly passionate about, so try not to get disheartened or angry if they appear to lose interest in some activities after awhile. Instead, encourage them to try out new activities until they find something that inspires them. Every child has at least one activity that they will excel at, as long as they are given the opportunity to find their niche.
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