By Anjola Oladele.
The New Year represents a time of renewal and as people all over the world begin to set New Year resolutions and goals; it is also important you help your child/children build up life skills in other to help them navigate the school year and life with discipline.
This is the time to help them shed old habits that aren’t helpful for them, and guide them to form fresh and positive habits and goals that will enable them do well academically and in life generally.
In this new year, work more on helping them create study time, and how to also manage time effectively. This will allow them to read their books regularly, and to revise their notes ahead for tests and examinations, and they won’t be so pressured during test and examinations. Helping them to learn how to create time at this tender age will build in them the consciousness of hard work, and a habit they would get used to even when you are not present with them.
Secondly, in this new year help your children by teaching them to ask for help whenever they are in need. There is a need to teach them that they will not always be self sufficient; and even if it’s hard to seek for help, they have to learn to make up their minds to ask for help whenever the need arises. They might need help in their academics or other areas of life. Teach them to be confident and learn to speak to you, their teachers, tutors, guidance Counselors, or even classmates who may know a particular subject more than them and can teach them better.
More so, teach them to get more sleep. As Parents, you need to be firmer when it comes to this because children seem to be more restlessness or playful in some hours of the day. It is good that they get enough sleep in order to enable them function well in class or academically. You could help them by setting a bed time (in the afternoon after school, and at night; when they should finally resume to bed), putting off all electronics for like one hour or thirty minutes before bed, sleeping and waking at the same time every day. If they are not getting enough sleep as they should, this will greatly have adverse effect on their academics and general wellbeing.
In this New Year, help your children learn something new in areas of their interest, abilities, potentials, and talents. For example, a child who loves to play football could be registered in a sport club where he/she will be able to showcase the interests and also practice and become better at it; when the activities of the organization will not interfere with their academic time or work. For a child who loves to sing, he/she can be registered in a music school where they will help him or her in voice training, and also learn some musical instrument if need be. And for a child who shows interest in hospitality, you could help the child by getting him or her registered in an event management firm; this will really help the child more.
When children learn a new thing early in the areas of their interest, talents, potential and abilities, and they are doing it regularly they become good at it, and may even find a future career goal or path in it.
Do help your children to maintain school life balance, and overcome procrastination. You need to teach them on how to settle well for the academic year, by encouraging them to put in more effort in their academics work from the first day in school, by relating well with their class mates, by asking them every day what they learnt in school. At interval, learn to ask them what happened between them and their classmates/teachers; if there is any need for you to applaud them, do so and if there is any need for you to scold them, do so in love immediately, so they can develop a good interpersonal relationship among people.
Teach them that procrastination is a stealer of time; they should do whatever is needed to be done always at the right time. You could explain this quote to them, and also get them to understand and memorize it.
A Quote by Mark Twain: “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well”.
Train them to be more organized. This will really help them in their academics and life generally. By learning to be organized, they need to sleep early so they can wake early; this will help them get to school on time. Getting organized will also help them get their books and text books arranged, know their subjects’ timetable, get their assignment done on time, and read when they are supposed to. It will yield much growth for them in life and in their academics.
Be more deliberate about our children and their mental health. As much as we are deliberate about their personal hygiene, life, academics, and other areas, their mental health is paramount too. In the same way adults need to be stable psychologically, socially, and morally, children also have the greater need of functional mental health. It will be difficult for them to do well academically and generally in life, if we don’t take into cognizance the mental health of our children.
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