As parents, we’re supposed to help our children become well-rounded by enriching their minds, but does that even mean?How exactly do I enrich my child? And how do I make sure what I’m doing is right?
The truth is it’s not that difficult to enhance your child’s life. All it really takes is getting involved and paying attention.
Here are 9 ways to help enrich your child’s life.
- Build Language Skills
Language and literacy are interrelated, and there are many (fun!) ways you can help build your child’s language skills. The first, and one of the best, things you can do is to read. Invest time in quality literature and expose your child to many different types of reading material as you can. Another way to build language skills is to talk. Have your child talk about his day, talk about what interests him. Conversation allows him to express himself, and learn how to listen to others as well. Reading and talking will also improve their writing skills.
- Go To The Library
While we are discussing how language is beneficial, let’s talk about the library. Your local library is a treasure trove of life-enriching material. There are entertaining books, educational books, DVDs, CDs, story times, arts and craft programs. Need I go on? Even having your child sign up for a library card is an experience in itself.
Don’t let the library become a stranger to your child, the more familiar they are with the library the more likely they will go. And the more likely they go, the less likely they are to constantly rely on the Internet.
- Broaden Their Experiences
Working the mind comes from so many different avenues. Take your child out; to the post office, the museum, grocery stores. Visit historical sites, farms, factories, local businesses. There are so many fun things to do that are also educational. Remember, your child is like a sponge, any insight they can be exposed to will only broaden their horizons.
- Explore The Outdoors
If you are fortunate enough to live in an area where there are parks, fields, or woods nearby, take full advantage of them. Go out and explore, go camping, heck, just get out and enjoy nature!
There are so many children that get stuck at home and choose to play video games all day rather than socialize with their friends. Children need to socialize. It is not mentally or physically healthy to be obsessed with the electronics.
- Get Them Involved In Daily Tasks
Have you ever wondered why there are toy vacuum cleaners, kitchens and tool sets? It’s because young children love to imitate their parents. From a young age, get your child involved in day to day tasks. Toddlers can do simple household tasks. Older children can learn how to meal plan, grocery shop and use money. Teens can be given their own money to manage and their own set of chores. Think of it not as slave labor, but as creating well-rounded children.
- Respond Appropriately To Questions
Children are naturally inquisitive, so take every opportunity you can to educate. When your child poses a question, answer with a correct, age-appropriate response. If you don’t know the answer, don’t just make something up. Make it a fun activity to figure out the answer together!
- Play Games
Games aren’t just, well, fun and games. Many teach skills, like counting and money management. Beyond that, playing games teaches sportsmanship and how to take turns. Institute a family game night and get everyone involved. Go outside and play tag, flag football or chase master. Don’t underestimate the power of games.
- Get Involved In School
While you are your child’s first educator at home, their teacher is their main educator at school. Communicate often with the teacher and get involved in the classroom. If your child sees that you take a genuine interest in school, she will too. This can lead to a love of learning.
- Hire A Tutor
Like school teachers, tutors can be an asset in enriching your child’s life. A private tutor can help bring grades up, but can also help test taking, study skills and other subjects that are grazed over in the classroom.
As parents, we are the first educators our children are exposed to. It is up to us to teach, cultivate and develop. Try any of these 9 ways to really add substance and enrich your child’s life.