The “perfect” family – all smiles and laughter – doesn’t truly exist. So instead, let’s aim for having well families. This means making members of your family the best they can be. Healthy students make for healthy learners, so it’s important to think about how well our family members are when sending students off to learn. What does a family need to be well? Here are some ideas.
- Communication: Communication means sharing ideas, thoughts, and feelings. Talking to your children lets them know you care. Listening allows you to know what’s going on in their lives. Sometimes paying attention to nonverbal cues can give you as much information as words can. Be sure to check in on how they think and feel about what is going on at school.
- Balance Activities: Ensure your children have an equal number of structured activities and unstructured time. Horseback riding, football, scouts, etc. are all structured. In order to provide a balance, these should be limited. Along with your kids, choose the activities they want to participate in, but set a limit. The remaining unstructured time allows children to free-play, grow their imaginations, and simply decompress.
- Sleep: Enough sleep equals happy children and happy parents. Sleep is essential to good physical and mental health. Sticking to bedtimes gives children the opportunity to get enough which greatly enhances their chances for a positive tomorrow and ability to learn in the classroom.
- Exercise: Get outside if you can! Play, walk the dog, rake leaves, plant flowers—do something that increases your activity level. Being active puts you in a better frame of mind. It also gives children a chance to use their imaginations!
- Establish Routines: Routines may sound confining to some, but they’re not. They can cut down on tantrums and arguments because children know what to expect, and they provide them with security. Of course, there should be some flexibility, but a general sense of what's going to happen is an emotional safety net that builds confidence in children.