As parents, we always wish for our children to excel in all aspects of life. And, as such, we make efforts to provide them with absolutely everything they could possibly need to succeed, including plenty of love, proper nutrition, toys, and so much more.
Of course, these are all wonderful things to offer your little ones to ensure they have a well-balanced life and encouraging system of support. But is this everything that your child needs? Ultimately, there are three specific things that all kids generally need for optimal health and engagement, which will lead to a happier and healthier life. Make sure your little ones have plenty of access to these three factors to give them a better life.
Time to Play
Unquestionably, one of the key ingredients for optimal health and engagement in life is comprised of plenty of time to play. Playtime offers numerous benefits that will help ensure your children remain happy, healthy and engaged this year.
Why, exactly, is playtime so important for children of all ages?
Instead of seeing playtime as a time for your children to simply relax, consider it the “work” of children. During playtime children are presented with numerous challenges and puzzles, which helps them develop analytical skills and critical thinking. In addition, during playtime children are often required to cooperate with others, further understand their own capabilities, and try out any number of ideas they have within their imagination.
Here, it is also important to realize that the importance of playtime can often rival that of time spent in school. While school may provide a structured environment in which children can learn, playtime generally offers an unstructured realm in which children are still provided with numerous benefits.
Whether you choose to offer your children unstructured or structured playtime, make sure there is plenty of it during the start of the school year.
Time to Rest
In addition to being allowed to spend time in the playroom or outside with friends, little ones should also be provided with ample time to rest, both at night and throughout the day. And downtime does not necessary need to entail sleeping at night or napping during the day; instead, it can involve reading a book or simply spending time in a quiet room or in nature.
What is the significance of downtime for children?
Kids of all ages often spend a large amount of time running to and from classes, being shuttled to extracurricular activities and back home, or simply learning at home or in the classroom. And while children may even spend a portion of their days sitting in school or at home, the constant mental stimulation can prove to be exhausting.
Fortunately, downtime shouldn’t be seen as time wasted; instead, by providing your little ones with a healthy amount of time to rest you will help ensure their mental, physical, and emotional stability. The relationship between rest and the prevalence of numerous health problems has been documented, presenting the idea that adequate sleep can help prevent issues such as depression, obesity, and ADHD.
Time with Family
Along with time spent playing with friends and toys, as well as time to rest, relax, and reflect on life, kids of all ages should also be allowed to spend plenty of time with their close family members. This may include parents, brothers, and sisters, or any other family members who live close by and who comprise and integral part of the children’s lives.
Importantly, by having your children spend time with their family members you will help them realize they are surrounded by a loving support system; as such, this will help them develop a stronger sense of self-confidence and will help them feel loved unconditionally, which can result in significant benefits later in life.
What are some of the ways that you can ensure your child has enough family time to remain healthy and engaged in life?
Indeed, the simplest way to do so is by committing to eating meals together as a family as often as possible. Eating together, and in the absence of television programs or other distractions, forces the family members to interact with one another for a set period of time, and share stories and thoughts in general. This, in turn, allows your children to express any concerns they may have, talk about how they spent their days, or simply chat with their parents. And even if you can’t eat meals together every night due to busy schedules, try to make them happen as often as possible.
What Kids Need for Optimal Health and Engagement
As parents, it is our responsibility to do what we can to ensure optimal health for the children we love. So this year, provide your little ones with these three things to keep them happy, healthy and engaged.