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Why are we putting so much pressure on out kids?

These days schools and parents put so much pressure on kids that everyone ends up screaming, crying or with severe anxiety.

It is common to hear these days that children can’t sit still, listen for prolonged periods of time, internalise word, understand what they have to do, etc. Just think, can YOU, as an adult, really sit still for a long time and listen to someone talk on and on about something you know nothing about?

It’s time to get real. We want our kids to be clever, have nice manners, be compassionate and to become wonderful human beings when they grow into adulthood. However, they are forced to do things that goes against their nature, filled with junk food, medication and anxiety.

They get into a “losing culture” as they get screamed or nagged at for not doing their homework or doing it wrong, for not listening, etc. Instead we should look at research to see what we, as parents and teachers, can do to turn everyday into a positive learning experience for our children.

It is a fact that children want to move and be engaged with objects, play and other kids. Children learn through play. How do they do that?

By running, playing ball games, kicking, hanging on the monkey bars, climbing on jungle gyms, etc. children strengthen their muscles and core muscles. This help them to sit properly and to read and write better. After some physical activity kids also tend to concentrate better on the task at hand.

Through games children can also learn problem solving skills, social skills, compassion, group work, new physical abilities, new vocabulary and literacy skills. And it just give them that much needed mental break. There is a reason why children need more than one break at school.

Best of all, play helps reduce children’s stress levels. Our children are so anxious these days. So we need to create little breaks where they can just run and jump an be themselves. The pressure is off. There is no chance of failure. This way they also build self confidence.

Also, never underestimate the power of a nap. Sometimes kid’s bodies and brains are just totally overloaded. The best way to cure this is to sleep.

Why are their brains so overloaded? Too much input. Trying to do too much work in one period or one day;  too much homework and too little time;  not having the right tools to do homework and therefore getting stress overload.

Overload also comes from too much screen time, i.e. from television, computers, tablets and cell phones. Set a fair daily or weekly limit on screen time. If you don’t know what appropriate limits are, research it.

Let our kids be kids. Let them play and nap. Then, if there is time, work on homework. We as parents must not attack teacher, for their jobs are extremely tough. But we should also not sit idly by if the homework are too much for our kids and they are crying or have anger outbursts daily. Or worse, are put on medication as they can not cope with the workload.

Kids are not supposed to cope with a workload. Can you just hear how insane that sounds?

Let’s stand together in taking the pressure off our kids. Stop having fights and nagging your kids. Rather give more hugs, go walk the dogs together and read a book together. Create a positive parent and child environment. I know you crave that.

Lastly, if our kids had the right tools to do their homework, they would understand and internalise the work much quicker. I believe these tools are Thinking Tools. Please click on the Thinking Tools link on the home page of this web page for more information.

 

Resources:

https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/families/10-things-every-parent-play

https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/families/support-learning-with-play

https://www.kidsmatter.edu.au/mental-health-matters/social-and-emotional-learning/play-children-learn-through-play/play-helps

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/119/1/182

Always use Thinking Tools
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