The generation of today's parents was the last one to grow up without internet in their pockets. As kids, in order to avoid house chores, they had to escape to the outside world. Going out was, actually, the only way how to fight boredom. But today's children have a powerful weapon: smartphones which allow them to enjoy an unlimited amount of fun in the comfort of their own rooms. We know as adults that outdoor activities are healthy not only for the body, but also for the mind. So how can we make our kids combine the pleasant with the useful without actually being pushy?
It’s a good idea to begin taking kids outside early on, because it’ll come natural to them in later years and you won’t have to force them. Especially if you come up with funny names for your outdoor activities. “Let’s go on a treasure hunt” definitely sounds better than “let’s go for a walk”. Even maths homework will be easier to write at a garden table than shut inside.Another thing to try is making trips a regular habit. Dedicate a time slot, for example Sunday afternoons. It might happen that the weather lets you down, but you can always go to a ZOO or toy museum, right?
Of course we’re not telling you to bribe your kids with sweets, that would be a mistake. But having a picnic in the middle of a long hilltop hike to take a tasty break could prove to be the perfect motivation. You’ll see those little legs marching faster when you promise kids a nice reward.
Children growing up in the modern era have a lot of contact with smartphones and tablets, so much so that it might be hard to get them off. But what if we tell you there’s a way to make it work? Download a picture app with flashcards and ask kids to take a picture of each corresponding tree or animal they see during the trip. Or get even more creative and prepare a small geocaching challenge. There are dozens of options at your fingertips.
Make it a family council decision – what would you like to do today; the creepy castle, or a trip into the wilderness? Especially older children can give you some lip for making them do things by your rulebook. Letting your kids take the initiative is a smart solution even for you as parents. They will be happy they got an important role to play, and they will proudly lead the way if it’s a trip they planned themselves.
No matter how old your kid is, it might be a decisive factor if you let them bring along a friend of theirs. It’s a boost of good mood, but it can also help in sparking a little bit of healthy competition, especially if you lend children your phone with a map or smart watch with a step-counting function.
That’s a good thing! Children love it when it rains, so give them a pair of good shoes and let them play in puddles and catch raindrops on their tongue. And if your kid enjoys science experiments, try building little ships together and let them slide down the stream along the sidewalk. You can measure how much water levels have gone up in one hour. When the rain stops, don’t forget to a) find a rainbow, and b) dry off and put on warm clothes.
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You are at work and everything runs at its usual pace. Suddenly, the phone rings and you hear a familiar voice. Your kindergarten teacher has just told you that your little one is sick and needs to get home ASAP. So it’s more than just a runny nose after all...
Parents are always trying to find ways how to understand their child better and sooner. More and more often, new approaches and methods are being developed that help families communicate with their child shortly after birth. That’s because even infants are trying to communicate with their surroundings. They perceive their mother’s voice and human language even before they are born – i.e. in the womb. After birth, children can differentiate a human voice from other sounds and react to it. However, it takes some time before children are able to control their voice system and say first words and sentences. But this doesn’t mean they don’t perceive the world around them and do not wish to communicate with it. They just do it differently than us adults. How?
Growing up to be a well-developed and emotionally strong adult, who isn’t afraid to face challenges in life, has its roots back to childhood. A study revealed that about 10–20% of children and adolescents throughout the world experience mental disorders. The survey found that in children aged 7–14 years, mental disorders are one of the main causes of diseases. Another research carried out by Marie-Laure Baranne and Bruno Falissard at INSERM in France found out that during 2000–2015, the rates of mental disorders remained stable, suggesting that despite a global improvement in the physical health, the mental health of kids was not improving.