The new school year has started and families are busy with classes, homework and extracurricular activities. This time of year, though, often leaves parents wondering how to best support their children in their new endeavors. While each child is different and will require slightly different degrees of support and encouragement, here are a few good ways to start!
* Get to know your child’s teachers and coaches. Having good working relationships with the people who teach and care for your child is better for everyone. Issues can be discussed more openly and the child gets consistent messages and support.
* Make sure your child does his homework. Although homework is often the last thing a child wants to think about after school, clubs, and practices, it is a necessary part of not just learning subject matter, but learning discipline and good study habits. In order to make it easier, create a designated homework area with comfortable seating, good lighting, and a quiet atmosphere. Make sure the child has dinner or a snack beforehand, so that an empty stomach does not distract him.
* It’s also a good idea to monitor television, Internet, and video game time. While some of these activities can be educational or relaxing, they also lead to sedentary lifestyles. The Galion Community Center YMCA has many activities for children of all ages – including swimming, various teams and leagues, and dances – that will get them away from the television, moving, and socializing!
* Often times parents who enjoyed cheerleading, chess, or basketball as children have their hearts set on their children enjoying these same activities. It is important, though, to encourage children to explore many different activities so that they can find ones at which they have natural talent and will enjoy. Doing well in these activities will increase self-esteem and encourage children to effectively face other challenges and solve other problems. The Galion YMCA offers many different activities for children of all ages, abilities, and interests. Pick up a program guide and review it with your child to see if what he may be interested in checking out!
* Above all, it is important to talk with your child – and actually listen to what he has to say. Discussing thoughts, feelings, and challenges with your child will show him that you are there to provide support, guidance, and love. Having these most basic needs met builds a solid foundation for success in school and in life.
For more information about the Galion Community Center YMCA’s program offerings, hours, or membership options, visit www.galioncenterymca.org.