Why it’s important for children to have a good work / play balance
- Mums Tips
- Parenting Skills
- Published on Friday, 27 June 2014 19:01
- Last Updated on 22 June 2014
- 0 Comments
How do you feel at the end of a busy working week? When you have spent all week working and not enough time doing some of the things that you really love, like gardening, seeing friends and socialising, perhaps some sport or fitness class, or just relaxing by listening to music, come Friday evening you might well feel drained and frazzled. The week has flashed by in a blur of stress and deadlines, and you’ve barely had time to breathe!
If you feel like that, why should it be any different for your little ones? Don’t forget, if they’re school age they spend five days a week in education, usually with homework and reading to fill their evenings, as well. It’s important not to completely overlook the importance of play.
Of course, play time can be achieved within the boundaires of school – not break and lunchtimes, but in the form of afterschool clubs. It can be a great way of a child learning new skills – such as gymnastics, art, music and drama – and products such as www.parentmail.co.uk offer easy and convenient ways of paying for clubs, returning permission forms and so on.
Away from the school environment, making sure children get the most out of family time and play time is really important. There are many activities that children can get involved in that will help to mould them into the young adults that they will inevitably grow into. Playing lets children create who they are and they learn to build emotions and develop them, problem solve, get creative and most of all be happy! It is so lovely to see children being children. As this article states, unstructured play has decreased over the generations, but simply allowing children to get outside and amuse themselves, playing without rules, can be valuable.
For more supervised play, you can get crafty and make up some games with the children, which will help to hone their motor skills – games like a DIY marble game or playing a game of hide and seek with the entire family.
Another good idea to get the children involved and learning at the same time is making a schedule clock, they can plot out their days to include all of their working time and their playing time. For example, pencil in half an hour of chill-out time immediately after coming home from school – time for a small snack and something restful – followed by homework time and then an hour of free play before dinner. That hour is completely available for your child to use as they wish (within reason, obviously!)
It is said that giving your children set times and a routine to plan around homework and school can make things easier and getting your child involved in the chores can also help give them an understanding of what life is like when you get older! There are many different chores that you can get your child to help with, from all ages, it is nice to give them some responsibility and the bonus is they are helping you out too. Reward them for their efforts by letting them play for a time, or adding to their pocket money collection.
Every day should include room for fun. And that includes weary Mums and Dads, too!
Sophie is a freelance writer who specialises in education and parenting.