How to raise a well-rounded child
MANILA, Philippines — The first few years of a child’s life are the most delicate. Early childhood experiences have great impact on your child’s intelligence, personality, social behavior, and capacity to learn and engage as an adult.
When you first become a parent, you might have many plans about how you would like your child to grow up. Maybe you want him to be sporty, sociable, charitable, or smart – all of that hullabaloo. But perhaps rather than focusing on one trait over another, the question should be how you can raise a well-rounded child with proper values.
Good character is something Sheila Granfon Arumpac wants to pass on to her child, who happens to be Bae-by Baste, the cheeky 4-year-old who rose to fame via noontime show Eat Bulaga. “As a mother, of course I want him to grow up to be a good older brother and be a good example to [my other son] Samsam,” says Mama Sheila. “Hopefully he grows up humble and kind. And brave like his Papa Sol.”
While your own child is still developing and finding himself, the best any parent can do is to allow him to experience the world. The quality of his early environment is crucial to his development. Let him discover sports, friends, art, music – and yes, technology! It’s an inevitable and necessary component for children born in the digital wave.
Mama Sheila agrees: “We encourage [the kids] to play, draw, sing, dance, or help around the house. I think it’s really important that you spend time with your kids so there’s a balance. And then when it comes to screen time, it’s really supervised,” she says.
To encourage this balance, here are some things you can expose your children to, to help them grow:
It might seem a little advanced to expose a toddler to literature, but when it comes to reading, there’s no such thing as an early start. The simple act of keeping books at home and reading to your child the likes of The Very Hungry Caterpillar for example, even when they can’t understand you, encourages language development, reading skills, and vocabulary. A study done by the Institute of Education in the United Kingdom found that 5-year-olds who were read to daily were less likely to have behavioral problems in school.
Playgrounds provide children with the crucial opportunity to be outside and play. This has a distinctive link to brain development, motor-skills, and social capabilities. Playgrounds in particular are useful because they promote different types of play, using the body (running, jumping, dancing), the mind (fantasy), props (building blocks, toys), and words (jokes, singing). Varied forms of playime let children meet friends and explore their own natural tendencies.
Music doesn’t just stimulate creativity, it can also give your child a mental advantage. After all, music and math are cousins. The beat, rhythm, and scales children are exposed to in music help them easily grasp math concepts such as division, creating fractions, and recognizing patterns. Other studies also show that there’s a correlation between children who are exposed to music and higher academic achievement.
In the 21st Century, there’s no escaping technology, but this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Studies have shown that when used responsibly, technology can stimulate children in positive ways, like how complex storylines in TV shows can help children understand different narratives.
Plus, technology can also be used as a tool to help monitor and engage with children even when you’re away. An example is the Smart Watch from PLDT Home because of its call and text features allowing parents to stay connected to their kids.
"We have a Telpad at home,” says Mama Sheila. “We love it! The kids use it to watch their favorite shows and play games. We pair it with Baste’s Smart Watch also, so he can get his game notifications on his watch! [It's] super conveient because when we can’t find the Telpad, we just click a button on the Smart Watch, then the Telpad makes a sound so it’s easy to find.”
For a parent, there is no limit to the number of experiences you could expose your child to. All you need to do is expose your child to the right ones. – Rappler.com
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