Help your child to get ahead

Life in the modern world is tough for children, but then it always has been. All parents want to do what they can to make the way ahead smoother and easier, so here are a few ideas to help your child survive.

Children need friendships and peer approval to be happy outside the home. This means that they have to be able to join in activities with other children.

Two great skills you can teach your children to help them join in are swimming and riding a bicycle. Children who can swim are more confident – and safer – around water and when their friends go off to the pool they don’t have to sit on the sidelines while the others have fun. And if they can ride a bicycle, your children can go off on the occasional adventure with their friends instead of watching as they disappear around the corner. You can teach your children these skills yourself, which will have the added benefit of bringing your family closer together.

Encouraging your children to join in sports is also a great way to help them make friends. Team and individual sports bring out comradeship, discipline and competitive spirit which all contribute to your children’s emotional wellbeing.

Music is another wonderful way to help your children. From a very young age, most children love to listen to and make music. If your children can learn to play an instrument, they will not only get the admiration of their friends but they will also gain in self-confidence as they play for others.

Social acceptance aside, children also need to be helped at school to ensure their success in later life. All our children learn the basic skill of reading, but with the increasing amounts of schoolwork they are expected to do, it becomes important to be able to read quickly and accurately. Encourage your older children to learn speed-reading and their grades will improve. Study time will be reduced as it will take less time to read required texts and, surprisingly, retention levels are higher.

Retention levels can also be markedly improved if your older children take time out to study memory techniques. Some may scoff at the idea but memory techniques, such as mind-mapping, can help improve recall enormously giving your children a huge advantage at examination time. However, as with speed-reading, memory techniques do take some effort to learn but the rewards are worth it.

There is one other skill that can give your children an edge, particularly in the computer age, and that is typing. Nowadays, children can spend hours at the computer and those with advanced keyboard skills can work considerably faster than those struggling with one or two-finger typing. That means more time for other things, maybe for learning shorthand, which is a great skill to have when trying to take notes during lectures and interviews.

These are just a few ideas to help your child get ahead. Of course, there are no guarantees but at least you will know that you have done your best for your children – and so will they.