All parents want to give their children the best start in life, with extra-curricular activities or a bit more preparation for exams. But is there such thing as too much? How much free time should children have? And should you be encouraging non-academic activities?
It’s normal to feel unsure when it comes to parenting, especially with so much judgement and contradiction out there. While there is no right or wrong way to parent your child, this post sheds some light on the benefits of allowing your child some downtime. Keep reading to discover the downside of limiting downtime for your child.
With a full schedule, your child may be missing out on valuable family time. They need time with siblings, parents and grandparents to bond, get to know them and enjoy fun activities together.
You could set aside a couple of nights a week or leave weekends free to spend time together as a family. Whether it’s spontaneous trips to the park, dinner with the grandparents or a game of hide and seek in the garden, it’s important to make sure your child is enjoying their free time and bonding with family members.
Some parents worry that too much downtime can cause their child’s brain to ‘switch off’ and encourage a loss of concentration. Typically, this isn’t the case. Downtime doesn’t necessarily mean screen time. Your child could play outside, read a book or simply spend some time alone.
It may sound and feel terrible to think of your child spending time or playing alone. But, in fact, independence is a key skill that all children need to learn. Realising that they can have fun by themselves, and that they do not always need to be around other people is a great quality that they can carry into adult life.
Children don’t need to be in a classroom to learn. From exploring the garden looking for insects to experimenting with baking soda and vinegar, there’s opportunities for learning in almost every activity.
Try letting your children be bored for a little while. They’ll soon discover fun and educational ways to keep themselves busy. In truth, there are plenty of activities for your child to do that don’t involve a schedule, and don’t require external input. Even better, they will become a more well-rounded, confident individual, with the ability to determine what they enjoy and what makes them happy.
Balancing work and play
The importance of downtime is clear. It allows your child to thrive, complementing any extra-curricular activities.
At HG Tuition, our tutoring sessions run weekly, leaving plenty of time for your child to unwind and destress. We can also provide homework and extra learning, so you can schedule your week, setting time aside for learning as well as playing.
Get in touch with our team today to find out more.