One of the joys of being a child is having time to play. Playing is important in child development for a couple of reasons. It gives time for the body to decompress from the stress of an active schedule. It also reminds a child that all of life isn’t about work that there is fun to be had also and gives them something to look forward to for when their work is done. However, it’s important to find a balance between the work that needs to be done and the play that we want to do. As parents we can help our children learn how to balance the two and make sure that they are getting enough of both to have a healthy development.
The first thing we can do is sit them down and talk to them about priorities. Play is fun and important but getting our work done has to come first. The decisions that we make as children have consequences that can affect us for the rest of our lives and most of the time children don’t understand that unless we take the time to explain it to them. They don’t understand that a good education is the foundation to making a start in life and that they will need that education later on to do things in life.
We can also make studying more fun for them. Set up a reward system for grades where studying and doing good on their grades can help them achieve rewards. There are a couple of ways to do this the first is to set up a sticker board where each hour of study time and every good grade gets them a sticker and after so many stickers they can have a reward. Another way to set this up is to use a points system. In a points system studying and tests are both worth a certain amount of points those points can be used towards special privileges or rewards. Really there’s no limit to the number of things that can be set up with these systems. It’s all a matter of imagination and what the parent is trying to achieve.
Another method is the punishment and reward method. In this method if the child does not complete their work or get bad grades then things are taken away from them. The things taken away can be either physical things or loss of privileges. The reward is that they are allowed to do their normal play activities. This encourages the child to get their work done on time so that they can move on to more enjoyable activities. This effective for some children but not for others.
These are just a few of the many methods used for balancing play and study time. What works for one child may not work with another child and care should be taken to make sure that the plan used is tailored to the individual so that it actually works. Sometimes it’s even necessary to use different methods within the same family of children. As parents we should look at all the options before we decide what we want to use. If something doesn’t work then it’s time to look at another method because it’s a waste of time to continue using a method that is not effective.