Last week, we spoke to a woman who used to get sheltered too much by her parents, to the extent that she was only allowed to watch TV at home, and nothing else. Riding a bike was a no-no because mom did not want her to scrape her legs. Dad was quite strict about studying, saying young kids should focus on it even on the weekends to have a better future. Hence, the woman could not remember a day when she was able to play outdoors like the other children in the neighborhood.
That is unacceptable, frankly speaking, since pediatric specialists keep on seeing that their patients who have started battling a mental disorder early happen to be the kids who never commune with nature. They stay indoors most of the time, playing video games or merely staring at the corners of the house. While their friends are hanging out at the park or a friend’s house, they end up not even getting some sun for days. If you must know, this lack of socialization and vitamin D deficiency often push people down the depression lane.
To supplement this argument, in a study conducted by Frances E. Kuo, PhD, on the possible treatment to ADHD by exposure to nature, she was able to conclude that, “Overall, our findings indicate that exposure to ordinary natural settings in the course of common after-school and weekend activities may be widely effective in reducing attention deficit symptoms in children.”
The fact mentioned above does not make over-sheltering kids seem so ideal now, does it? Your children may not get influenced or bullied by others, they won’t ever be at risk of being in an accident, but the prolonged stay indoors affects their mental health adversely.
Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD, further convinces us that “There are many scientific studies that underscore the benefits of nature, including stress relief, improved short-term memory, increased mental energy, less inflammation, better vision, improved concentration, creativity, and improved mental health. For families, the great outdoors is a natural playground that contributes to a child’s positive development.”
Let us give you a few more reasons not to let your kids stay cooped up at home.
1. It Stimulates The Senses
Being in nature more often typically makes a child’s senses sharper than ever. They get to play with soil, feel the grass under their feet, smell the flowers, see bugs and explore other things that can occur outdoors. These are the things that they can only understand in theory or through descriptions in books if you don’t allow them to go outside.
2. It Enhances Cognitive Skills
Danae Lund, PhD, LP, opines that “unstructured outdoor play helps kids learn to take turns, share and develop other positive behavioral skills. They are more likely to be inventive, explore and learn about the world around them and use their own abilities.” The environment consists mainly of living things that grow and wither. As said earlier, there may also be creatures or plant species that may switch on the curious side of the kids and cause them to observe what they do, what their colors are, and how big they become. That can improve their thinking skills better than tuning into National Geographic at home.
3. It Relieves Stress
In case you have not fathomed it before, children can acquire stress from the activities they need to accomplish every day. For instance, they got to wake up at six in the morning when there’s school, participate in class discussions until around three in the afternoon, and still have dinner and do their homework before resting at night. If such kids don’t go out once in a while, they won’t have an outlet for their stress.
4. It Builds Up Creativity
It is best to take the young ones to a natural park that does not have slides and swings, to be honest. With the man-made playthings on site, after all, it seems automatic for children to know how they should play. However, if they are in an open field with some huge trees, it will enable them to use their imagination and create different games on their own.
Depression and anxiety are two of the most common disorders that kids as young as three years old can develop. They tend to isolate themselves from youngsters their age and, worse, even attempt to self-harm at times. If you don’t want your child to be part of the statistics, though, it matters to encourage him or her to leave the house sometimes and play outdoors like the others to boost their mental health.
Be your child’s occupational therapist critique.
Every time a baby whines, we immediately stand on our feet and find means to soothe them. Are parents too ready to give in to their baby’s wants? The thought of disciplining an infant is just so hard after all they are just tiny helpless humans?
Bullying is one of the significant issues faced by students nowadays. Bully is an unwanted and aggressive behavior done by an individual usually a child or teen through real or perceived power imbalance like popularity, physical strength and access to embarrassing information to control and harm classmates or kids. It includes anything simple like spreading malicious rumors to physical aggression and even sexual assault. “Bullying may inflict physical, psychological, social or educational harm on a victim. Behaviors include verbal and physical aggression that ranges in severity from making threats, spreading rumors and social exclusion, to physical attacks causing injury.”, Dorothy Espelage, PhD explained. In essence, bullying is an abusive use of power. Studies show that even at a young age, children also seek the feeling of being in control and powerful. Often, bullies were at one point powerless in their life and realized that power is the better end of the stick. Abusing power through bullying can be addictive just like a potent drug. Another possible reason is the bully is hurting, and he used intimidation as a maladaptive defense mechanism. “Bullying is a problem that occurs well beyond the school years and prevention will take a comprehensive societal approach.”, Marlene Seltzer, M.D. wrote.
Provide a compassion and respectful relationship since the child is small.Parents are advised by experts to teach their children about bullying and how to handle such situations. Since whether we like it or not, children might experience bullying at one point in their life. The goal is not to bully-proof your child’s life but instead provide support to help him develop awareness and skill to protect himself and seek help. Research revealed the bullying could start in preschool and increases as kids grow. In general, surveys reveal that about 40 to 80 percent of school-age children participate in bullying behavior which shows the bullying is already ingrained in the school culture. Many children stated that they were subjected to bullying but also bullied others at one point. With these findings, experts recommended culture of school transformation, conflict resolution training, and restorative justice circles. Despite the efforts of school administration, it is still a struggle to curb the problem of bullying. The parents then equip their kids on how to stand up against bullying behavior.
The best way to prevent bullying and to be a bully is to provide a loving and respectful environment for the child. Do not use physical violence to punish and to solve conflicts since research has supported that it is associated with bullying behaviors.
Communicate with your child no matter what, and often kids are embarrassed to admit that they are being bullied. Always remember to have a good relationship with your child. Prioritize your relationship with your child more than anything.
Show your child that you don’t back down quickly just to avoid making a scene. Experiment ways on how to assert your rights respectfully. Remember your child is learning from you and his surroundings.
Teach your child respectful self-assertion.
Practice with your child’s words and phrases to say when somebody is bullying him or taking advantage of him. Examples are:
“It’s my turn to play now.”
“Please stop that.”
“Take your hands off me.”
“I don’t like being called that. I want you to address me by my name.”
Just when you thought you’re done suffering from your child’s terrible twos stage, parents soon realize that preschool years are not exactly a walk in the park. As the preschooler expands his/her independence, he will develop a new set of behavioral problems. Take these changes as regular part of growing up and accept misbehavior as a learning process to realize the consequences of breaking the rules, and as time goes by, your preschooler will turn out wiser and more prepared for decision making. Experts gather and discussed the most common preschooler behavioral problems and how can parents address these issues.
People call them terrible twos for something. Have you found yourself in the negotiation table with none other than your 2-year-old over wearing the queen Elsa dress in class picture day? Have you experienced the judgmental stares from everybody in the supermarket when your child was throwing tantrums?
It is innate for parents to always worry about their child despite their age. Sometimes, parents unknowingly treat and discipline their child like they’re still babies despite them being all grown up. Pre-adolescents and adolescents need the freedom to assert themselves, but at the same time, they are given some limits and guidelines because after all, they still have immature mental processes and oftentimes can be impulsive in their decision making. One concrete example of setting limits to your children is establishing a household curfew. The trick in setting curfews is to find the equilibrium between balance and fairness to achieve its optimal and desired effect which is to keep the child safe but at the same time, teaching them independence.
Becoming a mother to a newborn baby can be overwhelming and challenging all at the same time. The journey of a new mother can be tough in the beginning but all the sleepless nights and exhausting mommy duties will be worth it. There is nothing more exciting than taking good care of your child, whom you have carried in your womb for nine months.