Three Ideas For Parents To Support Their Kids In January
The start of a new year is an exciting time of change, but it’s not everyone’s favourite. For some children, it can mean cold weather, long nights, and back to school after a nice Christmas. As a result, they can struggle to motivate themselves.
January may also mean looming deadlines and exams for older children. When everyone is stuck inside, they may feel low on energy and struggle to concentrate on studying.
If you’re worried about how you can help your child navigate schoolwork during the depths of winter, don’t fret. We’ve got three ideas on how you can support your children throughout January.
Let’s dive in.
Get them organised
Being organised from an early age sets children up with good habits for future life, often increasing their productivity with schoolwork at the same time.
Setting them up for success now is possible in a few simple steps. Below are some ideas to get started.
Create a schedule
Some kids find it difficult to keep on top of all of their schoolwork from disorganisation. A daily or weekly view of what they have on can help to teach children about time management and discipline.
This could be a visual aid, like a wall calendar, or their own personal planner that they’re responsible for. A shared calendar with all of the family’s commitments may also help them keep track of shared responsibilities, like household chores.
Set up a study area
Does your child struggle to concentrate in a busy house? Perhaps all your child needs is their own dedicated space in the home for schoolwork. Consider carving out a quiet spot in the home for a small desk and a lamp.
They can personalise their new desk area with trinkets, though try to avoid the space becoming too busy so they get distracted.
If there are toys or books everywhere, chances are your child should learn the value of a tidy space. A messy room can massively affect some kids’ ability to concentrate.
Encourage them to regularly look at what they have in their room and whether anything can be donated or tossed. Introducing colour-coded and labelled bins may help them to put things away straight after use rather than ending up on the floor.
Evaluate their extra-curricular activities
Doing a quick assessment of whether a child’s busy – or empty – schedule is the best use of their time is the perfect activity to do in January when things are quieter.
While hobbies and new skills are a vital part of a child’s development, too many commitments could leave your kids feeling overwhelmed.
Consider trying new things
A social group like a club or team could be a great opportunity for your kids to learn important social skills and make friends during the colder winter months. Assessing what they’re good at and what they’d like to try out for the first time is also a good way for them to build confidence.
Sit down with your child and have them think about what it is they’re interested in pursuing, or what they already work on in their own spare time. From there, it should be simple to find a local club or activity in the area for them to join.
Consider dropping some activities
The other side of the above is if your child has too much on their plate with hobbies and clubs. It can be tempting to stuff a kid’s schedule full of things to do, but as they get older they may need to prioritise studying more.
Making a list of all the extracurricular activities your child is involved in and working out if they truly enjoy the hobby or class is a good place to start. It’s important what they spend their spare time on is what they truly enjoy.
Check in on their emotional health
January can be a melting pot of negative emotions for some children. With less sunshine, a school routine to settle back into, or stress from New Year’s goals, your child may feel down in the dumps.
By checking in on your kids’ emotional and mental health, you can spot any current or potential challenges in their life. Offering support and guidance is key to helping them navigate the rocky terrain.
Here are some ideas on how to support your child’s emotional health.
Find a healthy outlet
Every kid needs healthy coping mechanisms to get ahead in life. This could look like meditation, yoga, or mindfulness as a way of calming down and destressing.
Journalling is another option for shy children that prefer communicating through the written word. Art and music are wonderful options to encourage creative expression.
Set up weekly conversations
Set time aside each week to check in with your child and really listen to their thoughts, needs, and concerns. This is a great opportunity for you to talk through any issues and offer help, should they need it.
Children may not respond positively at first but will come to appreciate your dedicated time together. You’ll also benefit from feeling closer and more in touch with your child’s emotions so you can spot issues further ahead of time.
If your child is struggling to open up, you could encourage them to write a letter to you instead. Getting other friends and family members involved might help.
Consider extra support
If your kids are really struggling and any usual methods of cheering them up aren’t working, you could consider external help such as a therapist or mental health professional.
Joining a support group or club could encourage your child to meet new people and help with anxiety and depression. You may also be able to seek the advice of the school counsellor, who can check in on your child and offer specialist assistance.
January doesn’t need to be a worry-inducing time for parents. Going through these key three approaches will set your child up for the months and years to come.
Think your child would benefit from one-to-one tutoring? Our decades of experience and expert knowledge in how to get the best out of young minds is unmatched. Get in touch today.