Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 7th 2014 Contents | FAMILY |
IN OUR SWEET TWIN ISLANDS, we fall into many classes
and circles. We have a diverse cross-section of little societies.
Within these mini-societies, children are raised differently.
There are parents who push for an academically focused child
with no exposure to extra talents. There are parents who
mould a socially flourishing child who can fit their perception
of the "perfect child". There are parents who raise children to
be athletes and train them for competing on a national level.
There is an ideal balance we can create for our children. We
must always learn to adapt to changes in today's society, ad-
vance with technology, and ensure that we expose our chil-
dren to everything that is beneficial for their development. In
Trinidad and Tobago, we are fortunate as parents. Why? Be-
cause we have amazing resources locally in education, sport,
arts and culture that we can use for our children to explore
and eventually develop on their own, their sense of self. How
can a child who is not exposed get a true idea of what they
really like or are really good at? Many children grow up and as
adults figure out late in life what their true passions are as
they were not able to explore and discover them as children.
What is a Well-Rounded Child?
A child who is confident and determined in all aspects of life.
She enjoys participation and is keen to be involved in many
activities. She is very driven academically.
How do we Raise a Well-Rounded Child?
1) Instil positivity, open-mindedness and courage in your child
from a very young age.
2) Praise your child and let them see that you are proud of
them in whatever little way they have succeeded.
3) Encourage independence, self-sufficiency and multi-task-
ing from an early age. Teach your children about routine
and scheduling and help them to understand and appre-
ciate time management.
4) Expose your child to the outdoors, through bike riding, run-
ning, swimming, picnics, exploring nature, learning about
the wonderful sights in their county.
5) Expose your child to sport from as early as 4 years old.
Feel out their personality, enrol them in a few trial classes
of different sporting activities and encourage them to try
them all! Encourage them to pursue a sport that they
have a natural talent in and that they enjoy doing.
6) Teach your child about discipline, endurance and determi-
nation. "Never give up" is something your child should
learn. Encourage your child to finish something they have
started and not abandon it without giving it a fair chance.
Teach them about being strong minded; this will lead to
also developing physical strength and willpower.
7) Expose your child to arts and culture. We have so many
different ethnicities in our country, and our children should
learn about them, be a part of the festivals, experience the
creativity and artistic talent, and via this medium, your
child may also explore their own artistic talent and ex-
press interest in doing art and cultural classes.
8) Encourage your child to learn to play a musical instrument.
Introduce music to them from an early age. Music is also
therapeutic, and can help with a child's mental develop-
9) If possible, enrol your child into a school that is well
rounded and offers a good balance between academics
and extracurricular activities. Also, a school that celebrates
national festivities, participates in community projects and
has a holistic approach to education will benefit your child
10) Work with your child academically. Give him daily atten-
tion with homework supervision, extra revision, and allow
them extra lessons if needed. Ensure that you liaise with
your child's teacher and be involved with the school. Be an
active parent academically; do not leave it up to the teach-
ers only. Set goals for your child academically and give her
rewards and incentives for good grades. Limit television
watching and curb electronic device use during the school
week. Do, however, teach your child about technology and
expose them to using their devices productively and also
for fun when the time permits.
We must get involved in our children's lives, encourage par-
ticipation, be dedicated parents, thus creating a healthy bal-
ance between their academics and everything else that
sparks their interest positively. This would lead to a very suc-
cessful and confident young adult who will make us very
Suzette Camacho is the founder of Trini Moms, the first
parenting network in Trinidad and Tobago. Check their
website Trini-Moms.com or their Facebook page for up-
coming events for kids and the entire family.
By Suzette Camacho
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