Engaging your children in productive activities at home is not always easy. Sometimes they get home from school and all they want to do is watch TV. Additionally, with a lot of parents now homeschooling their children due to Covid-19, children can become even more disengaged with being productive at home.
Here at 7 ways to help engage your children in productive activities at home.
1. Create A Routine
There has been lots of research conducted on the positive effects of a routine in a child’s life and a lot of children benefit from having a schedule. It helps to teach them about punctuality, structure and helps them know what is coming next. From a young age, children are given timetables in school to help guide their learning and to implement boundaries. So, a similar approach can be taken at home to help children become engaged in productive activities. For instance, on the weekend if you begin to implement even a loose structure, over time this will become expected. So if you put hanging up the laundry at noon every Saturday, this will just become a norm and the children will stop fighting against it and engage in their standard routines.
It might take some effort at first to get the kids into it, but over time this will become much easier as they know what to expect.
2. Provide Incentives
The easiest way to get your children to engage in productive activities at home is to provide them with incentives. For example, you can tell the kids that when they get home from school, between 4 pm to 5 pm they have to do their homework. If they complete their homework they can be rewarded with more free time than usual that night or an extra biscuit after dinner etc. This tends to work well, however, you may have to change up the incentives from time to time as you’ll find that kids get bored of things pretty quickly.
3. Get Creative
Kids are always going to be kids and we should nurture their childlike tendencies by allowing their creativity and imagination to flow. If you want your child to read more, then buy books that are interesting to them. There is an abundance of cheap children’s books available to pick from, and so why not pick the one that is most likely to engage your child? This way reading will no longer be a chore and instead of an activity that they genuinely enjoy.
4. Make It Fun
Have a little bit of fun with it all and try to make chores and other productive activities in a game. If you can find a way to incorporate an element of competitiveness this will really get them involved! While it might be a stretch, depending on your child’s age, you could pretend that loading the dishwasher is like a real-life game of Tetris. Another idea you could opt for if you have multiple children is to have a game of who can clean their room the best on a Sunday morning!
5. Go Outside
Kids love playing outside and DIY projects always seem to capture their interest a lot more than doing homework. So make sure you get them outside doing odd little jobs around the garden, as not only is this good for their physical and mental wellbeing, but it also gives them a feeling of being important as they are responsible for their ‘own’ garden job.
6. Allow For Downtime Too
To ensure that children continue to engage in productive activities over time, you need to make sure that there is a good work/play balance. Otherwise, children will quickly burn out and disengage. At the end of the day, they are still just kids and they need to be having fun and developing socially with their peers and friends. Plus, research has shown that happy children are more likely to engage in productive activities, and so ensuring your child is enjoying themselves is vital.
7. Be Patient
Last but not least, you need to be patient with your child. While this might seem obvious to some, it is easy to get carried away and forget the simple things. All children are different and some will pick up on things faster than others. Just make a point to not compare children with one another and focus on encouraging and being kind to your own, as that is the most important thing.
There you have it, seven reliable and easy ways to engage your child in productive activities. It will feel like a challenge at times, but it is a rewarding experience in the end.