Your Kids are Not Prepared
Did we scare you? Good.
Your kids are facing so many challenges in their daily lives, and no matter what we do as parents, educators, or trainers, they are facing a world that looks 100% different than it did when we were their age.
We live in a country rife with political conflict, violence, drugs, lack of educational funding, rampant racism, sexism, and probably any other 'ism that you can think of. And somehow, with their planet literally facing the possibility of imminent demise due to climate crisis — we expect them to get good grades. Focus on their studies. Make good choices. Set themselves up for success.
We cannot change the world single handedly. We cannot wake up one Wednesday morning, drink our cup of coffee, and "fix" the world for our children. What we can do, is prepare them for what they will face when they step out the front door. And don't get it twisted — even if you think your kids are too young to be fighting these battles, the unfortunate truth is that no matter their age, they already are.
So, Book Bros, thanks for explaining the problem. Now, where is the solution!? Well, its not a solution, per se, but it is the BEST line of defense that we have to prepare our kids to excel in this world, and it all comes down to one little buzzword: Balance.
Below are the top three ways we've found to maintain balance in the lives of our students, our children, and ourselves.
Defense #1) Nutrition
It seems almost too simple to be included in the list, but you'd be surprised how connected the way we nourish our bodies is with our mental clarity, and emotional wellbeing. It makes sense — if your body is diverting energy to processing sugars, trans fats, etc. then what is it diverting that energy from? What would that energy be used for if it wasn't spent dealing with digesting heavy, empty calorie-laden fats? How much more stable would your emotions be if they weren't riding a rollercoaster of sugar crashes?
As adults, we know the things to look out for. We know the foods that make us sick and the foods that fuel us. But, walk into any chain restaurant. The adult menu comes with little calorie counts beside each option. The kid's menu is what? Pizza. Chicken strips. Hamburger.
Somehow we have allowed ourselves to believe that because our children are young, nutrition matters less. The opposite is true. Balanced, healthy meals are step #1 in preparing our kids to meet the challenges thrown their way.
Defense #2) Exercise
Anyone who has ever spent more than five minutes with a child knows that they are bundles of never ending energy just waiting to explode at any moment. And what do we do with them at school all day? Sit at this desk. Keep your voice down. Focus on your paper.
Heck, as adults, its hard to stay focused in front of a computer for an entire workday. There is a reason the "chats around the water cooler" trope exists: because people need breaks. You need to stretch your legs, move around, and get the blood flowing, but for kids that need is intensified exponentially.
When my son was displaying hyperactivity I was concerned that his doctor would recommend ADHD medication. There is nothing wrong with medication, but as he was only five years old, I didn't think that it was the best option for our family. I began researching, and the more I researched, the more I saw the same thing pop up over and over.
Exercise. Before school. After school. Organized or unorganized. Exercise balances the hormones that are overstimulated in the hyperactive mind. The later in life that you incorporate daily exercise into your routine, the harder it is to do so. Getting kids started right now, is key.
Defense #3) A Full Educational Toolbox
Not a literal one. We aren't talking about a pencil box and glitter glue. We are talking about arming your child with the support they need, before they need it. For Book Bros purposes, we are talking about study help.
Your kid will be in school a long time. If they finish high school, thats 12 years. If they continue on to higher education, you can tack another 2-10 (or more) onto that. It is important that they enter into each new learning opportunity with confidence, and an ace up their sleeve. That ace is a highly trained tutor waiting in the wings to monitor their progress, identify strengths and weaknesses, and get ahead of problems before they become too big to easily squash.
There are many other ways to prepare your kids for success. Maintaining a calm and stable home environment, making sure to continually educate yourself on how to tackle parenting obstacles, providing your kids with easily accessible mental health professionals, the list goes on. But we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if you focus on the three items listed above, your child will be ready for the balanced and happy life you pictured for them from the day you brought them home.