This week’s letter: what is uchore important for a child – spending time at home with their family or engaging in after school clubs and activities?
Our agony aunt Lulu has the answer:
Dear Lulu, What in your opinion is more important a child spending time with their family (doing not a lot) or going to clubs and activities with their peer group? Laura, Kentish Town
In my opinion, both are important so depending on your circumstances try when you can to strike a balance between the two.
On one hand, it’s good for our children to have lots of downtime with family.
This gives space for play, time to muck about, get bored and daydream too. In a busy world, it’s a vital time to disconnect and recharge.
Family life lessons come in the form of daily routines and shared home tasks and responsibilities, it’s the time when our children learn to be part of their family team and in doing so they build their self-esteem and identity giving them an all-important sense of belonging.
On the other hand, clubs and activities at school with their peer group are great in lots of different ways, they help enrich the day to day and develop and grow interests outside of a formal classroom setting.
It is also brilliant and healthy for our children to be brave and experience being part of a group outside of the home and their school.
My recommendation, depending on the age of your child, would be to help them to choose a weekly club like the Scouts or Brownies or perhaps a local sports team of their choice.
Joining a community outside of school and home can be a lot of fun it also helps our children grow in independence and learn to take safe risks this, in turn, builds their resilience.
One word of warning, keep choices as local as possible, that way everyone makes friends in the neighbourhood, the impact on valuable family time is smaller and walking or biking become the norm.
I hope this helps.