We often talk about the value of people being well-rounded. We love meeting people who can do many things, and glorify some level of self-sufficiency. College students are commonly shamed for being unable to whip up a meal and an essay equally well. We see how important it is to be well-rounded as people enter adulthood, but how many of us intentionally foster that in our children? Here are a few ways to raise your children to become well-rounded adults!
1. Encourage special skills and unique interests
Encourage your children to try out extracurriculars, whether that is music, martial arts, a new language, or anything else that may interest them! Even if they don’t stay with it, the experience will help them grow. Allowing them to transition between activities also teaches them that it is safe to try new things! Some extracurriculars, like music lessons, can help children improve academic skills, learn self-discipline, and introduce children to other cultures. As they try different things, they may decide to stick with a few things, or try many. Whenever possible, allow them that flexibility to choose and experiment!
2. Encourage your children to read a variety of books
Reading not only broadens the imagination, but helps with more straightforward skills that are necessary for success in school, such as improved concentration. Reading a variety of books will also broaden their vocabulary, and help them develop an accepting and well-informed view of other cultures as they see things through a different story’s lens. When your child can explore other stories and other people’s lives through reading a book, they will be able to have a better understanding of the world and people around them. This gives them more learning opportunities and helps them become more well-rounded in their view of the world.
3. Learn about how they learn
Each child tends to learn things a little differently than other members of their class or family. Many educators try to narrow these differences in learning to a few styles, assessing them with VARK tests. VARK stands for Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing, and Kinesthetic. Take the time to figure out how your child is learning best early on, and as you help them with homework or learning basic skills you will be able to help them develop the skills they need in a way that is best for them. As they get older, teach them about how they learn and how they can use that to better understand the world around them!
Now, you are ready to work with your child, work with them as they learn, and help them become a well-rounded person!