When we nurture a child’s whole being, we open doors to endless possibilities ~Susan Wright
Are you familiar with the concept of a well-balanced diet? Essentially saying that if you want to be healthy, there are foods you need to eat from all the food groups; meat, fish and beans for protein (building muscle); rice, bread or chapati for carbohydrates (energy); vegetables and fruits for vitamins (to protect from disease); milk, butter and cheese with calcium (for bone density). It is common knowledge that if you follow a nutritional diet, you’ll be healthy and grow stronger.
How About a Well-balanced Child?
There are many people who think that a child with a good future is best measured in their academic success; if a child gets straight A’s on their school reporting card, they will by default be “successful”. However, what if a child’s score in school was only one part of defining a well-balanced child? What types of measures would we look at to tell if our children were healthy, happy, and well-balanced?
It’s important to think about the well-being and development of all parts of a child, especially because these determine the future of our children more surely than top grades in school.
Does your daughter have a strong sense of who she is and what she is capable of? Does she eat well, take exercise and visit her physician regularly? Does she have healthy friendships and relationships with other children and adults? Does she solve problems and think critically about situations, looking for the best strategy for success? Does she understand what feelings are, know that it’s okay for her to feel mad or disappointed if a situation warrants it and stand up for herself? Does she practice empathy and patience with her friends and with herself? Is she freely creative, drawing and building, singing, dancing or writing? Is she encouraged to read for fun, to try out science experiments at home, to use her imagination?