We’ve all been taught the value of diligent studying; however, striking a balance between the demands of education and living a fulfilled life is an underestimated key to success. That’s why it’s fundamental that your child has the ability to balance their studies with energising and enriching activities to keep them motivated, happy and healthy.
But what is balance, and is it even possible to achieve?
We each have unique temperaments, capabilities and needs, which means the definition of a balanced lifestyle will vary greatly person-to-person. And the truth is, learning to balance life with study/work is very often a life-long process for both children and adults alike. So, where should we begin?
Christine Wan, co-owner of C3, says that a child’s attitude towards life and learning significantly shapes how they manage both.
“We’re always encouraging the children we tutor to approach the work that they have with a positive and growth-oriented mindset,” she explains.
The concept of a growth mindset was developed by renowned academic and psychologist, Carol Dweck. Her research identified that people who believe that their capacities and talents can be improved over time are more likely to put in the effort to achieve their goals than those with a fixed mindset, who believe their intelligence is static.
“The outcome of having limited beliefs is limited abilities, irrespective of the skill set that child has,” Christine notes.
Children who embrace a growth mindset in both their academic and personal lives therefore demonstrate greater resilience and adaptability when encountering challenges in either area.
This holistic perspective allows them to lead more balanced lives – even if their daily schedule remains jam-packed – as they have the internal resources to approach each day with confidence and a sense of capability.
Showing up to success
Many children juggle multiple extra-curricular activities and have a fear of missing out. While there are only so many hours in a day, Christine observes that children who take real ownership of their commitments seem to flourish most.
“Regardless if you’re just doing that one activity or you’ve got ten activities after school, get the right mindset in place so that you’re showing up to each activity and your exercise will be of value to you, and you alone,” Christine enthuses.
Again, getting a child to take a more active role in their commitments might mean addressing their thought patterns. For example, Christine shares that when she taught English Literature she helped students see the mandatory readings as tools brimming with life lessons, rather than just a course requirement.
“A lot of students that I taught really got a lot out of it and they could see the value in what having good literacy skills means to them across the board. Everything is what you make of it,” she says.
A useful time management tool
An effective time management strategy to create life-study balance involves having your child create a detailed timetable of their life that allocates time to every aspect of their day, including rest.
“It’s an accountability tracker. And it’s very much geared towards setting realistic expectations,” Christine explains.
There are only so many hours in a day, after all. But this fact is sometimes overlooked by students who set overly ambitious goals for themselves; like studying for 5 hours each evening without factoring in food, sleep and travel time.
“They need down time, you know. They need to actually sit in front of the TV and zone out for half an hour, or spend an hour enjoying a meal,” Christine says.
Penciling in enjoyable and restful activities is an essential form of self-care that increases a child’s overall resilience and safeguards them against burnout. Plus, they’ll avoid letting themselves down due to poor time management.
“When you fall short of a goal that you set, it affects your mindset, which then affects your belief that you can do it. Because in your mind, you’ve already failed that task for the day,” Christine explains.
Get started today by downloading our free timetable template.
Approaching life and study with the right mindset – one geared around growth and positivity – goes a long way in students’ ability to create balance. Encouraging your child to actively participate in their extracurricular activities and studies, providing them with effective time management tools, and ensuring they make time for rest will contribute to their thriving and lead to a balanced life.