"I want to put my kids in the best possible situation to succeed and be happy." A worthy pursuit and a familiar parental refrain. The idea of that big goal can be overwhelming and frustrating at times but just any other big goal, we need to prioritize and take action. So we start with the basics of safety, healthy foods/lifestyle, financial responsibility, and reading habits (WIP), from there a popular thought is to expose kids to various activities and see what they like and are good at...
Here's one for mind, one for body that we have taken action on to help develop healthy, active, hopefully life long habits.
PLAY CHESS. The benefits are well documented. Discipline, Patience, Math Skills, Memory, Strategize, Analyze, Sportsmanship, etc. I certainly could have used a bit more exposure to those skills early on!
Our son received a "Rivals" chess set (Red Sox/Yankees) for an early birthday which made it interesting enough to pique his young curiosity. A few after school chess classes with their friends and it was off to the races! You can play chess when you're 100 and derive benefits today.
RUN! (or walk)We have always enjoyed this activity as a family, since the kids were babies in the double jogging stroller. Recently, our son ran a 5k with one of his soccer buddies. They ran 3.1 miles in 24 minutes! They loved the race environment (music, the crowd, the race T-shirt, and especially the free food and goodies after the race!) Two days after the race he asked me, "Dad, is there another 5k race this weekend? Sign me up." You never know what will stick.
There is plenty left to explore (languages to gardening, the list is endless) but we need to start somewhere. What are some things you have done to get your kids off to a great start?