Whether your anxious child is heading into summer vacation, winter break or even an extended weekend, you can’t go wrong by having him or her help out with chores around the house. In fact, your child doesn’t need time off from school to reap the benefits chores can bring both you and your child.
One of the most obvious benefits for you may be getting some help with the household duties, but it’s certainly not the only one. Giving your anxious child a number of constructive tasks can bring on big rewards.
School has become more or less the end-all for gauging a child’s aptitude and skills, which can be a detriment for anxious children who struggle through subjects or don’t perform well in an academic environment.
Giving those children the opportunity to perform exceptionally around the house by helping with the grocery shopping, gardening or household cleaning provides a chance to show they can excel in a number of areas beyond the classroom.
Any type of physical activity releases endorphins, aptly known as the “feel good” chemicals that give the body and brain a boost. Yes, vacuuming the house counts, as does weeding the flowerbeds, raking the lawn, washing the car or other manual labor that gets the body moving.
Getting a sweet night’s sleep can tough if the body isn’t physically tired. Arm anxious children with a host of physical tasks and they’ll be more apt to fall asleep the minute their heads hit the pillow. With up to six hours of physical labor each day, farmers easily get the greatest amount of sleep out of everyone in the U.S.
In addition to improving your anxious child’s sleep, manual labor can enhance his or her overall health. The human body was designed to be active, and it suffers greatly when it’s not.
Lack of physical activity can result in insomnia as well as high blood pressure, chronic pain, type 2 diabetes and increased levels of anxiety. Keeping the body active burns calories, builds muscles, improves flexibility and contributes to a fit and healthy physique.
Book learning can be incredibly boring learning. Learning solely by memorization instead of action can blunt the mind and diminish enthusiasm. Anxious children especially need to be actively engaged in the learning process, with hands-on activities that uses all of their senses.
Manual labor can help achieve just that, whether your anxious child is learning how to paint a mailbox, repair a fence or replant a geranium. The more your anxious child is actively engaged in learning, the more he or she will learn and the higher the enthusiasm for learning will become.
Bring Sense of Belonging
One more notable benefit of manual labor is the sense of belonging it can provide for your anxious child. All children need to feel they fit in somewhere, whether it’s with their classmates, their family or their community as a whole. The lineup of tasks you give your child can bolster the feeling of being needed – and being right where he or she belongs.