This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Florida KidCare. However, all opinions are my own.
My son has big dreams for himself and for making the world a better place. I couldn’t be prouder and I want to support, encourage, and help him accomplish those dreams. We all want our kids to flourish in school, in sports and in life.
Kids have big dreams and as parents, we want to ensure that we are giving them all the tools they need to succeed. Here are five things you can do to help your child reach their full potential!
Focus on Health
Healthy kids are more productive at school, in sports and other things they are passionate about. From good nutrition and exercise to ensuring your kids have quality preventive health care, keeping your kids healthy helps them be more successful at school and in life. Eating healthy, exercising regularly, and ensuring your kids are going to their pediatrician for check-ups and vaccinations are just a few examples of ways you can ensure they stay healthy. The right preventive care at every stage helps your kids stay healthy, avoid or delay the onset of disease and keeps conditions they already have from becoming worse or debilitating.
Did you know that the Florida KidCare program offers free and affordable health and dental insurance for children from birth through 18 years of age — with no application fee? Through Florida KidCare coverage, your child has access to private, quality health and dental providers. My kids were on Florida KidCare insurance for over 5 years and we just loved all of the providers, we still have the same doctors now that we have insurance through my work. With year-round enrollment and an easy, free application, the time to apply for Florida KidCare is always now!
Expose Kids to Different Experiences
Encouraging your child to explore and try new things helps them find new talents, which in turn develops new skills that will be valuable for the rest of their lives. Present to them a variety of extra-curricular activities, sports and classes, encourage new hobbies and be supportive and helpful as they find things they are passionate about. From science, math or music camps to joining the robotics team at school or participating in a play, experiencing different things allows kids not only to grow intellectually but also emotionally, since they can interact with other kids who share their passions.
Open Up Their World Through Travel
My daughter has autism and some motor challenges and school can sometimes be very difficult for her. A couple of years ago her grades went up dramatically and when we met with her teachers to discuss her progress they all agreed that traveling earlier that year was having a very positive impact on her learning because she was able to put into context things she was learning in books at school. Research has shown that kids who travel not only improved academic performance but also enjoy school more and have a greater connection to the world.
Traveling not only teaches kids about history, architecture and geography first hand but, most importantly, introduces them to new things, cultures and people broadening their horizons and sparking their curiosity and sense of exploration. Traveling to other countries and states also teaches children first-hand about differences and how celebrating those differences enriches our lives and our worlds. Traveling with your kids also gives you the opportunity to spend quality time together, boosting their self-esteem and creating happy memories that will last them a lifetime and inspire them.
Teach them the Importance of Hard Work
Help your child understand the value of hard work. Instead of focusing on grades, encourage children to do their best work and praise them for working hard, which will help your child develop a “growth mindset”. Instead of just focusing on a child getting top marks, compliment the hours of studying and time spent working on assignments.
Teaching children to be independent and self-sufficient will help them succeed in everything they do. Give your kids opportunities to make their own decisions and show confidence in their capabilities while providing guidance and support. It’s important that kids learn to be responsible and are also held accountable for their own failures and mistakes. This will not only help them learn from those failures and grow, but it will also teach them to take responsibility for their actions.
As my kids get older I encourage them to solve problems by themselves from talking to their teacher about missed homework and figuring out how to build things on their own to finding answers by researching on the internet. To help them find solutions, teach them to first identify what the problem is, then come up with solutions and analyze the solutions before trying them out to see what works best. Learning how to face problems and deal with consequences is an invaluable life skill.
Find A Balance Between Work and Play
No matter what their age, play is important for kids. Be sure to find a balance between afterschool activities, chores, homework and free time. Overscheduling your children’s time can overwhelm them. Helping your child prioritize what’s more important to them ensures they don’t get stressed and teaches them about decision making. Leaving room for free time will provide them not only with the opportunity to relax and think, which is important, but also help them work on their organization and time management skills which are crucial for succeeding in anything in life.
Playing independently or with other children lets kids explore and feed their passions, develop new skills and interests, and teaches them about decision making, problem-solving, self-control and independence.
About Florida KidCare
Florida KidCare exists to increase the number of insured Florida children and assure they have access to quality health and dental care. All Florida KidCare program benefits include doctor visits, check-ups, hospital stays, surgeries, immunizations, prescriptions, emergencies, vision and hearing, dental, mental health services and more. Through Florida KidCare, some children will qualify for completely free coverage with Medicaid. Most families pay nothing at all for coverage, and many families pay just $15 or $20 a month.
It’s important to mention that your child can have access to free or affordable health insurance regardless of your immigration status. A parent’s immigration status is never asked during the Florida KidCare application, nor is it part of eligibility for a child. If your child doesn’t have insurance – don’t wait, apply now!