Parenting Tips: Finding a Balance Between Play & Study Time for Your Child

As a parent, it’s natural to want the best for your child, aiming to set them up for success in their academic and professional endeavours. However, this ambition often places a heavy emphasis on studies, which, while beneficial, can also lead to excessive stress and overshadow the equally vital playtime essential for your child's holistic development.

This concern was captured in Channel NewsAsia’s (CNA) documentary “Regardless of Grades”, where Caleb Chen, a former primary six student, shared his frustration at being pushed too hard academically by his mother, as he felt he should still have enough playtime.

Such a situation points out the challenges of parenting in Singapore, highlighting the need for parents to foster a healthy balance between play and study time.

To learn more, we’ve gathered a few parenting tips on how to discipline a child effectively without compromising their need for play to ensure a balanced and happy development.

Understanding the Need for a Healthy Balance of Play & Study Time 

Engaging in play does more than entertain; it helps your child develop critical cognitive skills such as creativity, problem-solving, and adaptability. It also offers emotional benefits, relieving stress and helping build social skills in a way that structured learning often does not.

Notably, a social experiment conducted by CNA involving primary five and six students across Singapore revealed that their biggest source of stress was their parents. Excessive academic demands can significantly strain your child, potentially leading to mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts.

While good academic results are important, they should not come at the expense of your child's mental and emotional health.

Achieving a healthy balance between structured study and playful learning is essential to safeguard your child's well-being and build a stronger parent-child bond.

Parenting Tips for Balancing Play and Study Time

Here are effective ways to ensure a healthy, balanced approach to your child's education and playtime:

1. Establish Clear Routines

Set specific times for study and play to create a structured schedule. Knowing their day includes balanced time for both activities, your child can focus more effectively during study sessions. They're aware that there's always time set aside for play, which encourages them to focus and engage with their studies first.

2. Adapt to Your Child’s Needs

While routines are beneficial, be sure to also allow for flexibility. This means that if your child shows signs of stress and fatigue, consider reducing structured study time or allowing just a bit more play time to help them recharge and prevent academic burnout. Monitor the impact and adjust as necessary.

Remember, do prioritise the quality of their study session, not the duration. Extended study hours won't be productive if they're not in the right state of mind.

3. Incorporate Playful Learning

Blend educational content with play. This could include problem-solving games or puzzles that enhance critical thinking. Playful, educational activities reduce the pressure associated with learning.

4. Communicate Openly

Regularly discuss with your child how they feel about their school work and study schedule. This dialogue will help you understand their pressures and enable you to make necessary adjustments.

5. Utilise Tuition Centres Wisely

Enrolling your child in tuition classes can provide a structured study space where they complete most of their academic work. This allows your child to enjoy leisure time at home, ensuring their living space remains a stress-free sanctuary.

Collaborative Efforts in Achieving a Healthy Balance

Fostering a healthy balance for your child requires a joint effort between you and their educational support team.

While school teachers may not always be able to tailor their teaching approaches for your child, partnering with experienced tutors from Ministry of Education (MOE) approved tuition centres like illum.e allows for additional professional yet more personalised academic support for them.

For instance, a tutor might identify that your child benefits from kinesthetic learning—learning by doing. They could introduce hands-on experiments or interactive Maths games during sessions to cater to this style, making it more fun and digestible for them.

At home, you could support their learning style by arranging real-world applications of the concepts, like cooking to practise measurements or engaging in crafts to explore spatial relationships and symmetry.

Such collaboration enables your child to receive more productive learning experiences, leaving them with ample time to play after each study session.

Commit to a Balanced Approach in Your Child's Education

Embrace the journey of nurturing your child’s growth by ensuring a healthy balance between academic pursuits and playful exploration. Whether through Maths or Primary School English tuition, find the right approach that fosters both their learning and leisure.

Encourage growth and joy in your child's education—register with illum.e today.