When your child decides to take a year-long break from academics, you don’t have to get upset or mad at them. There must be a valid reason they want to take a gap year.
Often, students who take a gap year are uncertain about what they should do the following year. The best thing to do is to support them in whatever they want to do. You can give them a list of activities that they can do for the year. Before making any assumptions about why they want to take a break, ask them and be open. It is their choice to take a gap year, so be a good parent and support them. Taking a gap year has been an option for students who want to find more meaning in their lives.
Here are some ways you can help your child while they are not studying:
- Expose Them to the Arts
You can bring them to various art museums, galleries, and exhibits. They might find their inner creativity by looking at magnificent artworks made by classical and contemporary artists. You can also expose them to an art camp where they can learn various art media that they can use. They can be inspired by many visual arts like painting, sculpture, architecture, and photography. These visual arts have a lot of branches that they can dive into.
- Immerse Them in Volunteer Work
They can volunteer at retirement homes, homeless shelters, libraries, youth ministries, religious organizations, and libraries. They have a variety of activities that your child can try not to be too bored staying at home. You can allow them to choose where they can volunteer.
You can even enroll them in a dental assisting program to learn a skill they can utilize when they do volunteer work out of the country. This is an excellent way for them to realize that people need their help in other countries.
- Learn a New Language Together
If your child is fascinated with other languages, it will be a great idea to enroll them in a foreign language class. Also, you can accompany them and learn a different language too. This will create a bonding that only the two of you will share. They can also use this as leverage when they start studying for college as there are degrees that might require units in foreign languages.
- Let Them Try Yoga or Tai Chi
Yoga and tai chi are both considered as workouts or exercises that can strengthen the upper and lower limbs, the core, and your concentration. You can let them enroll in yoga classes and just allow them to enjoy. Though some might think it is only suitable for adults in their late 40s to 60s, tai chi classes are a great strengthening workout for the limbs. This will also teach them to concentrate and find their focus.
- Encourage Them to Play Sports
If your child has a particular sport that they are good at, encourage them to try out for it in the local league. They can choose to excel in that sport and use it to get into their dream university. If they are not exposed to any sport, you can let them try a new one. Archery, wall or rock climbing, surfing, and mixed martial arts are a few examples of sports they can try while waiting out the year.
- Allow Them to Dance
If you see that your child’s strength is in dancing, permit them to enroll in a dancing class to learn the proper techniques in the dance field that they like. You may also allow them to take part in a local dance group that performs in your community. This way, your child will develop confidence while they perform in front of a crowd. This will also boost their self-esteem, and they can also meet new friends.
- Take Them on a Road Trip Across the Country
Traveling is one of the best breaks from a boring routine. This is the best way to refresh that tired soul. You can choose to make stops at various states, visit famous diners, and see some wonderful places while on the road. This will also help you and your child clear your minds.
- Introduce the Art of Mixed Media
When you speak of mixed media, you refer to television, radio, and film production. You can expose them to various film genres and television production setups. You may also bring them to the local radio station and let them apply for a position. This will bring out the creativity in them, especially if they are inclined to movie production.
- Take Them Abroad
You can support your child by showing them a different culture from a different country. Take them to one of the famous heritage sites around the world. Let them taste and eat the local cuisine available in the country you are going to visit. Let them explore various destinations in the country you are visiting. This will give them something to look forward to when they are earning on their own.
If your child is the type who would rather stay at home, cook for the family, clean the house, or read a good novel, they support them. This way, they will know that you have their backs with whatever decision they will have for their life. Let them express themselves the way that they want to be treated. This is the best support that you can give them.
It is amazing to know that a gap year can give your child many insights and inspiration. They will enjoy this year without getting too much pressure from you because of your high expectations from them. Be the supportive parent and allow them to be comfortable. This will make them more mature and confident in whatever endeavor they will face in the future.