The environment of a child dictates their social and emotional foundation at a young age. What parents teach them, what they see or hear all play a vital role in the early perceptions, which may last well into their adult lives. Therefore, it is important that parents hone in good and healthy habits while they are still in their early childhood phase.
Habits dictate character formation, and good ones are important for nurturing children. Here are some habits to instill in a child for better development and growth.
Children probably love junk food and sweets more than anyone else. If parents constantly avail these foods to their children, they teach them that they are a healthy option. It is best to consider mainly advocating for healthy food during mealtimes and explain the importance of such an eating lifestyle.
Cooking especially can be a way to bond over the importance of different meals and opens them to healthier options of their favorite eat-out meal like pizza. Even when allowing some snacking, make it a point to show them why too much junk food is unhealthy.
Committing to regular mealtimes also helps a child know the best times for a meal. That routine prevents them from jumping to the fridge and eating any time they feel like it.
Look back to current parents growing up and look at their children's lifestyle. Notice a difference? One major difference is the prevalence of technological gadgets and forms of indoor entertainment.
While PC/PS games, mobile phone apps, cartoon shows may be a great source of enjoyment and relaxation, they don't offer enough physical and mental stimulation for the kids. A more beneficial way for them to enjoy themselves is getting involved in other physical activities or games with other children.
Not only is it a way to exercise, but it also helps them gain some social interaction with other kids. In-home entertainment involving them sitting down can cause children to sleep late, gain unhealthy weight, and be reclusive emotionally and socially.
Lack of sleep or improper sleeping habits can have detrimental effects on one’s mental and physical self. The same applies to children. For them, it is absolutely important they get not less than 8 hours of sleep. Creating a sleep routine for the whole family helps drill into them the importance of sleep.
Have times for getting into bed and out of bed, and build other routines around that. Some other habits one can attach to the sleeping routine are brushing upon waking up or using the bathroom before sleep.
Activities such as brushing one's teeth, taking baths, cleansing the face, or washing hands should come naturally for most people. Ensuring children prioritize their hygiene with these practices ensures they stay healthy and never skip cleaning. Other habits that may ensure high hygiene include
-Making them cut their nails once they grow
-Covering their mouths when sneezing or coughing
-Urging them always to carry a handkerchief
Providing food, shelter, clothes, fun, and protection for a child is not all that is important for them. As parents, we may underplay the value of emotional and mental health for children. Not understanding the complexities of life at a tender age doesn't exempt them from adapting traits that shape their mental and emotional beings.
One great way to ensure positive mental and emotional health is parent availability and communication. Having family time at least once each week for family entertainment and talks can strengthen parent-child bonds. Reading together is a great way to do this since literacy is one of the most important things a child needs to know how to do to succeed as an adult. If your child struggles with reading and literacy, then enroll them in training that has an Orton Gillingham certification so they don’t fall behind their peers and fail to meet their potential.
In addition, it also fosters communication and a sense of belonging to the child. Parents may lead conversations into sensitive topics during family times or explain issues that the children may have not quite understood but been part of.
Good habits may take time to be part of a child’s life fully, so always be there to guide them or watch their progress. Patience and having an understanding character are also important during these times.