Today’s parent has a lot of responsibility as their little people grow up. From the things we say to them to the things that we teach them, it all makes a difference in their lives; for better or for worse. And one thing that we can do as today’s parent is help children to develop healthy habits early in life. This is is something that will help them to have some lifelong benefits. As a parent, if you are able to encourage your children to learn some good habits, from things like social skills and good manners, as well as help them to think about things like their food choices and how active they are.
As we all know, it takes time for something to become a habit, so we do need to make sure that we are patient with our children. If you are repeating behaviours, actions, and emphasising the expectations that you have, as often as you can, then it will help your children to learn and keep those things going as they become a habit and part of all of your lifestyle. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get started.
Be a Role Model
One of the greatest things that today’s parent can do to develop a good habit for their children is by setting a positive example in their lives. You don’t need to be perfect at all, so don’t put yourself under that pressure. But our children do learn by watching what you do and the habits and behaviours that you have. So as a result, it becomes important for you to show the best you so that your children can do the same.
It is never too early to start thinking about and choosing the good habits that you want your children to have. Take some time to encourage your children to have and use phrases like Thank you and Excuse Me, in their vocabulary. If you are able to teach them phrases like this, then from a young age, it will help them to make those words and phrases part of their everyday life and lifestyle. And what is cuter that a little kid with manners?
Being active and taking part in physical activity might be something that doesn’t feature that high on your agenda, but it needs to be, especially if you want your children to be active as they grow up. And being active is definitely more than just taking part in team sports. Physical activity can include anything from everyday activities like walking the dog, gardening, playing outside, and even household chores.
Children spend so much time in front of a screen these days, at home as well as at school, so having something planned into their day that gets them moving is so important. And for children that aren’t very active, it can be detrimental, leading to things like a higher risk of developing diseases. The key is having fun, so it shouldn’t be forced. Find something that they will enjoy doing, and it will make such a difference. Plus, making it part of their everyday life now, will help it to be part of their everyday life as they grow up and move on and move out, setting them up for life.
Money and Finances
Money and finances are part of all of our lives, and you might think that we should just let kids be kids and not talk to them about this kind of thing. But really, if you are able to make it part of normal life and conversation, then it can make such a difference growing up. If they understand the value of money as well, that can make such a difference as they won’t expect things as much and they will realise that you need to work for what you have. Young children could help when you go shopping, help add things up, and count change, as well as asking them how much things costs as they come along to the shops with you.
Teaching children to be savvy with money is a good idea too; do they know how to spot a good deal? Then, when they are old enough to make decisions for themselves, they would be likely to see things like the SMARTY student SIM and see why that might be a good idea over another option, for example. So keep the conversation around money and finances open. Make it age appropriate, of course, but it does and will make a difference.
Set Strong Ground Rules
As a parent, if you want to give yourself any chance of success, then you need to make sure that you have some rules in place for your children. Seriously, without any rules, they will just rule the roost. If you don’t have any in place, then now is the time to put things into place. Make a routine, reward charts if appropriate, or perhaps even a time table. For things like screen time, you could set some specific hours for when that is allowed, for example. Of course, some flexibility will be needed, because children are children. But having rules can be a good thing to help in both physical and mental development.
Reward Your Child
If you want to see good behaviour being repeated, then it can be a good idea to make sure that you make a fuss of them doing good things and reward them for it. This will help to keep children motivated, and will help them to keep going with their best behaviour. You do need to be careful about the things that you choose to reward your children with, though.
If you choose things that are more materialistic, like chocolates or more time playing computer games, then it can be tricky as you go on. If you can, look for other things to do, like making intangible rewards, such as a hug, time with just mummy or daddy, and so on (whatever will work best for your children). Good experiences are a good idea for a reward too, such as days out and trips to fun places like parks and farms. Doing this will help them learn and understand that happiness does lie in enriching experiences, rather than just physical things that they can hold and worldly possessions.
Above are just some small ways today’s parent can help to instil good habits for children which will give them solid building blocks for life. How do you try to encourage good habits in your children? Do share in a comment below.
*This is a collaborative post