Parents have a big role to play when it comes to their children’s lives. You are not only obliged to provide for their needs. You are also responsible for making sure they develop healthy habits early on to boost their chances of growing into healthy and well-adjusted adults.
The tricky part of parenting is instilling good and healthy habits in your kids. You work hard to provide for their needs while juggling childcare. Sometimes, you are already unknowingly showing them the opposite of what you preach.
To help new parents navigate such a stressful task, here are some do’s don’t s you can consider keeping in mind:
Do Lead by Example
Children learn best by observing instead of listening. They easily get distracted by their surroundings, prompting them to only hear what you tell them but not actually digesting what you are teaching them. The best way to help kids adopt healthy habits is by starting early and showing them how it is done.
When you wake up in the morning, show kids the best ways to start the day. Show and help them how to make the bed, attend to personal grooming, and eat a healthy breakfast without using your gadgets.
Show kids that exercise can be fun. Introduce them to different sports and allow them to choose their own physical activities. Forcing them to like a specific activity will only make them dislike the activity more.
At least two hours before bedtime, stop using your gadgets and ask your kids to do the same. Telling them the effects of too much gadget use and cutting your gadget dependence will make it easier for them to adopt such a habit. Show them that you are willing to rest and sleep when you need to so you can teach them to do the same.
Don’t Forget to Establish Good Sleep Hygiene
Kids who lack sleep often end up restless and cranky the next day. This can lead to poor concentration and the inability to perform well when playing or learning. If you want to keep them healthy, make sure they get enough sleep each day.
One way to do this is to establish healthy sleep hygiene. Set a bedtime routine that will enable them to enjoy enough rest and sleep through the night. Consider the following tips to help kids adopt good sleep hygiene.
- Remove distractions in their room
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule
- Tell kids to only use their bed for sleeping
- Ensure they have a clean and cozy room to sleep in
- Exercise relaxing activities before bedtime
- Teach kids relaxing activities like deep breathing exercises
- Let them play and tire themselves in the morning and afternoon
- Keep their afternoon naps early and short
- Allow them to enjoy natural light during the day
Do Introduce Healthcare Professionals Early
Many kids are afraid of the hospitals and dental clinics One reason is that their parents use doctors and dentists to sometimes scare their kids. This is a big no-no as these professionals play a huge role in your children’s health.
As much as possible, introduce healthcare professionals to your kids early on. They may already be familiar with kid’s doctors, thanks to their regular visits to their pediatric doctor’s clinic. But it is crucial that we teach them not to fear healthcare experts as they intend to help kids maintain health and wellness.
Only taking the kids to their doctor or dentist when they are sick will only instill fear in their tiny minds. Ensure to bring them to their regular appointments even if it is just for a regular checkup or their semi-annual dental clinic. This will give them enough exposure and give them the confidence to prioritize their health as they grow older.
Don’t Forget to Get the Whole Family Involved
It is crucial that everyone in the family practice healthy habits to entice kids to do the same. Make use of mealtimes as a great time for bonding with the whole family. Invest in a family date night at least once a week where everyone gets to enjoy family activities everyone finds interesting.
When out running errands, take the kids with you. Even if it is just to walk the dog, allow kids to take part and allow them to burn their extra energy. When it is time to go grocery shopping, ask the kids to help you grab some healthy food items and allow them to choose some of their healthy snacks on their own.
Make sure you provide the kids with positive and engaging family life. This will make them feel happier, healthier, and safe. This will foster a happy and supportive family environment they can lean on.
Raising kids who are into healthy living is not easy. There are many variables involved and a lot of adjustments to make. But by starting early and getting the family involved, such a goal is never impossible.