6 Healthy Habits to Teach your Kids
Knowing how and what habits to teach your kids about can be a challenge. You’ve read a thousand blogs, bought every parenting book, and have scoured the endless pile of resources available for parents around the world. Sometimes, even with all of this information, you can find yourself lost in a sea of “do’s and don’t’s” that keeps you questioning your parenting skills in a constant loop.
Often, parents can get caught up in the endless list of things to try and start implementing, and it can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve compiled a simple list of six healthy habits to teach your kids. So, skip the stress and try these easy ways to help them develop and keep a positive atmosphere for them.
Limit Their Screen Time
One of the most challenging things about raising children and teens in a digital age is knowing when enough is enough. When their developing brains are exposed to hours of digital media every day, it can limit their understanding of healthy interaction with their devices.
One of the best things you can do is to lead by example. We know it can be hard to go from sixty to zero, especially once a routine has been formed. Instead, start small. Try going without screens for an hour or two each day. Encourage outdoor time, puzzles, arts and crafts, reading, or any other activity that gets their minds focused on something other than a tablet.
Enjoy Physical Activity
You don’t have to sign your child up for every available sport on the roster. Creating positive, fun ways to encourage activity, such as going on a bike ride or spending the day at the neighborhood pool, will help. Not every child is the same, and some won’t enjoy organized sports or group activities. That’s okay! As long as they are making more conscious efforts to stay active and healthy, you’re on the right track.
Read With Your Child
Taking time each day to read with your child has a number of benefits that help them not only create healthy habits but also to help their development as well. According to In The Book, these benefits include:
• Enhanced Concentration and Discipline
• Faster Development of Communication Skills
• Cultural Understandings
• Faster Development of Basic Speech Skills
• Higher Academic Performance
• Nurturing the Parent and Child Bond
• Enhanced Development of Senses
• And Conquering the fear of the Classroom
Parents who read with their children are helping them in numerous ways. Even though it might seem like a hassle at first, it can become a special, fun way to take time each day to slow down and be in the moment with your little ones.
Children, especially younger ones, are incredibly sensitive to our moods, attitudes, and behaviors. When we surround them with negativity and “can’t do” mindsets, we limit their potential for success and healthy development. Even though nobody is perfect, and you will have an off day or two, try to focus on the positive aspects of their behaviors and actions. If your child makes a huge mess while having an arts and crafts session, let them know how proud of them you are and give them praise, but that also share that learning to clean up their messes is a good skill to have. Trying fun things, such as a sticker board for chores and activities, can keep them motivated and encouraged.
Make Food Fun
Children respond to colors, shapes, and textures. If they are having mac n’ cheese for every meal, it isn’t exactly conducive for a healthy, positive understanding of food. Instead, try including bright colors such as apples, blueberries, carrots, or new textures and food groups to keep things interesting. Also, try to practice what you preach. If you’re encouraging your child to try a few new fruits or vegetables on their plate, join them! It will make mealtimes more fun with a little more color.
Starting the day off with a good breakfast is an essential healthy habit to teach your kids. Their little bodies need lots of protein and balanced foods to keep their development on track. Even though it may be tempting to grab them a cereal bar before rushing them off to school, try including some nutritious choices too. Foods like apples, peanut butter, yogurt, eggs, and oatmeal are great options to try.
The good news is that you don’t have to completely rearrange your family lifestyle to start teaching your kids healthy habits. Start with these few tips, and then get creative! You can add in different ideas, and soon enough, with enough practice, your kids will start implementing these habits that will set them up for success.