by Suzie Wilson
Helping your children create healthy habits isn’t always easy, especially as they get older and fall under the influence of their friends. However, starting at an early age can help them make better decisions over time, from choosing good foods to avoiding drugs and alcohol. You can start by setting a solid example, as well as looking for ways to encourage positive behavior with incentives and rewards. It can also be helpful to find the right daytime or after-school care for your child, which is where Love Certified Child Care comes in. Knowing your little one is in good hands will give you peace of mind as you begin teaching the importance of physical and mental health. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
Communication with your child is crucial if you want to help them become all they can be. Make it a point to sit down and talk about their goals, dreams, or just about what they did that day. Show them you’re listening by taking an active interest in something they enjoy and encouraging them to pursue a hobby or subject that they might want to turn into a career someday. You can even become a great role model by going back to school to earn a degree in elementary education. With so many online programs available now, you can learn from home while still working and taking care of your family, all while showing your child that they can achieve anything they set their mind to.
Teach them life skills
Talking to your child about their goals is important, but it’s just as important to teach them life skills that will take them through adulthood. Managing money, cooking, and cleaning up after themselves are three great examples of skills that will help young people for years to come. Talk to them about how to keep a home clean (and let them help with chores), why clutter is bad, and why it’s important to keep healthy foods on hand. Show them how to create a positive living space by adding live plants to each room, freshening things up by opening the windows, and adding filtered water to the fridge. Take them shopping with you so they can benefit from learning how to work from a list and a budget, especially when it comes to buying organic or healthy items. These are all great ways to teach healthy habits at an early age.
Give them a healthy relationship with food
Even if you keep good foods on hand at home, it can be tricky to teach kids how to eat right and nourish their bodies. It’s important to give them lots of choices when they’re young, especially when it comes to fruits and veggies, so they can experiment and figure out what they like. Allowing them to shop for groceries and help prepare meals is a great way to open up the conversation about eating right, and it will also give them a sense of control over what they’re eating, which can be important to kids. You can also set a positive example by trying new things and eating a variety of healthy foods.
Start a conversation about peer pressure
Even for young children, the pressure to wear, say, and do the “right” things around friends can be overwhelming at times. When you’re having conversations about healthy habits, don’t be afraid to bring up the topic of peer pressure and how to avoid the temptation that can come with it. Keeping an open dialogue with your child can help them develop trust, which will lead to them coming to you with any issues they have down the road.
Developing healthy habits with your child is a great way to help them find value in themselves, so join in and become a positive role model as much as possible. By starting at an early age, you can set your child up for success.