7 Tips for Helping Children Develop Healthy Habits
By definition, habits are small actions we perform routinely, but they go a long way because, over time, they become a part of the routine and make up our personality or may even represent who we are.
Therefore guardians must realize the importance of instilling healthy habits in their children early on in life. But when do we know the habit is healthy?
Looking at your child’s mental wellness, alertness, physical well-being, and overall positive outcome in all aspects of life are what we call the result of healthy and good habits.
Indeed, developing good habits is not a piece of cake, as it is hard to remain consistent on a specific pattern of actions with no immediate results. Therefore an easier approach towards this would be setting small and doable daily goals.
Keeping track of these actions will help one with a consistent pattern and encourage them to keep going! With that said, here are some tips that we think may help your child develop the healthiest of habits;
1. Emotionally Supported:
When parents are emotionally present for their children, it creates a safe space for them to grow and confide in. The feeling of being heard positively impacts their health to great extents, and they naturally start listening back to their role models, i.e., their parents!
They will be mindful of their actions and outcomes, refraining from bad habits. When they aren’t understood emotionally, they tend to get rid of their emotions by adapting to harmful habits like drugs, alcohol, and crimes.
This has become a social issue on quite a big scale. But at the same time, it is also manageable due to the many rehab centers like Delphi Behavioral Health, which focuses on enabling the children to participate in all daily activities while treating them with compassion.
2. Engaging in Physical Activities:
Regular exercise or physical sport is an effective stress reliever and health regulator. Encouraging children to make it part of their daily routine is as essential as focusing on their eating habits alone.
Although every child is different and may prefer one type of sport over the other, i.e., swimming over running or basketball over soccer, the main motive is to teach them the importance of an active and healthy lifestyle.
One of the effective ways would be to introduce them to small physical activities like a short walk in the park or a healthy soccer match. Watching live sports together could also be one of the ways to interest children.
3. Balanced Diet:
There is no doubt that nutrition is the top priority for child development and health, as healthy foods supply the energy kids need to function and grow to their full potential.
It is crucial to instill in them the habit of a balanced diet, a diet containing all the nutrition in amounts as per the need of the body. One of the ways to do this is to make your children eat all the different foods like vegetables, fruits, and meats, so they develop a taste for it all from childhood.
4. Make the Foods Neutral:
No food should be designated as the food of reward or punishment as this will build a biased image in their minds for every specific food. This leads to the formation of an unhealthy relationship with food.
This may also lead to them skipping important nutritious food or binge eating the rewarded food such as cookies or chocolates.
5. Promote Good Hygiene:
When you stay healthy, you are safe! Instilling the habit of hand washing, regular bathing, and teeth brushing is as important as any other part of upbringing.
Similarly, small actions like covering their mouth while sneezing and coughing, wearing clean clothes, and disposing of the trash- these all habits go a very long way, especially when the child starts socializing and moving in society. This will teach them to always take care of themselves inside and out.
6. Limit Screen Time:
In this revolutionizing world where digital gadgets have taken over our lives, it is tough to keep ourselves away from screens, let alone keep them out of our children’s reach.
A scientific study by the American heart association says smartphones, tablets, TVs, and other screen-based devices make kids more sedentary, leading to obesity. Therefore limiting their screen time is very crucial, especially at young ages.
Try to engage them in more interactive tasks, promoting book reading, solving puzzles, gardening, and other activities that would naturally reduce their interest in gadgets.
7. Embracing the Spirit of Family:
We strongly believe that family dynamics are one of the most critical factors influencing mental health and, subsequently, children’s physical health. While growing up, if the child looks at positive, loving, and progressive surroundings, it gives more space to grow in the same positive life patterns with healthy eating, thinking, creativity and refraining from bad habits.
There is a study showing that children from broken families have a higher tendency to fall into rather unacceptable societal norms. Family closeness, flexible parenting, a supportive home environment, and mind-stimulating activities impact children while they are growing up.
These are only a few tips to help you develop healthy habits in your child. However, the main factor here is CONSISTENCY. If the action is not repeated, it will not be able to make any difference, no matter how good or impactful it might be.
It will only instill in the child if they are reminded of it now and then. Children learn the best from no one but the role models right in front of them, their parents. To teach them good habits, you need to make sure you are practicing them all thoroughly.