Encouraging Healthy Habits at a Young Age


It’s been said before that “parenting doesn’t come with a handbook!” And most parents know that if it did come with a handbook, said handbook would be at least 16 volumes of 1,000 pages each. There seem to be so many things that you have to balance, keep track of, and juggle all at once when you’re raising your child. Are they eating well? Being nice to others? Keeping up in school? Doing all of their chores? Those are only a few of the thousands of questions that parents need to answer every single day.

One of the many things that parents need to do is to encourage their kids to develop healthy habits. When kids learn something when they are young, they tend to stick with it. Children’s minds are impressionable, and when parents use that to teach their children healthy habits, they always thank themselves later when their child has made those productive things a part of their daily lives. When it comes down to it, teaching children good habits is mostly about consistency, positive reinforcement, and the superhuman amount of patience that parents develop along the way. In an effort to help new parents navigate the neverending adventure of parenting, here is a list of a few habits that you can easily teach your children to do at a young age.


Physical Hygiene
Practicing good physical hygiene is very important for our social, mental, emotional, and physical health. When children are little, it can be challenging to understand the benefits of doing all of the small things that they find annoying. However, if you lead by example and consistently help your child bathe, shower, brush their teeth, and do all of those other small but important tasks, they’ll pick up on them. And if you explain to them why you take the time to do all of those things, they’ll soon realize the importance of doing them, and they will carry those lessons and habits with them throughout their whole lives.


Limiting Screen Time
In this age of technology, spending hours a day in front of screens has become a popular thing to do. However, research has been done that suggests spending too much time in front of screens can be damaging to overall wellness—especially when we’re young. Parents play a fundamental role in teaching their children how much time is appropriate to spend looking at screens and when to call it quits. If you lead by example and make an effort only to use screens in healthy ways that improve your daily life, your kids will follow suit and will be much less likely to fall victim to social media addiction and other unhealthy screen-related habits.

Recycling
Recycling is an important, easy, and helpful habit to get into. And yet, so many people don’t make the effort to do so—probably because they didn’t learn to do it when they were children. If you make a small effort to teach your kids the importance of recycling, you’ll help them help the planet, one small step at a time. Recycling is easy and only requires a basic knowledge of what is and is not recyclable, a recycling bin, and a commitment to helping the planet. Simple enough, right? Again, if your children see you making an effort to recycle, they’ll catch on and start to do so themselves.


Good Eating Habits
For creatures who eat so much, a lot of us are surprisingly bad at it. From skipping breakfast to eating too much candy, and other junk food, there are a lot of unhealthy eating habits that seem to be prevalent in America. Those habits can be damaging to our overall health and wellness, and they can also be difficult to break once they’ve been formed. As a parent, it’s up to you to beat that habit before it begins by teaching your children healthy eating habits. As they watch you eat breakfast every day, eat balanced meals and healthy snacks, read food labels, and practice other good eating habits, they will realize how important it is that they be mindful of what they eat. And the results of what you have taught them will pay off in the form of healthy kids!

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