Kids pick up all kinds of habits from their parents. A lot of these can be annoying, such as thumb sucking or nail biting, and some can be downright bad, such as using a swear word they accidentally overhead you using once! But they can also pick up a lot of good habits from you, as long as you’re modeling for them to see. If you want to focus on your kids’ health and do your best to ensure it gets better as they grow, here are some habit-building behaviors to incorporate into your routine.
Don’t Just Eat Meals Together
Eat snacks together too! And prepare them altogether, so the kids get to see what goes into theri food and have a chance to add ingredients they want to try. The more kids get involved in preparing food, whether it be a main meal or a simple snack, the easier it is to conquer a certain fussy eating habit!
Attend All Checkups (and bring the kids!)
If kids see you go through the same ‘scary’ things they experience, such as visiting the doctor and the dentist, they’ll soon come to realize that these things are normal and part of life. They don’t need to be a scary occurrence that only happens to children; adults have to do it too!
So take them along to an appointment at the hearing aid center so they can see you go through the motions. Sit them down in the extra chair at the dentist to let them see how you manage it. And talk all about the way you feel with them both before and after – they need to know it’s OK to feel anxious, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get through it!
Keep Bedtime Peaceful
Bedtime needs to be a quiet time, as we all know. But sometimes that can be hard when you’ve got a bundle of energy in the form of a toddler to wrangle into bed! That’s why wind down hours and taking time to dial back screen time before getting ready for bed is so crucial.
And if the kids see you do these things too, they’re going to want to join in! So turn the TV off at least half an hour before going through their bedtime routine and invite them to join you doing something quiet. A jigsaw puzzle, or coloring something in, are two good activities to try.
Teach Them to Say No
Finally, help them set boundaries when they’re needed. A child being able to say no is actually a good thing, even if you’re sure they’re going to use it whenever they don’t want to do something. But if they can say no, state the reason why, and talk openly about the way they’re feeling, a lot of bad behavior can be nipped in the bud.
Healthy habits can start young! Use a few tips like these to help you demonstrate healthy things to do for your kids.