6 Good Habits That Set Your Child Up For Success
There’s no better time than today to start teaching your child good habits. With more time spent at home because of the pandemic, parents have more opportunities to help their children develop the best habits to have in life.
When and How Habits are Formed
Habits or automatic behaviors are successfully formed through consistent, repetitive behaviors as early as infancy. The moment they start eating solid food, they learn to eat healthy food like vegetables. Doing household chores can become a solid habit as early as nine years old, according to a study by Brown University.
To establish a habit, parents can set daily routines and be good examples for their children. Habit training can also be integrated into home education.
Good Habits to Teach Your Kids
Here are good habits to teach your child that will have a positive impact on their life today and in the future.
- Involve children in household chores.
Encourage independence by giving your children age-appropriate chores. Let them help out at home with simple chores like making their own bed, sweeping the floor, packing away their toys, and cleaning after meals. A Harvard study finds that kids who did chores would more like by happy, healthy, and independent as adults.
- Eat healthy.
As early as 4 months, babies can start eating solid food. Focus on feeding your children whole, unprocessed foods. Encourage variety. Make vegetables and fruits a staple in every meal.
If your child is a picky eater, experts advise pressuring your child to eat certain foods. Instead, it is suggested that parents start by exposing the child to the food. Eat it yourself and talk about it or allow your child to help you in preparing the dish. You can also offer healthy food options that you want them to eat.
- Practice good hygiene.
Teaching your child good personal hygiene habits is especially important now to protect themselves from illnesses. Being well-groomed also makes them feel good about themselves and increases their self-confidence. Here are hygiene habits to teach your child:
- Frequent handwashing.
- Brushing your teeth at least two times a day.
- Bathing regularly.
- Wearing clean clothes and underwear daily.
- Keeping their fingernails trimmed and clean.
- Combing or brushing their hair.
- Be Active.
Another healthy habit to teach your child is to stay active. It’s easy to be a couch potato when we’re staying indoors, so be creative in finding physical activities to do with your child. Yes, you can be a good role model by being physically active yourself and joining your child in physical activities. Exercise or learn dance moves together.
Get yourself and your children moving with high energy games like animal races, keeping the balloon up, jumping jacks, hula hoops, trampolines, and biking. Get them to play sports. And in becoming physically active, remind them to prioritize safety, like wearing bike gloves, knee pads, and helmets when biking.
- Good reading habits.
Raising a reader is also raising a learner. A child who loves to read performs better in school and lands better jobs. One study finds that reading abilities not only “facilitate educational and occupational attainment, but also a foundation for lifelong routine activities that enhance literacy and numeracy."
- Good manners.
Raise a respectful and sensitive child. A polite child is able to socialize better with his peers. Teach him to say please, thank you, sorry and excuse me, to observe basic table manners, and to listen when talking with others.
Consistency is key when it comes to teaching good manners, so it’s equally important that you also practice these at home. Practice good manners at home. Use kind words and listen to your child when they speak.