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Teaching kids good habits early in life is extremely important in order to build a solid foundation that the kid will need as an adult. While learning new habits is possible at any age, it does become much harder as people grow older. Starting kids with good healthy habits early in life will help prepare them to keep these habits when jobs, relationships, and other obligations throw obstacles at them in the future. Here are a few habits that are a good place to start for teaching young ones.
Unsupervised, Unstructured, Social, Outdoor Play
It’s extremely important for a child’s social and emotional development to have unsupervised, unstructured social play outdoors. It’s good for them to have imaginative play with others outdoors so they can make friends. As infants grow into toddlers, and toddlers grow into young kids, parents have a protective desire to jump in whenever their kid gets a few scrapes. However, excessive coddling may actually do more harm than good. While it’s important to let kids grow up in a safe and caring environment, excessive coddling can get in the way of kids learning from their triumphs and mistakes. “The Coddling of the American Mind” authors, Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, have found in their research that parents’ excessive coddling prevents their kids from learning to deal with the situations presented to them in their own way.
A Healthy Meal
Childhood obesity has become a problem in America. Obesity developed from unhealthy eating habits as a child will most likely continue on as an adult leading to health risks such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and cancer. This is why it is important to instill healthy eating habits at a young age. Try having fun with the food with a young child by slicing vegetables into different shapes or growing a vegetable together in the backyard and seeing how it grows.
Teaching kids oral hygiene can be a challenging task. Kids may view visits to the dentist as a punishment. Start with finding a children dentist who can make the experience fun. You can also make it a habit to brush your teeth with a young child to build the habit together. Dentists warn, however, that brushing alone might not be enough. Make sure you also teach your kids how to floss to prevent cavities forming in between their teeth. Add daily brushing to both the morning and night routine, and follow it consistently. You can also show them what clean and dirty teeth look like or even hang a chart of the teeth in the bathroom so that kids can learn what teeth look like inside the mouth and what they are brushing.
Teaching the love to learn is an important trait to instill in a young child. There will be many things that your child will need to know in life and surrounding your child with an inspiring environment is important to develop an open-minded approach to learning. Start by asking your kid questions to prompt conversations. The more your child talks about things, the better they will be at thinking over questions, thinking about an answer, and finally answering the question.
Young kids have a malleable mind that makes it much easier to learn things quickly. It gets much harder to teach kids things as they get older and their brains develop. Therefore, the best time to teach them good habits is when they are young and open-minded to learning.