Wondering whether you are raising your child right?
Are you trying to teach your kids good habits so they grow up to become responsible adults?
If yes, then this article is for you.
Even before I became a mom, I have been greatly inspired by some people’s parenting approach. These parents put every effort to give the right start to their kid’s life and strive to set the right example for their children.
In Tamil, there is a proverb “Thottil pazhakkam sudukaadu muttum”. It points out that the habits of a baby are carried over till the very end of life or that “Old habits die hard”.
As I get older, I keep getting amused at how both my good and bad habits have been shaped by my experiences as a child. My husband and I always try to keep in mind the long term influences our actions will have on our son. Values instilled by parents are one the first things a child learns.
10 Good Habits To Instill In Your Children early:
Here are the ten good habits that you can and should instill in your child as early as their first year of life.
#1. Eating healthy and in the right way
At Bumps n Baby, we keep telling our beloved readers how important it is to teach your baby healthy eating habits from the very beginning.
Avoiding sugar, excessive salt, processed food, junk food etc and developing a love for vegetables, fruits and other healthy foods are a habit worth teaching your child right from when they start solids. The tastes that your baby is taught to love as a baby will have a great influence on future food preferences.
Just as it is important to eat healthy food, it is important to teach them to respect food. Food should be eaten sitting in one place and chewed well. Concentration should be on the menu, rather than on unhealthy distractions like the TV. This will help in proper digestion of the food and will prevent your child from overeating.
While it is not advisable to force the child to finish whatever is served, we must encourage them to serve only what they can eat. They can always go for second helpings if they want more food.
Follow all this and ‘dinner time’ won’t be words that instill fear in you or your kids.
#2. Technology should wait
Technology has become the primary entertainment for kids in today’s world- in the form of TV, tablets or smart phones. Videos, cartoons, online games etc are used as an easy way to keep children engaged or to make them eat.
Screen time for children is harmful in many ways. It should be completely avoided till two years of age and be kept limited to a maximum of one or two hours per day after this age.
Excessive screen time has been linked with obesity, irregular sleep, behavioral problems, violence (especially from cartoons) and less time for active, creative play.
- 4 Ways To Draw Boundaries On The Exposure Of Technology For Kids
- Is TV and Screen Time Bad for Babies and Kids?
#3. Reading books
Did you know that many parents start reading to their child, right from the newborn stage?
Reading is a great bonding time with your young baby. It opens them up to new sounds, helps develop listening skills, introduces the concepts of colors, shapes, letters, numbers etc and helps improve vocabulary.
Reading is a great way to kindle your child’s imagination too. By introducing them to the world of books, you instill the extremely beneficial habit of reading in your child. It is never too early to introduce your child to the wonders of books.
#4. Physical activity
Lack of physical activity in children is a growing concern in today’s technology addicted world. Parents are too busy to take their children out on a regular basis and encourage them to involve in any physical activity and technology has taken its place.
Ensuring that your child gets to spend quality time in physical activity, exercise etc is of paramount importance. When you are selecting a school for your child, a nice playground and importance for outdoor play should be an important factor to consider.
Many credits go to my hubby in this department. He always ensures quality playtime and physical activity for our son.
#5. Time management and proper schedule
Let me confess. This is one area which I am particularly bad at but, I am learning the importance of it.
Doing everything on time has great benefits in terms of health and helps us in leading a productive lifestyle. Our lifestyle has certainly deviated a lot, but when we have children, we must make a conscious effort to put things back on track.
After all “Early to bed and early to rise, makes you healthy, wealthy and wise”.
#6. Equality and respect for everybody
Gender inequality and discrimination based on caste, color and status are major concerns in our society. As responsible parents, we must teach by example that everybody is equal.
We must learn to listen to our own children and spouse without bias and talk to them respectfully.
Everybody deserves respect in their own right. In our house, we ensure that children talk to our house help politely and treat them just as they would treat any of us.
Now this is the most beautiful part. Whenever people in our house are planning an activity that involves all of us, my son never forgets to include the house help in the plan 🙂
#7. Sharing and caring
As the mom of a toddler, I tend to use the word “sharing” each time my son gets to play with other children. I am sure all of us encourage our children to share toys and goodies with other children.
There is a lot more we can teach our children about sharing and caring.
One of the prayers that our son is encouraged to say everyday is “May all the children get food to eat”. We want him to understand that he is blessed much more than the poor and homeless children.
Sharing with the lesser privileged children, caring for other humans, animals and the environment are something we can teach our children from a very young age.
#8. Honesty and Gratitude
Speaking the truth and being thankful are no doubt, important virtues to teach our children. Of course, we have to be their role models in these departments too.
One of the simple things that my hubby does in our bedtime routine is to ask our son whom all he wants to thank that day- grandpa who visited him, the friends who played with him, mom who took good care of him and so on.
#9. Personal hygiene
Hygiene is very important to young children, as they can get sick easily. While we take care of kid’s hygiene, we can start actively involving them in the process as soon as they are ready.
We should teach the importance of washing hands, brushing twice a day etc while also showing them the right way to do it.
#10. Cleaning up after oneself
It might seem like a huge task to make our children do their work by themselves. It takes a lot less time for us to clean up on their behalf. But teaching our toddlers to clean up after themselves really pays off in the long run.
Our son is encouraged to put his cloth diaper in the diaper pail as soon as it has been taken off. He is asked to put away the toys once he is done playing with them.
He has to switch off the light and fan when he leaves the room.
He puts his plate in the sink once he is done eating. When he spills some water, he cleans up with a mop. Children love to take up responsibility. We can use that to our advantage and teach them such great habits.
Also read the 5 secret techniques to handle toddler tantrums.
It is said,
As parents, all of us try to be the best possible role model for our children. Instilling good values in children is the greatest gift you can give your kids.
The most important thing to remember is to be positive to our children. A loving and positive approach towards parenting will help in not just raising a good child, but most importantly, a positive child. In turn, they will spread happiness wherever they go in this world.
What good habits do you want to instill early in your child?
How do you ensure that you set them a good example in those departments?
Do share with me here in comments. Let’s help each other out in this beautiful journey of parenting.