Every parent wants to help children develop healthy habits. It is perhaps the most important task that you perform as a parent during the early years of parenthood. There are many ways to foster a habit building routine in children as young as six months old. You can expect children to start imbibing habits that have a root as early as one day of age.
Imitation is the best way to learn
Healthy habits for kids can be formed when parents start practicing the traits in front of them. The process is slow as every child is different and may take time to adapt, but ultimately the goal is to form a lifelong habit.
Parents should lead by example.
Kids can be very observant. They mark everything you do. You may have to modify your own behaviour if you want the child to follow your lead. If the kids see you making your own bed, they will follow your example and attempt to do it too. Guide them into the task gently. This is the best way to develop good habits in children
Start Training Kids at an early age
It is important to start training kids at an early age. Make it a point to ask children to do things you want to inculcate for the long run. For example, help her brush her teeth every morning and night. The routine will slowly firm up into a habit.
It is important to be consistent.
Do not let the child slack off for even one day. For example if you want the child to make their bed every day, it should be a firm request. Even if the child is running late for school, you should not fill in. Ensure that she makes the bed after she comes back from school.
Teach the child to do good work.
Doing small household chores can be a good way to build responsible habits. If your child is to rake the lawn, you cannot expect her to be perfect every time in the beginning. Help her effort by pitching in and teaching her to do it perfectly. It is not a good idea to redo the work, she will get discouraged from trying again. Gentle guidance and assistance to do things well is needed.
Develop Healthy Habits into a Game
Children are enthusiastic in nature, Make the task of developing healthy habits into a game. Use the natural exuberance of the child to encourage good work and praise and reward them for a well done task.
Age-appropriate Habits to Master
Always give your kids age-appropriate habits to master. If the task is too challenging they will falter, but if it is too easy they might lose interest in the task. For example, if you want your children to wash their hands before eating, you have to show them how you do it every time. Make the ritual fun. Maybe sing a song while everyone washes their hands. Tell the children stories about how you stay well if you wash your hands before meals, after playing, sneezing or coughing. If your child is following instructions, give her an incentive like an extra piece of dessert or a second bedtime story.
There are many ways to implement the habit of inculcating good habits in children. The most important thing is for the parents to be vigilant and alert. You need to be on your toes to help the child adhere to the guidelines you set forth to create good habits.