Most parents are well aware that telling children what to do and how to act is far less effective than showing them what to do and how to act. Teaching children what is a good habit early in life works best when the habit or behavior is modeled by the parents themselves.
Whether the child is 3 or 13, kids look to their parents for guidance, so consider these 8 great habits for kids to develop early in life.
One of the most important habits for children to develop and value is reading. Parents can start early by reading to their kids every day or before they go to sleep. A good foundation in reading helps children develop language skills and the ability to communicate in today’s society.
According to the One World Literacy Foundation, reading skills are important because the ability to read improves vocabulary, concentration, discipline, memory, and it builds self-confidence.
A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read. -Mark Twain
Another vital habit to model is being active. Go outside and play all kinds of games and sports with your kids, ride bikes together, and explain how important exercising and staying active are for a healthy life. Kids who are active are less likely to develop obesity or sleep issues.
In addition, avoid being a couch potato yourself. Give them opportunities to join school teams and equip them to lead a healthy life.
It’s easy for kids to get down if things don’t go as they wish. Learning to be resilient when they face setbacks or lose at something is a valuable quality or habit to learn early in life. The “power of positive thinking” builds self esteem, and is is a practice which results in a happy and satisfying life ahead.
Kids should learn early to treat everyone with respect including their elders, peers, and even animals. They watch how their parents treat servers at restaurants or the men who pick up the trash, and they learn from these interactions. Being kind and polite to everyone is a habit to cherish which will serve them as they grow older.
Bullying and shaming others is rampant in today’s cyber world, and those kids who have learned to be respectful from an early age may help to break the cycle.
Always tell the truth. Own up to mistakes and accept the consequences. Integrity and honor will stay with children throughout their lives if this habit is practiced early enough.
Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. -Mark Twain
Kids can easily become envious of what their friends have and they don’t. Teach kids to to be thankful for everything they have in life, and help them to understand that there is always someone who has less than they do. Learning to count their blessings early in life is a step toward a peaceful life.
Provide as many examples as possible about the importance of family. Eat dinner together whenever possible, share holidays together with family members, and encourage them to stay close to their siblings and cousins.
A simple habit like brushing your teeth twice a day and learning to floss will keep your child’s oral health in check. Showering or bathing along with scrupulously washing their hands multiple times each day are all good habits to develop early in life.
For more information about healthy habits for your child, contact Elmwood Pediatrics at (585) 244-9720 today to set up a consultation with one of our experienced pediatricians!