7 Effective Ways To Help Your Child Develop Healthy Habits
Introduction to Healthy Habits
A habit is a pattern of actions that a child repeats over and over without realizing it. But while kids might be glad not to have a schedule, parents are not so happy about it. Positive and negative habits may have a significant influence on a person’s life.
Do you wonder how to help your child develop regular habits such as picking up their toys after playing or eating breakfast without making a mess? The process of making and breaking a habit change over the years, and starting early for children is essential. Before jumping into how we can help them achieve this, it’s important to understand how the process works.
Habits are created via the process of habituation, which happens when an action is performed repeatedly and becomes automatic. Several phases are involved in the creation of habits:
- The behavior is carried out for the very first time.
- Over time, the action is repeated.
- The behavior gets linked to a certain environment or trigger.
- The conduct becomes habitual and little conscious thinking is required.
Children may develop habits at an early age, and the process of habit development in children and adults is comparable. Children often copy what their parents and other adults do, so they may pick up habits by watching and imitating them. Children can also form habits when a good thing happens after they do something, and this is called reinforcement.
To learn more about how positive reinforcement can be helpful, check out our article about it. For instance, if a youngster is complimented for putting away his or her toys after play, he or she may be more likely to repeat that behaviour in the future.
It is essential to remember that habits can be altered, and it is never too late to form new, beneficial ones. It may take time and work to replace a bad habit with a good one, but it is possible with tenacity and resolve.
With perseverance comes the potential to form habits, which may be more challenging for children since it may be more difficult for them to see the big picture behind their actions. But there are things you can do as a parent to help your kid make consistent decisions.
For this, you may need many phases, such as fundamental habits to begin with, specific suggestions on when and how to begin, and the development of these habits.
According to Educational Play Care, here are some suggestions and ideas to help you get started.
Tips To Promote Healthy Habits in Children:
Set a good example.
Leading by example is one of the best ways to teach kids how to behave in a healthy way. Your toddler learns by observing your daily actions and routines. So, it’s important for you to do a good job so that he can follow your example.
It is never too early to teach youngsters positive behaviors. Encourage your youngster to use expressions such as “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me.” Teaching kids these terms at an early age will assist them in incorporating them into their way of life.
Promote family bonding by:
Family time is crucial for a child’s development. Schedule times for the whole family to start exercising together. Take walks, ride bikes, go swimming, garden, or simply play hide-and-seek outdoors. Everyone will profit from the physical activity and time spent together.
Establish clear rules and boundaries.
It is crucial for you as a parent to establish guidelines for your children. Now is the time to establish a schedule and routine. Define specific times for play, schoolwork, and screen time. When assigning time for study and recreation, try to be flexible and avoid being too rigid. Playing is good for both physical and mental growth, so make sure you have enough time for it.
Once you’ve started teaching your child about discipline, persistence, and making good habits, you can help them stick to their new habits. You can pursue this through:
Beware of “I can’t do it” triggers.
Do your children explode at a certain time of day? Borba says that children often get angry and stop doing something because they are tired, hungry, or need time to relax. Make sure your kids have eaten, slept, and had a chance to play before giving them homework or chores. If you tell young children that they are preparing their minds and bodies for the task at hand, they will learn to strengthen themselves before they face a challenge.
Remember that young children often lose their cool when they fail at something. Avoid recrimination (“I warned you it would be difficult”) and respond with your own, sometimes legitimate, anger (“Don’t shout at me simply because you can’t spell!”). If you lose your temper, take a minute to walk away. Also, recommend that your youngsters take a break to “get their anger out” by racing about the house, then return after cooling down.
Give responsibility, and avoid letting them get away with meltdowns
Give your youngster a specific task, such as feeding an animal, reading bedtime stories to a younger sibling, or collecting the mail. For older kids, this could mean helping make family meals, walking the dog, or taking care of a certain part of your garden.
Allow them to assume this responsibility and develop a sense of pride in their job. Let them carry the responsibility—and the joy—of being relied upon.
When they fail at a task or do not enjoy it anymore, they are likely to have a meltdown and not repeat it in the future. When this happens, step in and allow them to realize that this isn’t the end of the world, and it is important to step back up and continue with what they were doing. If it doesn’t work in the moment, try again the day after. If you give up on a task as a parent, the child is more likely to do so, but much faster.
Let them pick up a hobby
When it’s something they’ve picked up on their own, they automatically feel more accountable to pursue it further. If they’re unable to do so, find an activity that your kid enjoys and encourage them to pursue it. It could include art, drama, or basketball. By doing something they enjoy, kids learn how fun it is to practice and do things over and over again, and how important it is to work hard to learn something new.
With the rise of technology, learning online and finding out more about your child can be much easier. You could do online tests or quizzes to understand your child’s MBTI or their Big Five, although this is much more applicable when they’re older. For younger children, gamification could be an excellent way to help them learn at home while they’re online. To understand how games can help your child learn, you can check out our article about it here.
SuzyApp can help your child discover what they like and enjoy the most while making their screen time healthier and safer. Healthy habits can come in several forms, and we can take care of your child’s screen habits. SuzyApp allows for parental control and gives children the independence they need to choose between different educational applications online. SuzyApp sequences educational apps before recreational games, circling around the principles of delayed gratification and independence, which hold significant benefits for a child. To learn more about how SuzyApp does this, click here.