Teaching healthy habits is something that all parents should strive to do, regardless of how old their children are. But children, as we all know, can be stubborn, and if they don’t want to do something, it can be a struggle to convince them to do so, even if it’s good for them.
To overcome this, you must develop healthy habits as soon as you possibly can. This involves the simple things that everyone needs to do, like dental care and regular washing to other issues that may only become an issue later in life. Cultivating these habits early will allow your kids to live long, healthy, and more importantly, happy lives.
Pearly White Teeth
Let’s start with something that will stay with kids for their entire lives: their teeth. While baby teeth will fall out and be entirely replaced by adult teeth by the time they are 15 years old, it’s still important to encourage excellent dental hygiene habits early on.
Creating a schedule for teeth cleaning before they leave for the day and before they go to bed will develop a routine, even if they are too young to understand the intricacies of why cleaning their teeth is crucial. This will follow them into their teenage years and adulthood and will mitigate problems they might encounter through rot or cavities.
Should they require treatment for crooked teeth, as is something that will affect 75% of all braces wearers, you must remind them how crucial it is to remember to wear your retainers. Not only will this help prevent crooked teeth and other dental issues, but it will also help with their confidence, which is something all teenagers will need at some point during their school years.
Kids need exercise to expel the energy that accumulates throughout the day, and they can usually get some of it out during gym class or with after school sports activities. However, some kids are not the sporty-type, and that’s okay. Games such as football, basketball, or athletics are not for everybody, but this does not mean that exercise, in general, is not for them.
Many parents dream of their child becoming the next big sports star. The next Cristiano Ronaldo or Steph Curry, but not all kids have this potential. Instead of forcing them to do sports they don’t enjoy, look for different games and activities they might enjoy.
Encouraging this type of exercise makes them feel better about themselves, and it gives them an additional outlet to prevent too much pent up energy that could lead to behavior issues and restlessness. Take your kids for walks or go on hikes. Try mountain biking, or look for clubs that offer something different to the traditional sporting activities.
Any parent knows how difficult it can be to encourage your child to eat healthily. They’d much rather prefer the processed ‘goodness’ of fast-food rather than a beautiful home-cooked meal packed with their five-a-day. But allowing them to dictate what’s for dinner can impact their health dramatically.
You don’t want to get involved in a battle about why they can’t have Taco Bell or KFC, but you also don’t want to risk wasting food if they don’t eat it. You can, however, work out a compromise. If possible, prepare dinners that look a lot like their fast-food favorites, and see how that goes down. Introducing them to as much new food when they are younger will make them less picky as they grow up.
Of course, there are other issues to consider. Some families don’t have the time to create delicious but also healthy meals, and this is why high-sodium dinners are the go-to. As an alternative, look into meal planning services or prep your meals as a family every Sunday. Not only will it help spread the workload, but it will also help teach your kids about the necessary food groups while also giving everyone an excuse to spend time together and bond.
Bath and Shower Time
Bath time can be a battle for everybody, and we’re sure you remember your own childhood where you were resistant to get into the bath, even if you can’t quite remember why. Lots of kids do what they can to avoid baths or showers. They would prefer to play. They don’t think they’re dirty. They would rather watch Netflix.
However, this will only come back to haunt them later on, especially when they grow into teenagers. You don’t need to be a parent of a teen to know they can get smelly; really, really smelly, and this can be a detriment to their health and their social life.
Much like cleaning their teeth, it’s vital to make bathing and personal hygiene a routine, and even fun. Give them the option to bathe either in the morning (despite the cold) or before they go to bed and give them a reason to keep clean, whatever your parenting style deems suitable.
An Inspired Mind
It’s not just the body that needs to stay healthy to ensure happiness. Parents must also consider ways to encourage an inspired mind. Children are creative beings, and while some of them may move away from this creative slant as they grow older, others cling onto it and try to nurture it.
It’s no good trying to convince them that creativity is not worth it, regardless of the career plans you had for them. Instead, get involved with them. Ask about what they are working on. Provide the tools for them to embrace their creativity, and they will be happier as a result.
Children with a creative outlet can set themselves up for superb success in the future, but this is not possible if the parents do everything they can to put roadblocks in the way.
A healthy family is a happy family, and while there will be some struggles, especially regarding dental care and regular washing, you can set your children up for a lifetime that is mostly without health issues. You can never guarantee that your healthy family habits will prevent some problems. Still, you can do everything possible to ensure that these issues do not spiral out of control and make it too late to do anything about it.