“It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them” – Benjamin Franklin
Good habits go a long way in establishing the child’s personality. The child tries to emulate his parents and other elders in the family; so as parents you need to practice what you preach. Habit becomes second nature through regular practice. As parents, you should also make your child understand the reason behind developing the habits, so that he will be convinced that this habit is good for him. Don’t forget to reward or appreciate your apple of the eye if he acquires the habit and follows it sincerely.
Acquiring good habits or manners are part of the learning process. Parents can make the learning exciting and fun by interacting with their children. Try to be encouraging and affectionate while teaching good habits for kids. Be firm if they are not following your instructions, but don’t discourage them with negative comments. If your child is attending pre-school then talk to his teacher and chalk out a plan to develop good habits in children.Keep yourself updated with your child’s progress at school.
From the moment your kid calls you mommy for the first time, you will have a million things planned for his future. However, don’t impose your will on your child and also try to understand his problems and desires. As a mother, you would want your kid to be successful and happy as he grows older, and you’ll do your best to make that happen.
It is vital to encourage good habits of children in their early years. The habits learnt in this phase will stay with him for the rest of his life.
25 Ways To Ensure Good Habits In Your Kid
Sometimes, parents are not aware what habits they should teach their children. So to make things easy, here is the post to learn the role of the parents in inculcating good values to the child and a list of some good habits you can teach your child daily.
1. Keep Things Positive:
Having a positive frame of mind is extremely essential for you as a parent during your child’s initial years. Everything you teach him now will leave a mark on his thought pattern. The last thing you would want is to see your kid take the route of pessimism and depression as a teen or an adult. Adopt a positive frame of mind yourself, and make sure the environment at home is happy and comfortable.
Often, children who develop suicidal nature and tendencies to harm themselves the root causes usually lies at home. These could be many, such as not finding comfort or safety in the place of upbringing. So make sure your home is an abode where your kid feels safe and comfortable.
In the book titled ‘Purposeful Parenting: Strategies for Raising Children Who Achieve’, Dr. Rose T. Watson states that those children who are cuddled and communicated with in a regular basis grow up to be more confident individuals. This also paves the way for a positive environment at home. Children also need their own furniture and toys, they feel secure in their own space.Dr. Watson suggests parents to use the furniture and toys to teach responsibility within the household, like teaching the child to keep the toys back in the right place after playtime is over.
Parents should also maintain a library at home and give their children learning tools so that your child succeeds academically. As parents encourage your child to search meanings of new words in the dictionary and also find answers to their queries in encyclopedias. This will teach your child how to do research. Books bring order and discipline at home.
Also help your child to make routines and create a designated time for study and play, this will teach your child the value of discipline. Never use slang words or fight in front of your child, this will vitiate the positive atmosphere of the house and the child will learn the wrong things. Children who experience domestic violence grow up to be insecure and violent too.
Here are some points you can keep in mind as parents to maintain a positive atmosphere at home:
- A positive, calm, nurturing and comfortable home environment improves parental vision.
- You should encourage cooperation and not competition.
- No coercion and only communication is advisable.
- Don’t call your children with negative names. Use respectful and encouraging words to foster a feeling of security and trust.
- Always be approachable and amiable. Your children should feel free to communicate with you and ask their queries. Be like a friend to your child.
- Be a patient listener and give importance to your child’s opinion. Also explain your viewpoints.
- Your children should contribute according to their abilities.
- Never compare your children since each child is unique. Recognize and appreciate his individuality.
- Spend quality time with your children and also keep separate time for family activities.
- Believe in your children and the children will believe in themselves. Look at their talents and achievements and not their failure.
- Encourage the children to learn from their mistakes.
2. Be Realistic With Your Expectations:
One of the most important factors to remember while bringing up your child is to keep your expectations realistic. Your kid is bound to make mistakes at some point of time, and you need to deal with it patiently and gracefully.
Remember that your kid is still small and inexperienced, and he will most likely emulate what he observes around him.
Children will learn to do what you expect from them if your expectations as a parent are realistic. As parents you have to realize that children don’t learn at same rate and within the same time frame and with the same ease. Nor can they reach a uniform level of achievement even when they grow up to be adults. Even though, parents are aware of this still they have high expectations from their children. Naturally there will be some expectations but they shouldn’t be rosy expectations.
Sometimes rosy expectations can inspire parents to spend quality time with their children and give their children enough support to use their potential to the maximum extent. However if unrealistic expectations exceed the potential that the child has, it can be harmful for the child’s development and self-image. So, parents actually need to be patient for the child’s skills and interests to develop in his formative years.
If parents are high achievers they expect their children to reach that level. However, as parents you should realize that children’s job is to learn and play. So let them enjoy their childhood and don’t bog them down with your expectations. You can’t expect adult behavior from little children! Parents often feel exasperated by their children’s behavior, all they want is your attention and that is an example of normal behavior from kids.
3. Encourage Family Bonding:
Family time is extremely important for a growing kid. Introduce him to the different members of your family; explain how they are related to him and how he should be treating them. This way, he will learn to value people around him and as well be learning the importance of family right from the beginning.
You can arrange indoor and outdoor games, family picnics and get together, potluck and other fun activities to encourage strong family bonding.Children from broken homes suffer from social maladjustment whereas children coming from homes where family relations are really strong grow up to be confident and have a positive outlook.
4. Set Strong Ground Rules:
As a parent, it is extremely important for you to set down rules for your kid, especially after he has started his school. Now is the time to make a routine time table for your kid. Set out fixed hours for playtime, homework and screen time. Give him 15 minutes every day to clean his room and an hour to relax out in the garden.
Try to make a flexible routine and don’t be too strict while allocating time for study and play. Keep adequate time for playing as sports help in both physical and mental development.
5. Make Him Understand:
Probably the most important aspect of growing up is to make your kid eat healthy food. Kids good habits always need to start early. If your kid insists on picking up a pack of 2-minute noodles from the supermarket, ask him to read out the ingredients on the label. Explain him why he should not consume instant food with harmful ingredients like sodium glutamate that can cause health complications in the long run. Educate your child about the importance of having a nutritious diet as compared to junk food.
6. Reward Your Child:
It is a great idea to reward your child for his good behavior. This will keep him motivated and will help him stick to being at his best behavior always. However, a key point to note here is to avoid rewarding your kid with materialistic things like chocolates, an hour of TV and the like. Make the rewards intangible – a hug, a word of appreciation etc.
Reward your child with good experiences- this way; he will learn that happiness lies in enriching experiences rather than worldly pleasures.
7. Encourage Physical Activity:
Believe it or not, the kids today are more likely to be affected with lifestyle related disorders like childhood obesity, diabetes and even high blood pressure. So if you don’t want your kid to be a couch potato in his early years, encourage physical activity right from the beginning. Get into the park along your child with a ball and play with him. You can also get him enrolled in swimming classes- a good way to keep him fit and active.
8. Stay Involved:
No matter how busy you may be in your day to day work and chores, you must make it a point to be involved in your child’s life. Make sure you are updated about where he goes, the kind of friends he has, and how he’s doing at school. It is a great idea to have a short chat with your kid after he comes back home from school- it’ll keep you updated of your kid’s emotional status.
9. Family Dinners:
Family dinners are an excellent way to inculcate the habit of healthy eating in your kid. If the family sits together for dinner, your kid is less likely to consume unhealthy foods and will be more in touch with the family. It also nurtures the feeling of bonding in him.
10. Show Respect:
Respecting elders is something you would want your kid to build as his etiquette. If you haven’t done that already, it’s now time to encourage him to do the same. Read out bedtime stories that talk about kids seeking blessings from the elders and helping them out with their activities. It is also a great way to help your kid connect with his grandparents.
11. Good Manners – An Early Start:
It’s never too early to start finding good habits for children. Encourage him to use phrases like Thank you, Welcome and Sorry where appropriate. You can also give examples of good mannered kids that your child may know, but make sure you don’t go overboard and start comparing.
12. Induct Good Literature:
Reading out stories to your kid from a book makes a significant difference. Good literature has an effective way of inspiring kids to behave in a correct manner, follow a code of discipline and have a positive outlook in life. Get some good books from your local store and read out moral based stories at bedtime.
You can read aloud stories of famous authors so that the child’s command over the language becomes strong.
13. Community Projects:
Help your kid understand his role as a citizen by involving him in community projects. This will encourage him to do something for the greater good. Your child will derive immense satisfaction by helping and serving others. One great idea is to help him plant trees or be a part of a social campaign. Social responsibility is a great way to create awareness in the young mind and get him motivated for a good cause.
You should instill the value of social service to your child. If you teach orphan children or visit an old age home try to take your child along with you and interact with the children and the elderly people. He will feel good and also learn to work for a noble cause. Also check whether the child’s school also inculcates the value of social service. Values learnt at childhood stay with him throughout his life.
14. Manage Pocket Money:
This one is probably one of the most important factors in most households. Thankfully, it isn’t that tough. Try and get a rough estimation of how much money your kid needs. Give him a fixed amount every month. Also, get your kid a ‘piggy bank’ and ask him to try and save money for anything he’d like to purchase later. This will get him into the habit of saving.
Nowadays banks are offering opportunity for opening bank accounts for minors. You can ask your child to open a bank account and manage his own pocket money. It is very important to learn how a bank functions, this will pave the way towards making your child a self-sufficient, confident and independent individual.
15. Be Responsible:
Getting your kid to be responsible is not easy, but there are some good ways you can make your child to feel accountable. If your little one is old enough, consider getting him a pet- this will instill a sense of responsibility in your kid. Hand over something important to your kid and ask him to keep it safe, and see how he goes about it. These small methods are effective to make your kid become responsible.
16. Set Expectations:
As a parent, it is okay to set expectations with your child. Explain him that you would want him to achieve success in life and be a pro at whatever he wants. Don’t overburden him, but do not forget to give a pat on his back whether he stands up to your expectations or not. Appreciate the fact that he tried. This way, you’ll motivate him constantly to do his best.
17. Say No:
Your child should know that when you say ‘No’ to something, it’s a final call! The last thing you need is your kid turning into an arrogant and ruthless personality who always gets away with his excuses. Remind him that you in authority and you will be the one making decisions on his behalf till he grows older. Of course, make him realize the fact that he can always get a chance to voice his opinion and explain his side; but of course, the end verdict will be yours.
18. Say Yes:
As much as saying ‘No’ matters, you must know when to say ‘Yes’ as well. If your child has to attend a birthday party, let him go ahead and actively participate, even if it means changes in the schedule. The little things that enhance your kid’s social skills are completely acceptable.
19. Be Firm:
Your kid may sometimes be caught for his inappropriate behavior and lack of responsibility; at such times, be firm and try to make him understand why he shouldn’t be behaving in such a way and what his actions could lead to. If your kid still continues to do the same, refuse to take a stand for him all the time. Let your child understand and experience the consequences post demonstrating wrong behavior.
20. Be a Role Model:
One of the best ways to develop good habits for kids is by setting good example yourselves. Your child learns most of the things watching your everyday behavior and habits. Hence it becomes important for you to exhibit the best so that he imbibes the same.
21. Cook with Him:
Cooking is a great stress buster and an excellent way to bond with your kid. Get him to help you decorate cupcakes or whip the salad dressings. You can also guide him while choosing the right combination of ingredients for foods.
22. Appreciate His Achievements:
Appreciate your kid and respect him for his achievements, irrespective of how tiny they are. Remember that he’s soon going to be an adult, and this is the time you should start grooming him to be responsible and in control of his actions. This will help your child remember that good actions have positive results and attract appreciation.
23. Give Him A Treat!
You can take him out for a treat at times in recognition of his good behavior. This is a great way to help your kid stay motivated for the next time. Take him out for a holiday and make him feel special and wanted.
24. Let Him Speak:
Make sure you give your child the right to his opinion. Allow him to speak his heart out on any situation and try to see things from his point of view. You can also ask for your child’s views in small matters concerning the house. That way, he is more likely to obey you and understand the reason behind your decisions, and will even value your opinion.
25. Love Him:
One of the best things you could do to develop good habits in children is to love them. Children tend to rely on their parents for everything. If you give him the right love and respect that he deserves, he will surely work out his way to stay happy with you and love you too! So be liberal while giving those tight cuddles and cute little kisses before bed. Your little one will feel loved!
Parenting is nothing short of a challenging experience and it isn’t a smooth road. Expect a lot of bumps on the way. Rest assured that you’ll be able to handle everything wonderfully if you just keep calm and deal with your kid in the right way.
Always be mindful of the fact that being too strict or too easy isn’t going to help. Finding a balance is the best way to handle any situation. Do not hesitate to seek advice from other parents, and even friends and family. You can also have a talk with your pediatrician and learn more about your child’s development status and the measures you need to apply.
Remember that your kid’s good habits always begin at home. A good habit for children helps your child grow up soon and be a wonderful and successful human being. Make sure you’re there throughout to guide and support him. Don’t forget to share your parenting experiences with us.