Parenting is hard. As parents, we aren’t just caregivers; we’re guides through life. Our job is to impart the knowledge that we have about being happy, living well and enjoying life to the full. Ultimately, we teach life lessons whilst conventional schooling focuses on the detailed subject knowledge. That’s not to say that we’re perfect. No parent understands everything about life and success, but we still try our best to teach our children how to make the most of what they have.
Part of this process is teaching healthy, positive habits that our little ones can translate into everyday life. One of the best parts about doing this is that often, we train ourselves into these habits too, helping everyone in the family live a better lifestyle.
Whilst there are plenty of different habits that you will want to focus on, here are three positive habits to get you started.
Cleaning Up as You Go
There are very few people in the world that like cleaning. In fact, most of those who like cleaning don’t actually like the process, they just like the result; a clean home that makes them feel good. The act of cleaning takes time – time which could be spent doing much more enjoyable and interesting things, but that doesn’t make it important. One method of making the process easier is cleaning up as you go along, whether it be washing the dishes as you cook or putting away toys before getting out new ones. This saves you time later when you find that at the end of playing, you don’t have to clean up for a long period of time, it’s quick and easy instead.
Children love to play so convincing them to stop their fun to tidy up is going to be a challenge. That doesn’t mean it’s not possible though. The key, as with all parenting, is consistent feedback and rule implementation. Stay steadfast, lead by example and make sure that all toys and activities are tidied away before the next one can start and before you know it, your little one will be clean and tidy by nature.
A Love of Exercise and Activity
This is definitely one that most of us can aspire too. As an adult, it often feels like we don’t have enough time to be active and to exercise but the real issue isn’t finding the time, it’s changing how we view exercise in the first place. Most of us see physical activity as a chore rather than a hobby; if we enjoyed exercising then we wouldn’t have to find time at all, we would make sure there was time instead.
Our relationship with exercise and physical activity starts at a young age, which is why introducing your child to active play early on is a beneficial habit for them in the future. There are countless ways for children to stay fit, ranging from visiting playground regularly to joining sports clubs. The most important point to keep in mind is that a love of exercise can only be built if your little one is actually enjoying what they are doing so follow their lead, engage in the activities they enjoy, and you’ll be on the path to success.
Finally, we have one of the most important life skills of all – learning to share. This is an especially challenging issue for only children who often miss out on the natural sharing lessons that come with having a sibling. In everything that we do with other people, sharing plays a part. We share friends, thoughts, experiences and so much more than the fundamental idea of being able to both give and take in any kind of relationship is key to enjoying life to the full.
Teaching sharing can be difficult, especially because for these types of lessons to embed themselves they must be learnt with people of a vaguely similar age. Children need to share with other children to really get in the habit of giving to others. Besides this, the most important point is positive reinforcement. Praise your little one for giving, show them how good it feels to do something for someone else and educate them about fairness. It’s a gradual process but teaching children to share is definitely possible and it’s a brilliant habit to embed.
These three positive habits are just the tip of the iceberg really. There are plenty of other great habits to get into not just for your little one but for you too. I’m sure you can list plenty off the top of your head! Good luck in your journey and I hope this post helped inspire you.
This is a contributed post.