It is not an overstatement that many parents focus only on the academics of their children. They forget the bigger picture which is raising children that are both morally and academically sound, together with being self-reliant. Not teaching your kids good habits can negatively affect their behaviour and attitude when they grow up, even though they might be successful academically. The aim of this post is to highlight some of the good habits for kids which you as a parent or guardian should teach them.
If you can take your time to teach your children these good habits for kids that are listed in this post, you will be proud of whom they would grow up to be.
12 Good Habits for kids
Here are 12 good habits for kids you should teach your children
1. Developing a good eating habit
It is often a tough job for parents, especially in Nigeria, to ensure that their children eat healthy food at all times. We love eating and serving our children with carbohydrates, especially our staple food like rice and bread. However, the saying goes that, “You are what you eat!” Therefore, always try to give your children a balanced diet.
By giving your children a healthy balanced diet, you are making sure that they get all the essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients needed for growth. You should also learn to include leafy greens and other vegetables in the diets of your kids. If your children don’t like eating vegetables, try and make it appear colourful and appealing; in no time, they will start eating them, and it will become a habit.
While encouraging your children to cultivate the habit of eating fruits and vegetables, avoid indulging them with junk foods; this is because most of these foods contain dangerous additives, preservatives and fats that can destroy certain organs in the body.
Check Out this List of Nigerian Food: Top 6 Local Delicacies For The Family.
2. Brushing teeth twice daily
Another good habit for kids to learn is the custom of brushing their teeth on a regular basis. Brushing our teeth twice daily helps to keep the teeth clean and free from decay. This is one of the most important and hygienic habits for kids and should be followed sternly. Educate your child on the benefits of regular brushing and flossing.
Before going to bed, as a parent, ensure that you brush your teeth as well. By doing this, your kids will see this act as important and will pick up the habit of brushing. Don’t forget that children easily imitate what they see their parents do.
Make it a norm for your children to brush their teeth first thing in the morning and before bedtime – and more so after eating sweets and chocolates to prevent tooth decay.
3. Wash hands before and after a meal
This habit is closely related to the one above, as they are both hygiene-related good habit for kids. Before and after meals, always ensure that your children wash their hands with a cleanser or soap. Eventually, they will pick up this habit and start to wash their hands every day before and after a meal. The benefits of washing hands before and after meals include the prevention of common cold, flu, and other infections.
4. Going to bed early and waking up early
Growing up, there was an interesting saying that goes thus; “early to bed and early to rise makes good children healthy. This is an evergreen statement whose validity can’t be questioned. Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout our life. Getting adequate sleep helps protect both mental health and physical health. For children and teenagers, sleep helps support growth and development.
Consequently, ensure your children go to bed early every day and also wake up in time for school. By this simple act, your children will gradually pick up this habit.
5. Cleaning up their space
When your children wake up in the morning, what is the first thing they do? In some homes, children do not make their beds or tidy up their space in the morning when they are getting ready for school. Most parents are usually in a hurry to beat traffic, that they pay less attention to these things.
Children always scatter things around them and make the house look dirty. Instead of getting the maid to clean up this mess, get your kids to do them sometimes. Create a culture where your children clean their room once a week or for 10 minutes daily. By doing this, your children gradually imbibe the habit of cleanliness and taking responsibilities. This way, your children will begin to keep their space more organized and neat.
6. Limit the screen time
In today’s world, both children and adult spend a huge part of their time online. We now live in a society that relies heavily on social media for everything, and this is not a good trend. To limit the time your children spend on their screen/gadgets, have a fixed time for screen activities like watching TV and playing video games. This will help in setting your children’s priorities right. Allow your children to engage in more physical activities; this is perfect for both their growth and all-round development.
7. Reading daily
The act of reading daily is one of the good habits for kids to cultivate. Reading helps to improve communication skills, vocabulary and visualization. It is also essential to your children’s success at school. Just by daily practice, an average student can become the best in school. Therefore, if you have a child struggling with reading, try to make reading more fun and interesting.
Instill the habit of reading daily in your children; it will help them become creative and imaginative. To make your children avid readers, you could either set up a daily reading schedule for them or read aloud bedtime stories. You could as well do both.
When choosing bedtime stories, make sure they are stories from your children’s favourite books. Soon your children will look forward to the reading sessions. Whatever method you choose, ensure your children read every day.
8. Giving to others
Another good habit for kids to develop is the act of giving to others. Teach your children about the act of affection and allow them to give to the needy. Inspire them to care and be considerate to other people’s requests. This makes them compassionate and kind to people.
9. Not to bully others
This list of good habits for kids would be incomplete if bullying is excluded; this is because bullying is a big problem in our society. Every day, thousands of young children are afraid to go to school for fear of being bullied. This is a problem that is affecting schools, and it is one of the reasons some parents choose to homeschool their kids.
As a parent, endeavour to teach your children to respect other kids. The reason some children bully others is that they don’t know that it is wrong to pick on kids that are different from them. Always teach your children to appreciate others and respect individuality. Don’t allow your children to tease anyone, regardless of whether the other person is younger or older. If you find any of your children bullying someone, you need to put a stop to it at once.
10. Be responsible with money
Money management is a good habit for kids to learn. The reason you should teach your children to be responsible with money is that it helps them learn the essence of financial responsibility – and this can prevent impulse spending. To start, you can reward your children for tasks completed by giving them a small allowance every time they do something right.
Also, teach them financial literacy and how to save part of the money daily. This is one skill that is almost certain to remain with them for a lifetime.
11. Playing outdoors
Playing outdoors is another good habit for kids to learn. When you allow your children to play outside, it helps to develop their cognitive, physical and motor skills. It is better for your children to spend more time playing outdoors than to play video games or watch TV.
Therefore, make sure you set a time for your kids to play outside every day – if possible. When you take your children to the park or playfield, try introducing some fun, interesting games. Get your children to be involved in recreational activities such as swimming, football, basketball, gymnastics and many other sporting events.
This will help your children stay motivated, and it will also allow them to be conversant with the various sports and co-curricular activities.
12. Understanding the importance of family bonding
The last item on this list of good habits for kids is on family bonding. As a parent, you need to teach your children the importance of family bonding. Let them know the essence of spending time with their loved ones. Dinnertime is often the best time where the entire family can sit down to eat and talk.
In conclusion, the most important point is that, as a parent, you need to be a good role model for your children. Aside teaching good habits to kids, you also need to demonstrate these habits because it is easier for children to learn from what they see their parents do.
Remember it is your duty to set the right foundation for your children – and to set the foundation right, you should enrol your children into a good school that will support your efforts towards instilling good habits in your children.