Each day offers a fresh opportunity to push harder at helping your kids cultivate habits that will positively impact their overall life, both now and in the future. Though doing this can be overwhelming, you must realize it’s a lot easier to imprint on their young minds.
Find 8 crucial habits you should keep on your radar…
1. Getting their beauty sleep always. Most kids don’t want to go to bed early, especially when there’s an array of activities like playing games, watching TV, surfing the internet and so on, to keep them busy. Let them know the adverse effects of losing sleep on their health and academics.
It’s best to set a specific time for them to go to bed every night and refuse to yield to their pleas to shift it. Help them develop a routine that allows for the activities they love way before bedtime and remove games, TV, computer, laptops and other distractions from their bedroom. Also, establish a family routine of turning off mobile phones, music, computers, televisions and other devices at a designated time each night so that everyone goes to bed.
2. Healthy lifestyle choices. Orientate your child about wholesome nutrition and build a knack for healthy foods by serving healthy meals and snacks in your home and mininizing sugary treats. In addition, encourage them to exercise as physical activity promotes your child’s physical, psychological and social wellbeing. At least 60 minutes of physical activity each day is recommended.
You can make physical activity a part of your child’s life by being physically active yourself and planning active family outings like biking, jogging, cycling, walking, running or swimming and making it fun. At school, encourage them to get involved in tennis, football, track events or any other sport that interests them.
It’s also important to education them about alcohol, smoking, drugs and vices that may jeopardize their health from as early as possible.
3. Less TV, More Study. Kids need to have a zeal for learning and discovering new things. Model a love for reading by reading regularly yourself. Be a bundle of knowledge and your kids will love to do what you do (read) just to be knowledgeable like you.
Emphasize that the best way to curb being mediocre in their academics is to aim for less TV and make internet surfing more of research into problem areas or extra study. Encourage them to make friends and exchange ideas with more intelligent colleagues at school, get school assignments or projects done promptly and create ample time for private study. Monitor their progress by paying them regular visits at school, keeping in touch with their teachers, asking how their day went, checking their notes, ensuring they do and submit their assignments and hiring a private tutor.
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4. Punctuality. When do you drop your kids off at school? You tell them school is very important yet you manage to get them there 10 minutes into the first lesson on a regular basis? Start dropping them off early enough to teach them keeping to time is valuable.
5. Hard work. Teach your kids to strive for excellence through persistent hard work. Help them imbibe the culture of working hard to excel to prevent making the list of parents whose child(ren) are failures or engaged in vices to succeed.
If your child has a test on Monday morning and he’s been busy with play station all weekend, it’s time for a mild talk to set him on the right track. In the same vein, don’t hire mercenaries for your teenager. If he develops a knack for succeeding through honourable means now, he’ll be less likely to cut corners that’ll leave his reputation and yours tainted in the future.
6. Responsibilities. Some parents burden themselves with everything there is to do in their home or leave it all to the maids, leaving their kids no other task than to eat, go to school, play and sleep. That will only leave you a lazy lout. Assign age appropriate chores to your children. Having a couple of things they’re responsible for trains them for life outside home. In addition, train them to accept their faults by letting them know it’s okay to make mistakes sometimes.
7. No lies at all. Whether it’s white lies, red lies or blue lies, teach them to always say and stand up for the truth. Enforce consequences when they do, letting them know lying generally just complicates the situation and will make them look bad when the truth is finally discovered. Find examples in movies you’ve watched together or real life situations they’re aware of to illustrate your point and ensure you’re not a culprit yourself.
8. Prudence. Teach your child effective money management skills that would promote a savings culture and planning for the future. Introduce an allowance that helps them independently cater to specific needs over a period of time and save a particular fraction. Don’t reimburse until the period lapses and have them account before the next pay. Gradually, they’ll learn to spend with discretion and create allowance for savings.
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