Looking after your newborn is a difficult and exhausting task. Unfortunately, your feelings or dedication won’t change for the next couple of decades, so you should be somewhat comfortable with sleepless nights, and worrying every time your baby is not beside you, even though he or she is already big enough to move out of the house.
However, healthy children become healthy adults, so it’s never too early to teach your kids good manners and allow them to embrace positive habits.
1. Healthy eating
Children have questionable tastes in food that can radically change from one day to another so trying to impose a strict diet almost always fails or, even worse, leads to eating disorders or health problems in the future.
Although educating your children when it comes to healthy choices seems easy in the first few years of life, saying no to their cravings as they age becomes harder by the day. The solution is not to completely ban candy, sweets, salty foods, fast foods, and snacks but to educate your kid about the benefits and side effects of such a lifestyle.
One candy or a slice of pizza per day won’t harm your health, as long as the rest of your meals consist of healthy and nutritious foods.
The same goes for soda as opposed to water. Soda might taste better and even boost your energy levels in the short term due to the high sugar intake, but water is the healthier choice in the long term. It is the only one that keeps your body hydrated and in good shape.
2. Spending quality time with your family
You can’t choose your parents or siblings, but this doesn’t mean that you should alienate them just because they don’t seem to agree with you on your life choices. Often enough, parents and older siblings try to protect you from being heartbroken or failing in the future, even though it may seem like the opposite.
Bonding time with the family is crucial for developing empathy and creating special connections with your parents and siblings. Having dinner together, going on vacations, or simply watching a movie will lead to good memories and affection, which will boost your child’s confidence and independence.
3. Learning to play an instrument
Music is known for developing parts of the brain that are related to memory and intelligence. Even though your child might not become a virtuoso, playing an instrument will also teach him or her about patience, devotion, sacrifice, and success.
Studies have also shown that children who learn to play an instrument at an early age have a higher success rate later in school when it comes to tests and exams. Pianos are the perfect instruments for toddlers, and you can find a good one to start with pretty easily. Violins, guitars, drums, and other instruments are also great, as long as your child shows any interest in them.
4. Stay active
Children are extremely receptive and will pick up most of their parents’ habits. Therefore, try to be a role model for them. Staying active is a good way to spend quality time with your kids, while also teaching them strength and other skills.
Going for long walks in the park, hiking, swimming, snorkeling, skiing, jogging, playing tennis or any other form of outdoor activity that requires your body to move is great. Keep in mind that children have a lot of energy, and the easiest way to make sure they’ll go to bed early is to get them tired.
Maintaining a healthy body weight will also allow your kids to grow according to their age and prevent a series of other diseases and conditions, including diabetes, heart problems, and eating disorders.
Don’t forget that regular exercise also reduces stress and anxiety, problems that your kid might easily confront. A walk in the park won’t make their problems miraculously disappear but it can create the perfect ground for them to open up about what’s hurting them.
Ultimately, any time you spend with your kid will help them bond and, if you show trust and good intentions, they will learn to trust you and your judgment. Your kid needs to see you as a close friend or at least someone who won’t mock, judge, or punish them for their mistakes.