From the moment you become a parent, the pressure is on it seems…. How can I be the best possible parent? How do I cope with the responsibility? And how can I guide my child best? I think most parents have in common the overwhelming feeling of ‘I must get this right’… And the important thing to remember is that we don’t have to be perfect parents, no such thing exists, we just have to be good enough.
Ensuring our kids are happy and healthy really is the number one priority, and there are various habits that we can adopt and make part of day-to-day family life.
1 – Set by Example
Conduct your day-to-day life and habits as well as you can, as kids will copy. If you eat chocolate for breakfast, then it’s going to be difficult to expect your child not to. Choose well-balanced meals, and encourage your child to make healthy choices by limiting having treats in plain view. Take away the temptation, it’ll make your life easier and tantrums limited too!
2 – Don’t skip Breakfast
It really is the most important meal of the day, fueling yourself for the day ahead is super important. Adopting the routine of having breakfast each morning from childhood helps make it more likely for this good habit to continue into adult hood. It kickstarts their brain and energy.
3 – Eat round the Table
There is the old saying, a family who eat together, stays together, and I think there is something rather lovely in that sentiment. Encouraging your children to sit around the dinner table at least once a week is a hugely positive experience for the whole family. A chance to chat, laugh, and engage with each other.
4 – Eat A Rainbow
Colours are not just pretty and fun, there are huge health benefits to eating fruits and vegetables of all different colours. Help your children understand the nutritional value of eating a rainbow of foods.
5 – Communication is Key
Teaching our children effective communication will really set them up for adult hood, learning to listen and speak articulately, ask questions and take constructive criticism, is a very important life skill.
6 – P’s and Q’s
As my mother said, manners cost nothing. Instilling polite etiquette in your children will not only help them in general communication, it will also encourage good people skills. Learning to say please and thank you will always come across well.
7 – Get Physical
It doesn’t really matter what it is, the main thing is that your children do something physical. It’s totally okay to have some TV and smart phone time in controlled proportions, but it’s also extremely important for kids to get outside and get active. Give them a choice of activities, and as long as they pick one that is great.
8 – Embrace Boredom
We live in a culture where children have busier social diaries than most adults! It is really important for children to just be children at times, and actually embrace boredom. Boredom is a huge part of being a child, as it stimulates relaxation when needed, and a creative imagination to adopt spontaneous play.
9 – Drink Water
Limiting the amount of soft drinks your children consume is really important for their overall health. Sugary drinks provide no nutrients, and the extra calories can lead to weight problems and teeth issues. Encourage water drinking from an early age and limit other options.
10 – Keep Positive
Help your children deal with any setbacks… failure is an important life lesson, and it’s how we embrace any challenges that sets us up for a healthy and happy adulthood. Support your child through any challenges, remind them of their strengths and that they are wonderful and unique no matter what.