Raising kids has all sorts of challenges.
Some of these challenges can seem nearly impossible to overcome. However, it is all worth it when you child makes it to adulthood as a responsible, well-rounded person—getting there is the tricky part.
One of the best things we can do for our children is teach them good habits. Habits will outlast a rule or a “because I said so.” Habits will carry children into adulthood and hopefully stick long enough for them to pass those habits to their own children.
It can be tricky to teach your children in effective ways, but the best way to teach your child healthy habits is by displaying them in your own life.
If you really want your child to have certain habits, you may have to develop them first so that you can teach them to your child.
Try these tips for healthy habits to teach your kids in order to be sure that they turn out happy.
- Eat Healthy. In a culture full of fast food and frozen dinners, teaching your kids how to eat healthy can seem impossible. One of the best ways for you to instill good eating habits in your children is to practice them yourself. Take the extra time to cook dinners and make your children lunches. Show them that eating healthy is not a burden, but a blessing! If they see how much you enjoy it, they will be more likely to give it is shot (Read: You Are What You Eat – 7 Dangers of Fast Food).
- Basic Hygiene. This is one of those things that you will need to be intentional about. As adults, we already have habits of washing our hands or brushing our teeth that seem so obvious that we think we don’t need to really teach our kids to do that. However, you definitely need to teach your kids what to do for basic hygiene. Taking a little extra time to brush your teeth with them will show your children that it is something good and grown up to do (Read: Avoid These Ten Habits that Harm Your Teeth).
- Love Well. Emotional health is definitely underrated in our country because we have a pill for everything, but this is something you can teach your children. Teach them to have deep, intentional relationships with people. Teach them to love you, the rest of their family, and their friends well. This will surely help them in future relationships. You definitely want your child to understand what it means to truly love someone.
- Be Generous. Generosity is also underrated in our culture. We worked hard for things, so we shouldn’t just give them away, right? It is mine! Well, this is something that your child will naturally identify with. Make sure you explain to your child that it is important to not be stingy with people—especially the people closest to you.
- Balance. As adults, we know how difficult it can be to find balance in life—we either work too hard or play too hard. If you teach your child what it is like to have balance in their life, you might be able to help them avoid having such an imbalanced life. Try to show them how to manage things in a way that will not leave you imbalanced.
- Be Ambitious. So many people settle. One of the best things you can teach your child is to follow their dreams. If they have ambitious ideas, let them keep them. Don’t crush them with reality until the last possible second. Creating habits of ambition will definitely benefit them in their adult lives.
- Work Hard. Discipline is something that is definitely learned. Working hard is a great skill to have as you are growing up because you need to work hard as an adult in order to get wherever you are trying to go. Although we naturally want to make everything as easy as possible for our children, teaching them to have a good work ethic will benefit them more than just giving them everything they ever wanted (Read: 7 Tips for Finding the Perfect Job).
- Value Education. Most kids don’t exactly love school. However, try to get them excited about it. If you are excited about it, they are more inclined to have a better attitude. Make school fun and interesting. And definitely don’t make it all about the homework—help them enjoy learning. This will definitely stick with them especially in college!
- Be Kind. Kindness is something that is seen less and less in the modern world. This is another habit that is best learned from observation. If you are kind to people, they will imitate you. Telling them how beneficial it is to be kind to others and them showing them how to do it will be a great way to establish a good habit of being kind to others.
- Manage Technology. Technology has definitely invaded every single part of our lives. There is no getting around it. However, you need to teach them to be in control of technology—not the other way around. When they are young, you still have a lot of control of how much technology they can use. Teach them how to do things without technology so that they can see that you don’t have to be completely reliant on technology for everything in your life.
- Appreciate the Outdoors. Many kids are losing interest in “playing outside” because they would rather be playing video games or watching TV. Try to create some habits in your kids that will help them to love being outside. Show them how fun it can be to run around outside and they will develop habits of appreciating the outdoors. Also this will hopefully teach your children to value exercise and physical activity which is a must for being healthy as an adult.
- Values (Stay True to You). In a culture that is constantly trying to steal or craft your identity, this can be one of the most important things you teach your child in order them to be healthy throughout their entire life. Teach them not to compromise on who they are or what they believe just because they don’t fit in. So many problems can arise later in life if you don’t learn to be content with yourself as a child—you will always be searching for an identity. Teach your child to love their own personality so that they can be healthy and appreciate other personalities.