Parents always want what's best for their kids, and keeping them safe and healthy is one of the primary concerns. But when things are busy, it can be easy to get lax on some things.
Children would, of course, prefer to eat candy and be left to their own devices, but that becomes harder to overcome when they grow into adulthood. Though kids might be resistant to some of these ideas, it's much easier to start out with good habits than breaks bad habits later on.
Here are 10 habits that every parent should get their children hooked on doing to make sure they grow up safe, healthy, and happy.
1. Get active for at least 60 minutes each day.
2. Practice good dental hygiene — and that includes flossing. Approximately zero people on this Earth actually enjoy flossing, but keeping teeth healthy over a lifetime is built on habits that start early.
3. Sit down for dinner as a family. Not only does this ensure everyone is eating enough of the right things, but it also provides time for parents and children to connect every day.
4. Practice deep breathing and meditation to get kids (and adults) to learn how to de-escalate stressful situations and be in control of their emotions.
5. Make healthy food choices. No matter what shape or size a child is, teach them to be mindful about the amount of sugar they're putting into their bodies for the sake of their health. One teaspoon of sugar is roughly 5 grams, so look at labels and measure it out if a strong visual is needed. Choosing water over juice and soda is a great way to cut back on unneeded sugar.
6. Read every day. Much of a child's academic performance is tied to reading skills. It also helps keep the mind sharp and wards off dementia in later years.
7. Reduce time spent in front of screens. Vegging out on the couch playing mindless games isn't good for a number of reasons, and the blue light from the screen can interrupt sleeping patterns.
8. Be proactive with safety. Wear helmets on bikes, use booster seats (if the child is small enough) and buckle up properly in vehicles in order to keep kids safe.
9. Wear sunscreen. There is a connection between severe sunburns as a child and occurrence of skin cancer later in life, so it's definitely worth the time to slather on SPF 50 or better.
10. Give them time to spend with friends. Whether this is time spent at a park with kids their own age or on some kind of sports team, spending time with kids their own age helps them deal with sharing, conflict resolution, and communication.
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[Header image: iStockphoto]