How to Develop Good Habits in Child
“It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them” – Benjamin Franklin
At a young age, the habits your child inculcates are what stick with them through their life. This makes developing good, healthy habits early in life very important. Working on getting your child to develop good habits at a young age can go a long way in establishing the child’s personality and brings lifelong benefits for the child.
The kind of good habits that parents can help children develop can include good social skills, good manners and the kind of food choices and physical activity habits they indulge in.
While It might take time for children to acquire a habit, being patient with the child is key. Also, making sure that the child sticks to the behaviour on a daily basis will help solidify the habit into their personality and stick with them for life.
A few ways to help and encourage children to develop a habit are listed below:
Lead by example:
Children learn most of their life skills and habits by watching the people around them; especially their parents. So, setting a good example for them is important to teach them good habits. Exhibit your best and be a fine example yourself.
Harbour a healthy, positive environment:
Spend more time with your child and understand their likes and dislikes. Notice what encourages them to do better and make sure they are not criticized for their actions; rather, encourage them to do better. A lot of bonding time with them through activities like cycling, gardening or reading to each other.
Teaching children to respect others’ time and efforts is important and. Teaching them to follow certain rules with time bound tasks and allocating strict study and play time will help them learn to follow rules.
Trust the capability of your child:
Quite often you will have the urge to keep correcting everything your child does. You might be used to doing a task a certain way. But learn to let your children find their own way of doing things. Let them learn from their mistakes. Guide them but do not impose your way on them. Trust that they will figure it out.
Set realistic expectations:
When you give your children large tasks and they constantly fail to complete them, they might be left feeling dejected. Break big tasks into smaller tasks that they can do easily so that when they ace it, they feel a sense of fulfillment and are encouraged to do better in the future rather than give up.
If your child does something good or has taken initiative to help you out with something, show them that they are appreciated and their efforts have been noticed. This does not always mean giving them chocolate or toys. Even just a “Great JOB!” or thumbs up can make them feel seen. If they fail to do something or make a mistake, don’t punish them. Instead explain to them that they can do better and when they do, reward them.
Teach them to make good decisions:
It might be difficult for a child to tell good from bad or right from wrong. Sit them down and discuss the consequences of actions. Let them tell you what they think the consequence of action might be and help them understand how their actions must be focussed on making the world a better place for themselves and for others around them.
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