One moment they are placed in your arms and the next, they cry complaining how they hate school and suddenly they are big enough to go to school alone. Children really seem to grow fast, so fast that you don’t realize the years you wished they grew faster are long gone, and now you wish they just stayed the same.
When your kids have been inculcated with the right habits, values and attitudes you can rest with the fact that you have done your bit well and just wait see how they turn up.
Here are some of the healthy habits that you must inculcate in your child:
Hygiene- A point that can’t be stressed enough. A person’s hygiene is what gives the first impression and plays important role in how the person is perceived. If you inculcate few habits in the childhood itself, you can be assured that the habits stays.
A simple thing like washing hands can be really important in fighting off germs that are everywhere and bring with them hoards of diseases and illnesses. Most cases of colds and loose motion can be prevented by good hand washing habits.
Wash hands – Make sure your kid wash his hands after- School, before meals, after play and after visit to the bathroom.
- Tissue issue- Always make sure your kids carry handkerchiefs and tissue. Inculcate the habit of -sneezing only in the handkerchiefs and tissues or in the sink.
- Bathroom habits- Small kids can really be impatient while taking baths and if left to themselves, they would not have baths at all. Ensure your kid cleans all parts properly, washes his hair, leaves no shampoo in the hair and cleans the bottom properly.
Consistency really pays off in matter of hygiene. If you tell your child to wash his hands and feet every day after coming home, chances are he will start doing it on his own after few times.
Oral care- There is nothing painful like a toothache and nothing more painful like a toothache as a kid. To make sure that you child does not have frequent toothache and tooth decay. You have to be vigilant about dental habits since childhood. You should not only ensure that he brushes twice but also on how he brushes.
- He should be taught to brush for at least 2 minutes every day. It takes that much time to clean all your teeth.
- Teach him to use small circular motions while cleaning the teeth and brush in vertical motion for the front teeth.
- Tell him to clean the upper, the lower as well as the inside part of the teeth.
Regular visit to the dentist is essential in the childhood for good health of the teeth. If your child is resists, explain that regular visits are better than one occasional trip for tooth removal.
Eating habits- What your child eats when he is little, gives a clue to what his health will be like when he grows up. If you find that chips, candies, cakes and burgers are all your kid has taste for, it is time to act. Junk food with his attractive look and taste will make your child demand it but unless he is given homemade nutritious meals, he will have good chances of growing as an obese adult.
Include servings of fruit in his diet every day.
- Your kid should have at least one meal of sabzi, chappatis and daal everyday. Ask your kid to eat small but sure portions of every food type.
- Expose your kid to different types of food at a younger age- give him tofu, soy, dahi, salads, porridges. Variety will get him interested and give some more nutrients too.
- Control the intake of junk food by making them special treats and getting rid of stock early on.
Your child will not eat something that you don’t and will not demand anything unless it can be available. If all healthy options are in front of your kids, there is no reason why your child won’t eat and accept that.
Sleep- As our lifestyle is changing we find ourselves catching less sleep than our parents, our kids are also getting less sleep than what we got as kids. It is not a good trend as children need proper amount of sleep for their development and growth. Research only shows that children who do not get enough sleep in childhood turnout to be obese adults.
- Let your child sleep everyday at the same time.
- Do not let him stay late, just because you are watching TV or are doing some work.
- All children need more than 8 hours of sleep, if your child sleeps late, he will wake up late, so let him sleep early.
Exercise: Hours in front of the telly and some more in front of the computer and some more completing home work. Today’s kids are more inside the home than we ever were. If you don’t consciously change these, then these habits will make them sedentary adults.
- Let your child play outside in fresh air at least for an hour every day.
- Involve him in some physical activity like cycling, skating, swimming, gymnastics- whatever finds him interested.
- Encourage sports- give him the platform to try basketball, volleyball, cricket or tennis.
- Take him along when you are going out for walks or small shopping, it will be better than bonding over television.
Sexual Behavior: They are too little to be given sexual education but there is need to educate children about good and bad touch and how to deal with strangers. These things even though not pleasant will do their bit in protecting your kids against abuse.
Distinguish between these touches-
- Good touches- hugs, pat on the back, kiss on the cheek are all forms of expressing affection
- Bad touches- are those touches when someone hurts, hits or pushes you.
- Secret touches- are those touches when someone touches you and tells you to keep it a secret.
You must tell your kid that any kind of uncomfortable encounter with a stranger or even an acquaintance should shared with you. You must also tell your child that it is not his fault if something like this happens.