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A healthy family habit is much more than a shared practice at home. It is a way of life that brings the entire family together and strengthens bonds of love and support shared by each member.
Early childhood is the perfect time to inculcate healthy family habits in your child since they are more likely to grow into it and take it into their later years.
Here are some habits that promote healthy living and help in shaping the future of your child.
Sitting together as a family and sharing a meal is one of the main habits practised by a healthy family that has remarkable effects on children. It gives them a sense of belonging when every family member shares stories of what’s happening in their lives over light conversations filled with laughter and smiles.
For instance, talking to your children about what’s happening at your workplace or the list of things you need to do before their grandparents visit tomorrow gives them an idea of how healthy households function and moulds them for the future.
It is also a great way to get to know more about what’s happening at school and lookout for signs of bullying or child abuse.
Encourage your little one to spend time playing outdoors to ensure they are fit and active since regular exercise and healthy families are synonymous with each other. It also doubles up as quality time to bond with your little one.
You can either opt for a fitness activity like yoga and aerobics or go in for a sporty affair like running and swimming. You can also consider going for cricket coaching classes or take basketball lessons together, to learn a sport and remain fit at the same time.
Children love playtime. Whether it is a fun board game with your teenager or something as simple as building blocks with your tiny tot, playtime is perfect to forget your worries and focus on what really matters – your children.
No matter how often you shower your little ones with toys, clothes and other gifts, the only thing that matters to them is your time and attention. You can also think outside of the box and indulge in other fun activities like gardening.
This healthy family habit also works backwards, as children are teachers too! It is a brilliant way to disconnect from your monotonous life and connect with your child.
Reading a story to your child every night can be more advantageous than you can imagine. Not only will it encourage them to read, open up a world of imagination, trigger their writing talent and develop their listening skills, but it will also help them find comfort in the tone of your voice and the warmth of your hug.
This healthy family habit of reading to your child will bring in a regular bedtime routine, and help them fall asleep faster and sleep better.
Weekends and family time have always gone hand-in-hand. Let your family know about your plans or start a discussion on what can be done, so your children will look forward to the weekend.
It is a way of showing your commitment to them and gives out the message that you are excited to spend your free time with them. The plans don’t need to be too extravagant.
You can opt for simple and fun activities for kids like going to the beach and indulging in some delicious pani puri or take them for the latest animated film of their choice. Do try and stick to the plans made, as a broken promise may lead to a broken heart.
In today’s digital age, it is not an uncommon sight to spot a screen between a parent and a child. Children have become so used to digital gadgets that they often find solace in watching a cartoon online or playing a game, which is not a healthy sign.
To break this habit, consider having a ‘no-phone zone’ in your home. For example, you can make your dining room a ‘no-phone zone’ so your family can enjoy uninterrupted meals. However, this rule applies to parents as well, as actions speak more than words.
No list of healthy family habits is complete without the benefits of healthy food. Encouraging your child to have a nutritious diet is one of the pillars of good parenting. Instead of forcing your children to eat their vegetables, enlighten them on the nutritional benefits they offer.
For example, ask them to eat more carrots for a healthy vision or drink milk for strong bones. This way, they will know why they are asked to do it and will make it a way of life, rather than something to do just because you said so. You can also encourage your child to help out in the kitchen and cook up a storm with easy recipes, so they know the nutritional value of what they eat.
In the end, it all comes down to you being the role model for your child. Developing healthy family habits to encourage an active lifestyle for your children involves you changing your way of life as well.
So it is important to practice what you preach and be the person you want your child to become.