Psychologists often emphasize the fact that behaviors learned in childhood tend to follow a child throughout the rest of their life. As parents, you’re largely responsible for helping your children develop good behaviors that enable happy and healthy futures. The earlier you begin teaching these behaviors, the easier it gets, so be sure to get started now on the following important lessons:
Health and personal hygiene
Several studies have shown that those who develop unhealthy habits in childhood are more likely to exhibit unhealthy behaviors as adults. This trend can be observed in the rising numbers of obese people in the United States; children who eat junk food and lead a sedentary lifestyle tend to carry those behaviors into adulthood. In an environment where fast food and television watching are commonplace, parents have to make an extra effort to provide their children with healthful foods and encourage physical activity.
Similar to this idea, it’s important for parents to encourage personal hygiene by teaching children to brush teeth properly and at least twice a day, flossing once per day. Although children may be losing their baby teeth anyway, developing these good habits is the most important objective of practicing dentist-recommended behaviors. You can use dental coupons to give your children the supplies they need to maintain excellent dental health, while still sticking to your budget. Daily bathing is also an important habit to foster in children, because adults who never learned about good hygiene may find it harder to get a good job.
Teaching your children to be respectful and to make ethical choices is arguably the most challenging – yet most important – responsibility you have as a parent. Simple lessons include teaching kids to clean up after themselves to share with others. Other lessons may be harder to explain, like why they should sacrifice for those less fortunate and not make assumptions about other people based on what they look like. Children often struggle with these ideas early in life because they’re so focused on their own happiness and satisfaction. However, parents should continually explain why children should exhibit ethical behaviors – and parents should lead by example, too.
Empathy plays an important role in helping children develop a strong ethical code. Although empathy may seem like an innate characteristic, children often have to be told why they should care about others and the appropriate ways to show they care. In other words, children may feel love and care for others, they just may be confused about the right ways to show it. Drive is another important character trait that will help children succeed in reaching their goals, whether they be personal, academic or professional.
Parents face many challenges when raising their children to be upstanding adults, but developing these habits is a process that will take some time. Although children may rebel against these habits at first, they’ll gradually begin to see how these behaviors influence their lives for the better as time goes by. Remember, it’s never too late to begin practicing these habits, so be sure to take advantage of any time you have left during your child’s developing years.