Family Habits - How To Set Your Children Up For SuccessMay 10, 2023
Habits are powerful things. They direct huge portions of our actions, and by extension, our lives. Helping our children develop good habits at a young age is one of the greatest ways we can set them up for success. And what better way to help your kids learn healthy habits than in a family context?
Habits - We Are What We Consistently Do
Consistency Is The Key
Powerful as they are, habits don’t just happen. Habits are the results of thought-processes and patterns of action built over time. Do something long enough, and your brain learns to do it automatically. With a clear plan and a dose of commitment, you and your family can perform the repetition necessary to cement a positive habit.
Good And Bad Habits
Habits of course cut both ways. We can form bad habits too with enough repetition, and sometimes these are easier to build because they happen without us knowing it. This is why being informed and intentional is so important. It’s not worth risking building bad habits and the negative consequences they lead to. On the other hand, it’s incredibly valuable to invest in good habits that will provide positive benefits for a lifetime.
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Healthy Family Habits To Start
Water Intake For Hydration
Staying hydrated is a great basic habit to start as a family. Drinking water helps with energy, digestion, mental clarity, and much more. And the negative side effects of dehydration make it worth avoiding if at all possible.
One of the simplest ways to drink more water is to trade a few glasses of juice for water instead. Water is a purer source of hydration without the extra sugar juice usually contains.
Screen Free Play
There’s still a lot more to learn about the effects of screens on young children, but so far the consensus is that the effects are largely negative. From sleep issues, aggression, brain white matter degeneration, and sedentary behavior, screens appear to do more harm than good for young children. Encouraging screen free play helps avoid these issues, and gives your children more healthy options that aid their development. You can learn more about the dangers of screen time, and find some practical screen free play ideas in our blog on the topic.
Creating a simple daily hygiene checklist will help your children take care of themselves and support their health everyday.
You can add things like brushing their teeth, exercising, washing their face, and more to this checklist. Then, you can have specific times throughout the day to tackle each item.
Having weekly family nights has loads of benefits for your family. It can help strengthen family relationships, improve communication and socialization, and give your kids a chance to learn new skills. This is a more parent led habit, but it’s still important to help your children climb fully aboard so they can experience the full range of benefits.
20 Minute Walk
Walking is its own kind of medicine, and is a great way to bond as a family. Creating the habit to walk as a family everyday as weather permits will improve your health and family relationships, and give your children the chance to explore and maybe even greet some of the neighbors.
How To Start Today
Find The Habit You Want To Start
The first step is to identify the habit you want to start as a family. Looking through some of the possible habits that would benefit your family, choose one you think will be impacting, and simple to implement. We’ll use hydration for the sake of example
Make It Clear
Next, define what it looks like to grow in that habit, and make sure that vision is clearly communicated to everyone. Whatever format you use to convey important information to your family, take some of that time to make it clear what the goal is, and be sure everyone is on the same page.
So for hydration, make sure everyone knows that the goal is for each person to drink a certain amount of water, and that you’ll be working on this goal together for say, a month.
Make It Fun
When communicating it to your family, and during the implementation process, make sure the habit is fun. If possible, make it a game or a challenge. Create visuals to mark your progress, or create a system where everyone’s progress contributes toward a family reward like a day out or a special family night. And be sure to have multiple benchmarks in place that you can celebrate as a family.
So maybe at the end of each week, check to see if everyone reached their hydration goals, and do something fun as a reward if they did. Celebrate the small wins.
Make It Simple
Habits are most attainable when they’re paired with things you already do, and when the obstacles to accomplishing them are removed.
To help everyone stay hydrated, buy everyone a water bottle, and make sure it’s clear to each person exactly how many bottles they need to drink to reach their hydration goal. Have filled water pitchers available easy access, and pick a few times throughout the day to focus on drinking. Maybe before teeth brushing, during snack time, after playing outside, and before bed.
Make It Rewarding
This is one of the most important aspects of building a habit. Share with your children the benefits of mastering this habit.
Using our example, tell them the perks of drinking more water, and the extra health, energy, and clarity they’ll enjoy by employing this simple habit. Do some research, and show them that it’s really a no brainer to drink more water once you know how good it is for you.
Learn The Foundations of health that have been proven for centuries to make life more enjoyable and meaningful.
Building A Healthy Lifestyle for You and Your Family has never been easier.
➢ Check out our Simple Foundations Course, a program designed to help you and your kids support your body through everyday activities.
➢ Choose one habit you want to start with your family, and follow the steps outlined in the blog to make it a reality.
It's the small choices that impact the most
If you want to see your children learn how to develop good habits that will serve them well for the rest of their lives, take some time as a family to start implementing healthy habits into your lives. The great part is, you as parents will benefit from these habits too. Forming good habits together is a rewarding, beneficial experience in every way.
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