- GetActive! Singapore
Whether you believe it takes about a month (or some say, 66 days) to form a habit, it does take a significant amount of effort, discipline and time.
If it is already challenging for adults to develop new or change old habits, it will only mean our children need an even stronger nudge and earlier guidance towards the right direction to inculcate good habits.
Here are some habits we feel are good for our little ones to cultivate, hopefully to help them become better persons in future.
Develop an interest in reading
Start by reading to your child regularly, be it before bedtime, after each day’s homework done, when you visit your nearest library. Besides developing basic comprehension skills, books and words are windows to a whole world of imagination, shaping their creativity and aiding mental wellness.
Not every child is an extrovert or a natural at being the centre of the party. But learning how to interact and get along with others, make new friends and also accept differences and diversity… these are life skills that will create beautiful relationships. At the same time, embracing differences, communicating better, and even managing conflict are additional benefits. Arrange gatherings with other families with kids, or bring your kids to meet relatives and elders. Get them used to having many people around them from a tender age. Be beside them as they meet other kids their age, demonstrate how to make that first greeting, and watch them do their own magic.
Sharing is caring.
Yes, this good old value still stands. Teaching our kids how to share with their siblings and playmates is important, so that they may grow up to be considerate, generous and caring towards others.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Balance our kids' daily lifestyle on four main areas – physical activity, nutrition, rest and necessary screen time.
We may not be able to control everything they eat but guiding them on good food choices help. Additionally, we are probably already enforcing fixed rest hours for our little ones, in their crucial developmental years (even with the occasional cheat day). A good sleep routine ensures your child gets adequate rest to have enough energy for daytime activities. Some screen time is unavoidable, especially when school work likely involves use of electronic devices, but we can absolutely moderate what is necessary and what is excessive. Create opportunities for them to have regular physical exercise – even as they get their share of exercise and play in school - to get them used to an active lifestyle. Just like with food choices, guide them early towards physical literacy.
Setting Your Child Up for Success! Adopting Healthy Lifestyle Habits from Childhood
Your Child's Active Start in Life: Importance of Physical Literacy
Learn to cultivate money sense
Financial literacy may sound like big words for our kids, but start with the basics. Help them understand the value of money, and “working” or “putting in effort” in exchange for it. Give your child a piggy bank to teach them about savings. Set a (realistic) goal with them and offer a reward (not necessarily monetary) such as a family outing or trip when they reach the saving goal!
Maintain basic courtesy.
In this self-absorbed era, it may be surprising how a simple “please”, “thank you” and even “sorry” can prevent unpleasant moments and conflict. Set an example and be a role model for our kids, by demonstrating these pleasantries with others, as well as with our own children. They will definitely pick it up.
As an extension of being polite to others, it is only right that we accord elders and seniors respect. Show our children how we treat our parents with respect – make it known that the same is expected from them towards their grandparents. If done right, our children will demonstrate the same respect towards us. Even better, they will also internalise the value of filial piety.
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