Written by Dr Priscilla J S Selvaraj and published on 03 June 2021.
Good habits go a long way in character formation. And it's good to catch them young. Here are the top 20 habits for your little one.
While most parents may focus on their children's health and education right from the preschool stage, what happens when it comes to the formation of good habits for kids? They believe that the child will pick up good habits naturally as they grow. But, parents must realize that children need help to form good habits right from the toddler stage. Here, we list out 20 good habits you can practice daily with your kids!
Here is a list of good habits for kids that parents need to focus on:
1. Making 'reading' a habit
This habit opens up the gateways of knowledge to your child apart from serving as a healthy pastime. Let your child realize that books can be her best companions.
2. Playing outdoors
Rather than being a couch potato, encourage your little one to spend time in outdoor play. This will not only ensure physical fitness for him but also help develop his cognitive abilities.
3. Saving money
Get your child a piggy bank and teach her to start saving. Make her realize its importance. Let her watch her savings grow over a period.
4. Conserving resources
Whether it is water or electricity, let your child learn to save these precious resources. Help your child learn to turn off the tap and lights when not in use. Make him understand that both natural and manmade resources need to be saved.
5. Limiting screen time
This is a valuable habit your child needs to learn early on. With the present generation of children growing up on gadgets, it is very difficult to wean them away from technology once they get hooked to it. Therefore, regulate the time your child spends on screens.
6. Being organized
Let your child learn to put back toys and books in their respective places once she is through with them. Teach her to keep her things in an orderly manner. Most of our time gets lost in searching for something or the other. Being organized will ensure your child does not have to waste her time in this manner.
7. Adhering to a routine
Sticking to a set routine goes a long way in making your child disciplined. Help him to ease into a routine right from his early days.
8. Adopting a friendly attitude
Encourage your child to socialize with those around her and make friends among her peers. Forming friendships and maintaining them is an essential habit she will require for life.
9. Following a healthy lifestyle
Good eating habits, sleeping habits, physical exercise—all these contribute to your child's health. Let him adopt a lifestyle that will ensure he stays healthy.
10. Maintaining cleanliness
Guide your child to keep her room clean always. Being neat, tidy, and orderly will de-clutter her mind and help her stay calm and focussed. Let her also extend this cleanliness to her neighborhood. Teach her to dispose of waste only in garbage bins in public places.
11. Following good personal hygiene habits
Brushing the teeth, bathing, washing the hands before and after eating, not picking the nose, closing the mouth while sneezing or coughing, washing the face, hands and feet immediately after entering the house—these are some of the points you could include when you train your child on hygiene. Make your child realize that good hygiene contributes to good health.
12. Confiding in you
Encourage your child to speak freely to you on anything and everything. Let her share with you all that happened during the day. Encourage her to confide in you when something bothers her. This will prove especially helpful when she upset, hurt, afraid, confused, or angry.
13. Working hard
Show your child how to use time effectively. Let her learn the importance of hard work. Make her understand that a laid-back or lackadaisical attitude towards work will get her nowhere.
14. Exhibiting good manners
'Please', 'Sorry' and 'Thank you'—teach your child to use these words whenever required. Also, impart lessons on table manners, conversational etiquette, behavior in public, and so on.
Today's materialistic world makes children selfish. Let your little one learn the habit of sharing what she has with others. This will make her conscious of the needs of others.
16. Extending courtesy
Explain to your child the importance of being kind and courteous. This habit will help her grow into a caring and helpful child.
17. Showing respect
Learning to show respect for herself and others is an important value your child must learn. Show her how to greet people, listen to another's point of view, and stand up for herself.
18. Being honest
Encourage your child to be truthful. If you catch her lying, ask her to explain the situation, and help her think of a solution to undo the lie.
19. Helping others
Let your little one help you around the house. Give praise for the specific help she renders. She will be motivated to practice doing it often.
20. Having patience
Your child must learn how to be patient. Show him how to wait for his turn, to stop and think before he does something, to name his feelings of anger or frustration. This will help him regulate his emotions.
You may also help your child learn these habits through stories, role-plays, or songs. But, the best way is by practicing them yourself. Remember the adage, 'Practise what you preach'.