As parents, we all want the best for our children. We want them to live long, healthy, happy lives. The best chance for this to happen is by establishing healthy habits early on.
Here are 5 healthy habits to support children’s emotional well-being.
1. Model Behavior
From birth, we learn by watching and listening to others. This is called inductive learning, or discovery learning. Then, we imitate what we’ve seen or heard.
The most effective way parents can encourage healthy habits is by practicing these healthy habits themselves. Lead by example. Children inevitably pick up some of the mannerisms, language, and attitude of their parents.
2. Establish A Routine
Children thrive on routine. A consistent routine allows them to feel safe, secure, and in control of their environment. It also helps them predict outcomes, and develop confidence in predicting these outcomes.
From sleep to snacks and anything in between, make a routine. Funday Monday. Fitness Friday. Sundaes on Sunday. Make your child part of the routine-making process. You may be surprised at what they suggest.
3. Stay Active
It is recommended that children get sixty minutes or more of exercise each day. Meeting this recommendation can have a significant impact on energy levels, mood, and sleep quality for almost any age.
Promoting an active, healthy lifestyle from an early age sets a foundation for good physical and mental fitness later on. Make fitness fun. Take bike rides, play basketball, chase ghosts through a haunted forest. Whatever it takes to get movin’ and booin’!
4. Sleep Well
Studies show that kids with healthy sleep schedules have improved attention, learning, and memory. In addition, overall mental and physical health was better. Recommended sleep times can be viewed on the American Academy of Pediatrics website.
A consistent routine, free of devices and unhealthy snacks an hour before bedtime, can have a dramatic impact on a child’s behavior. Make it a habit to wind down with a good book or warm bath.
5. Independent Play
Children spend a lot of time being told what to do. Independent play gives them the opportunity to express themselves, and communicate their own ideas. These skills translate well to playing with others. Independent play even allows the chance for the brain to get bored- the child must learn new ways to stimulate themselves.
Setting a positive example and promoting healthy habits to support children’s emotional well-being is key to raising healthy and responsible adults.
If you need to find the best therapist for your child, we can help. We specialize in child therapy and adolescent counseling. Contact Dean A. Aman, LPCMH to schedule an appointment today.