Good Habits to teach : Do you remember the first time you tried a bicycle? Wasn’t it looking very dangerous to you specially if it did not have trainer wheels?
Have you ever wondered how will you even manage to sit on it, leave alone ride it? Without falling. And slowly you learnt how to ride your bicycle.
And then you get a new bike. Now you are completely zapped with the accelerator and the gears. Suddenly your bicycle looks very safe and your bike does not. Time passes by you learn to ride your bike also.
You have now got a car. 4 wheels, steering wheel, brakes, gears, mirrors. All this looks too much to take. And slowly you learn that also.Today years later when you want to go out and you take your car. You no longer think whether it is possible, or how long, how dangerous it would be.
You drive your car as if you have done it all your life. Without even second thoughts about it. You have created a habit. And driving becomes habitual thing for you today.
- What is a habit and its Importance?
- How are Habits Formed
- 25 MUST HAVE Good Habits to teach your kid
Habits can be described as the building blocks of a successful and happy life. So, your children should learn the best of them to achieve greatness.
Habits do not come automatically. And good habits will be the hardest to practice.
But with time and proper guidance, good habits will be easy, so much so that your children will be programmed to do them without any second thought.
In this blog we have attempted to list out 25 important good habits to teach that we feel are needed for a child.
But before that lets understand the basics of what a habit is, its importance and how a habit is formed to help understand the concept better. This will make it easier to implement.
What is a habit and its Importance?
As per Wikipedia definition: A habit is a routine of behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously.
Mahatma Gandhi who is the father of Indian nation has put it very beautifully.
“Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become Your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.” ― Mahatma Gandhi.
So, you see… habits become values and values become your destiny. Given that destiny is tied to habits. Habits become that much more important.
How are Habits Formed
Ever habit is formed through a psychological pattern called the “Habit Loop”. This pattern has 3 steps and they feed into each other.
Let me explain the three steps (Trigger, Routine, Reward) with an example.
Assuming you are upset about something. On the way home you spot an ice cream shop. You stop by to eat an ice cream. And you buy yourself an ice cream. You relish it. And You feel better. You go home.
The next time you get upset your brain remembers that you felt better after having an ice cream. So now you seek out to have an ice cream. You once again feel better and you head home. Guess what happens the next time you are upset? When this cycle repeats you have formed yourself a habit.
The above is a “habit loop”.
In the above example.
The trigger is: You are upset about something
The routine is: The next time you get upset your brain remembers that you felt better after having an ice cream. So now you seek out to have an ice cream. You once again feel better and you head home.
The reward is: You feel better. When you the next time you once again feel better. Reward is that which makes you seek the solution for the trigger (in the above case it is the feeling of being Upset).
Triggers can be anything. From emotions, boredom, memories, patterns, time of day etc.
When a habit is formed your decision-making ability to the trigger goes into hibernation. Once again in the above example. When you are upset you seek out an ice cream first rather than taking time out to sit and think and decide on what the next steps are.
When you form a habit, you start actioning on it subconsciously. In the earlier example of learning how to drive a car. Once you are well versed in it you do not pay full attending like how you did when you were learning. You think about something, listen to music, or worse talk over phone while driving.
25 MUST HAVE Good Habits to teach your kid
I am sure as a parent you already know most of it and have already succeeded in forming a healthy habit in your child. However, we have listed below 25 must have Good habits to teach your kids.
You can run through it as a checklist to know that you have covered it all. And most of the good habits to teach your kids are already taught.
In case any of it is missed out we also urge you to start as early as possible so that your kid can develop the habit at an early stage itself.
1. A healthy sleep schedule
Sleep undoubtedly is one of the most important factors which affect the proper functioning of the child. This does not mean that having good sleeping should not be limited to childhood.
Sleep has its benefits in all walks of life. Create a bedtime routine for your child and make sure that he/she is consistent with it.
If you like to know more about sleep and get some helpful tips on how to make your kids get a good night sleep. Read our detailed blog on Introducing Sleep For Kids In A New-light (With 17 Helpful Tips).
2. Healthy eating habits
Child obesity is drastically rising and much of it has to do with the unhealthy diet of children.
Healthy eating is definitely one among the most important good habits to teach our kids.
Children would demand fast foods such as chips, chocolate, sweets, and biscuits because they provide them with instant gratification making them want more of it. This, if continued, will ultimately lead to obesity.
As a parent, you must make sure your child is attracted to eat healthy food. Home-cooked potato chips, pizzas, and cookies are a great way to prevent them from consuming junk food.
Additionally, make sure the child eats food with different colors. Not only it will have health benefits, but it also makes eating more enjoyable to them.
If you like to know more on nutrition for kids along with helpful tips on how to get your family embrace nutrition. Read our blog All you need to know about kids’ nutrition.
3. Do not skip breakfast
It is a very common saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And this is very very true. Skipping breakfast can have detrimental effects on your child’s health.
In most of the families where time management skills are poor. In the rush to get up get ready and catch the school bus having a good breakfast becomes the first victim.
It is a crime to have the kid go to school without breakfast. Without energy to the brain your kid will struggle to concentrate and be active till lunchtime where the much-needed food be given to the brain.
Make sure your kid has breakfast on time all the time. So even if there is need or a temptation to skip breakfast. The habit of having breakfast on time will ensure that the kid becomes hungry at the given time and will seek food.
4. Drinking enough water
Yes, this is as important as having healthy food. The adult human body is composed of 60% water and the brain itself is composed of 73%. As you see lack of water will give rise to many health concerns.
Make it a habit to have all the water bottles filled and placed on the table. Preferably have separate bottles for each kid so that you are also able to find out the quantity of water intake your kid has. Ensure all empty bottles are filled up and kids are reminded to drink water.
Make kids responsible to carry water with them when they go out. Having water available is the first step to creating habit of drinking adequate water.
5. Teaching them to have a good family time
With busy lives and advanced technology, we experience today, there is little to non-human interaction at home. This needs to change.
Start small by making it mandatory to have one family meal together. Make sure everyone keeps their devices away. Be preset and attentive.
Talk about your day and ask your kids about theirs. There are numerous benefits of family time meal. And when you insist and make it a habit you will be setting strong foundation for a healthy living for your child.
6. Good Table Manners
Ensure that children follow good table manners. Manner such as not talking while chewing, chewing with their mouth closed.
Not reaching out for something instead asking it to be passed around the table. Proper handling of cutlery, napkins, and plates.
Children with good manners are more pleasant and pleasing. And are appreciated and embraced by society than ill-mannered children and hence it features in our list of 25 good habits to teach our kids.
7. Regular Physical activities
Allowing your kids to have a sedentary lifestyle is one of the biggest mistakes you will make as a parent.
This fact might shock you: Prisoners spend more time outdoors than kid’s do.
Screen time addiction is one of the main culprits for sedentary lifestyle. We understand the issue and hence we have addressed this issue in our parental challenges category in our blog SCREEN ADDICTION IN KIDS – All you need to know with Tips to help parents how to help their children to come out of this habit.
They must be encouraged to have a much more active lifestyle. Including walks, rides and weekend outdoor activities will be sufficient. By doing this your kid reaps numerous benefits by playing outdoor and reap all the benefits of being exposed to sunlight.
If I have to pick the top 10 good habits to teach kids kids this one would be almost near the top of the list.
The benefits of reading include an increase in knowledge and memory. It improves concentration and focus. This can greatly impact their academic life
When kids are small you can read to them. Or if they are toddlers you can hold them in your lap when you are reading the morning newspaper. So, they get an idea of the “print” material. When you make reading time enjoyable and pleasurable for your kid. You will soon find them opening a book on their own and pretending to read.
You can read stories to your children. Stories have a huge impact on the child’s development and can shape the child’s way of thinking and outlook. If you like to know more on why storytelling is gaining a lot of importance these days you can read my blog Storytelling to kids – Popular Trend these day.
When kids get to the reading age. Do get them age appropriate books for them to read and sit along with them and help them to read.
Slowly yet steadily they will get into the habit of reading and then all you will have to do is to have material available for them and they will pick it up and read.
To get more ideas for helping your kid to read. you can browse our article Incredible benefits of reading to kids.
“Everything has a place and everything in its place”. Keep repeating it to your children whenever you see something that is out of place.
Call your kid out and have them clear it for you instead of you doing it yourself or having your help do it. It is important that they learn to do it them self and habits get formed by repeatedly doing an action.
Cleanliness also refers to being well organized. Your children should be taught to keep their rooms clean as well as their toys, books, and other items in the right place.
10. Washing Hands
With the corona breakout, the importance of maintaining proper hygiene was thoroughly highlighted.
Train them to wash their hands before and after meals, and when returning home after school.
Learn more about personal hygiene that is recommended to be followed by kids in our blog How to introduce Personal Hygiene to Kids and When?
11. Having Short nails
Please say cleanliness is next to godliness. Children especially love to play and when they play, they are quite messy. Children often put their hands in their mouths. Hey when they have longer nailed, they run the risk of having dirt settle between their nails. This can lead to worm infections. Having short nails ensures the risk to be lowered.
Also, children tend to interact with other children much more physically then adults. Having long nails can lead to scratching or hurting intentionally or unintentionally another person.
Children’s motor skills are in the process of developing hence they may not be as coordinated as we are. So, with long nails they run a risk of hurting themselves also.
Make it a habit to inspect your children’s nails once every week. And encourage them to let you know when their nails grow longer.
Appreciate them when they ask you to cut their nails. This acts as a positive reinforcement for developing the habit of cutting nails and keeping them neat and clean and safe.
12.Daily showers and dress presentably
This is indeed one of the basic needs of a human. Encourage your child to take a shower at least twice a day. This is needed because children tend to play a lot and can get sweaty and messy.
And encourage them to dress up neatly and presentable. Dressing up well not only gives a good appearance and makes the kids socially acceptable it also boosts and builds self-confidence.
To know more about basic life skills that can be taught to our children at different age read a detailed blog TEACH YOUR CHILD LIFE SKILLS: A How-To Guide (Age Wise)
13. Littering public places
Being a responsible and beneficial citizen is one of the purposes of raising a child. Public places are not for littering and waste should be thrown into the nearest dustbin.
This simple habit will develop them into better adults who are more socially responsible citizens.
14. Importance of Please, Thank you, and sorry
Teaching them to use these words more often can help them tackle many issues in life. Teach your kid that such polite words elevate one’s position and is not a sign of weakness. Insist that they use them every time till they form a habit.
Respect is not something that comes with your job or your family class. Respect is something that is earned and not demanded. Teach your children to be humble and respectful to others, especially elders.
15. Teach kids to share and help others
What goes around comes around. Do good and good will follow, sometimes it can be multiplied. Sharing is also one the good habits to teach our kids.
This is something coupled with being grateful. Teach them to share their things with people who cannot afford them, after all, happiness is not owning every toy in the world, but making someone happy by sharing what they have.
Encourage kids on helping. Tell them stories that has such moral values to kid can strive to imitate them.
One another way where kids learn these type of collaborative skills is when they play. Esp outdoors which is usually with other kids.
If your kid is shying away from going outdoor and playing . We got it covered in our blog How-to get your kid to play outdoors.
Show that you are very proud when you spot them share or help others. Show them by being an example yourself.
16. Teaching Gratefulness
In a day and age where we can order any food item through our smartphone, there are still countries where people die of starvation. About 9 million people lose their life to hunger.
Like food, we take water, electricity, and shelter to be granted. These are some necessities some people dream of.
Our kids need to understand this at a young and be grateful for what they have.
Train them to see good in every situation, this habit of being grateful is the foundation of happiness indeed.
17. Do not be a Bully
Bullying or ragging can be a serious problem when it comes to school systems. You would not want your child to be a bully or be the victim. Teach them to defend themselves and stand up to those who are weak.
18. Being honest
This is one of the most important virtues one should have. Honesty is the key to win other people’s hearts. Always teach them to be honest, no matter how hard the situation is.
Encourage them when they are being honest. Show them that it is ok to make mistakes but if they are not willful, and kids learn from their mistakes.
Values define our destiny. We highly recommend that you read our blog on Surprising truth about Moral Values development in kids
19. Being Patient
Children can be impatient most of the time. In today’s stressful world having patience is the key to be in peace.
Teach them to be calm and relaxed during situations where things did not go as planned.
Children tend to follow their parents and imitate them. One of the best ways to do this is when you practice patience yourself.
20. Do not harm animals
Like humans, animals are living creatures with feelings. Children should be taught to differentiate between harmful and harmless animals. Advise them to stay away from harmful animals.
21. Safety First
Teach children about safety. This is one of the non negotiable good habit to teach your kid. Safety consciousness should be imbibed into your child to ensure the kid’s betterment.
Keep bringing in the motto of safety first all the time. Ensure the children are following safety protocols.
Basic ones such as wearing a helmet while driving a bike. Wearing their seat belt. Putting on sunscreen when they go out to play. Having knee pads and appropriate safety gears when they play games.
When you as a parent keep insisting on these to the children it sends a strong message that safety needs to be followed. And invariably your children will start following the safety measures as a habit even when you are not watching.
22. Money Management
Children are not interested in money at very early stages in their life, but there will come an age in their life where they realize the importance of having money and saving them.
Teach your kids how to manage their money. Sound money management is one of life’s basic skills our children should have. But the sad truth is that this very important skill is not taught in our school education system’s curriculum.
So, we as Parents and guardians become our kids primary, if not the only source of education to develop money management skill development.
The responsibility squarely rests on us to help our kids build their strong foundation of financial competence. A foundation that can last a lifetime so that our children enjoy a much fulfilling life.
We have given lot of ideas along with how and when to teach children money management in our blog post MONEY MANAGEMENT for Kids – How and when to start?
No matter how financially stable you are, teach your children the importance of hard work.
Let them engage in house chores and reward them for their hard work.
Set at least 1 chore completely to them apart from having their room clean. It can be something as simple as getting the newspaper in the morning to emptying the bin. This will teach them not only to be responsible but also help them to get into the mind set of working.
24. No to addictive items
Do not think that talks on addition (such as alcohol, drug use, smoking, sex etc.) is only to be done to older children. You can start having age appropriate initial conversations from quite an early age.
Talk to your kids on addiction and how it happens. Educate them on the effects of addiction. Show them examples such as when you see a drunk lying on the road. Teach them the ill effect without judging the person.
Apart from these addictions one of the addiction that most of us are guilt in contributing is scream addition.
If you feel your kids is developing the habit of being glued to screen then you MUST read our article on SCREEN ADDICTION IN KIDS – All you need to know with Tips.
There are many reasons why kids get into addiction. It largely depends on the family background. Be involved in your child’s life as much as possible.
As a parent, if you are involved in such habits, make sure that your children do not see you in action.
25. Accepting defeat
Failure is a good thing; it can direct your child on the right path. While you might wonder why is it a good habits to teach our kids.
The idea is not to make it a habit of failing but the more specific good habits to teach is accepting and bouncing back.
So, teach them to accept defeat and explain that it is a good thing. Many successful people today have failed many times.
Show them examples of famous personalities and how they failed and bounced back. Talk to them on your own failures and how you overcame it.
Give them a positive outlook in life and help them to move forward one step at a time.
Challenges are very common in life. And we need to teach our children how to face challenges.
As a parent it is important that we can help them cope and face challengers. You cannot afford to miss out reading the blog 11 Practical ways to help your child face challenges
As mentioned earlier we have outline what we believe are 25 most important good habits to teach our kids.
This will not only benefit our children but will also make us proud.
If you are a new parent. Then you will benefit from reading our blog 15 Easy Practical Parenting Tips – For New Parents.
There is a saying “From the cradle to the grave”. So, what we teach our children today and the habits that they form are going to last lifetime.
And when we do a good job of it, we are helping children face situations and be successful in life.
We hope this blog has been helpful to you. If Yes, show us love by sharing the blog post with your friends and loved ones. Together we can make the world a better place one step at a time.
If have missed out on any other important good habits to teach our children, please do share with us in your comments below. This will help us to make our blog better and above all your knowledge will benefit other parents also.