It’s likely that most parents have heard the phrase “nature vs nurture” more times than was strictly necessary to understand the concept. That is, your child’s health, personality, behavioral patterns, and physiology are formed from a combination of genetics and the environment they’re raised in. When it comes to health and fitness, your children (in a manner of speaking) have to play the hand you’ve dealt them. That’s why certain diseases and conditions are genetic and tend to “run in the family.” However, you shouldn’t underestimate the effect that “nurture” has on your child’s development. With that in mind, today we’re going to discuss four ways you can set a good precedent for your little ones early on in –– so that they can develop healthy habits on their own!
Eliminating Junk Food
Parents of young children often find themselves strapped for time, and understandably, will rely on fast food to fill the occasional void. Unfortunately, processed foods and drinks with high sugar contents simply aren’t good for developing minds and bodies. If at all possible, cut out junk food from your diet completely. Though it may be difficult to get off unhealthy snacks cold turkey, there are more nutritious and delicious alternatives available now than ever before. Plus, don’t be afraid to share and enjoy them with your entire family.
Encourage Social Skills
Kids love to play –– and you should let them play. In fact, the benefits of daily exercise are so obvious that they don’t bear repeating. What is less enumerated though, are the benefits kids receive from playing with others within their peer group. We humans are social animals, and the more children are exposed to other people, the likelier they are to feel comfortable in social situations and while interacting with others in the future. (Even children as young as infants learn language through social cues.) So if you find yourself isolated with your kids, consider taking them to the park or else scheduling a playdate with other parents.
Regular Medical Checkups
Doctors and dentists have long been cartoonishly portrayed as villains and bumbling comic relief in children’s programming. The truth is though, few parents would want their kids growing up with an impression that medical professionals are in any way malevolent or incompetent. That’s why it’s vital to develop a sound rapport with your children’s pediatrician and to introduce your kids to the doctor’s office early on. The sooner they get acquainted with the sights, smells, and even equipment like the stethoscope and luer adapter at the doctor’s office, the more likely your little ones will be to trust medical professionals.
Developing Discipline and Patience
No, we’re not going to tell you how to discipline your children when they transgress. Rather, the idea of forming disciplined habits doesn’t have to revolve around punishing children at all. When we talk about discipline, what we mean is helping your child become more patient and willing to delay gratification. This is a skill that will aid them in just about everything they pursue in life. So however you strive toward this goal, make sure you do so in solidarity with your child. Kids love structure and sharing in activities with their parents. And the more involved you are in teaching them good habits like patience, the easier it will be for them to adapt.