Children are a big responsibility. From infanthood to being toddlers and even until middle school, they rely on their parents and other adults living with them to take care of their physical, mental, and emotional needs.
It may seem overwhelming, especially for new parents. Fortunately, it just takes common sense and a lot of love to help children grow strong and healthy.
You can also find several resources online for advice on how to do so. As such, here are some tips that can help you:
1. Make sure they get enough sleep
Sleep is crucial for your child’s development. With their high-energy and active lifestyle, kids need ample rest to allow their bodies to rejuvenate.
Infants need around 15–17 hours of snoozing each day, while toddlers should be able to doze for at least 11 hours. (1)
Meanwhile, kids aged between 6 and 12 still need about 9–12 hours of sleep each night. However, only 6 in 10 middle school students get enough rest. (2)
If you notice that your child has trouble sleeping, you should do all that you can to remove any hindrances. One possible cause might be that they’re using an old mattress or one that’s not the right fit for their needs.
It might be time to find a new one from Best Mattress or other retailers so your little one can get the best sleep their growing bodies need.
2. Prepare healthy and delicious meals
Of course, if you want your child to grow strong and healthy, you must make sure that they have a balanced diet. That means having them eat more fruits and vegetables compared to processed ones.
If you have a picky eater, try to think of creative ways to incorporate veggies into their diet. Smoothies are a no-fuss option since the flavor of fruits can mask the taste of vegetables.
Another way is to find new recipes that they might enjoy.
Just make sure you don’t give up on making healthy meals for your child. As long as you both work together for their well-being, you’ll definitely come up with regular dishes that give their bodies ample nourishment.
3. Teach your child proper hygiene
Children also need to be equipped with the knowledge and skills that entail proper hygiene. After all, they need to know how to take care of themselves to remove and prevent germs from going inside their bodies.
These are the fundamentals that you should teach them:
Bathing – You can start teaching your kids how to bathe themselves around the ages of three and five. Of course, you should still monitor them since they might slip. Guide them on how to use the shower, shampoo, and soap. Make sure they get to rinse properly as well.
Brushing teeth – Teach them how to hold the toothbrush and brush their teeth properly. The best way to encourage kids to practice oral hygiene is to show them how you do it first and have them master the movements.
Washing hands – These days, it’s crucial for kids to learn how to wash hands the right way to avoid spreading viruses. The recommended length of time to wash is 20 seconds. Although children tend to be impatient, you can make the process more fun by having them sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song, which is about the same as the recommended time.
4. Spend time with them
With so many ways to entertain kids these days, it can be tempting to leave them with digital nannies so you can go about finishing chores and work tasks.
However, spending quality time with your children is vital to their well-being.
It’s not just about being in the same room, though. You have to interact with them. Play together and communicate with them.
One common mistake that parents make is thinking that playtime is wasted hours or minutes. On the contrary, it’s how children learn the fundamentals of speaking and social etiquette.
Spending time with your child can make them strong mentally and emotionally. It’s found that those who have quality time with their families have a lesser risk of substance and alcohol abuse. (3)
5. Encourage their strengths
As a parent, it’s understandable to correct adverse behavior by reprimanding your child. However, if you aren’t careful, you might just see their negative traits.
When you keep on repeating these characteristics, it’s likely that your child would internalize them and make them their identity.
Instead, you should highlight their positive actions and reward them accordingly. The reinforcements don’t even need to be something tangible.
Words of praise and hugs can make a significant difference in boosting the morale of your child.
6. Be consistent with discipline
Of course, there really are behaviors that should be corrected, like when your kid takes stuff from their playmates or throwing food on the floor intentionally.
As such, you should be consistent in chiding these actions when your child does them so they understand that these behaviors are non-negotiable and should be changed.
7. Remember that they look up to you
You are your child’s first teacher and role model, so make sure that you practice what you preach. If you reprimand them for raising their voice in anger, you shouldn’t shout at them as well, even when you’re mad.
Children model the behavior they see, so you should be mindful of your actions even when you think they aren’t looking.
Additionally, this is why you should also take care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being because you can’t model good behavior if you’re struggling as well.
Parenting can be overwhelming, considering that there are a lot of factors that affect your child’s physical, psychological, and emotional growth.
Nonetheless, the challenges that you might encounter shouldn’t deter you from the goal of raising well-rounded kids.
For their physical development, you should ensure that they get enough sleep and eat healthy meals. Teaching them proper hygiene is also crucial in keeping them safe from germs and viruses.
On the other side, you should also nurture their mental health by spending time with them and boosting their self-esteem by highlighting their strengths.
And finally, be consistent in disciplining your kids, and remember to practice what you preach because they’re looking up to you.