One of the hardest parts about parenting is making sure that your kids establish the right routines. You want to help them become healthy, successful, and socially acceptable adults able to take care of themselves. It’s a really simple job description, but the actual implementation of such routines is no walk in the park.
Getting to Bed on Time
Getting the kids to bed on time helps them grow and stay healthy. According to Healthy Children, even kids up to age 12 may still need as much as 9-12 hours of sleep a day to stay healthy. Not to mention there’s the added benefit of you as the parent getting some much-needed recharging time. Creating a bedtime routine can be chaotic at first, but the best thing you can do is to stick with it. Have your child engage in calm activities such as reading a book or doing a puzzle up to 30 minutes before getting them ready for bed. Then, make bedtime fun: get ready with them, if they want or need the help, and end with a story. Using a whitenoise machine can also help kids drift off more quickly once they’re in the bed.
Brushing Their Teeth
Teaching kids how to brush their teeth can be one of the more challenging routines to establish. Though cavities are pretty common amongst kids, establishing good dental habits is a must. Showtime Smiles explains that poor dental hygiene is also a common culprit of tooth discoloration in children.
For reluctant younger children, a flavored toothpaste or cool toothbrush may help, or perhaps a chart that they get to mark once brushing is completed. For older children, talk with them about the benefits of good dental health and the ramifications of tooth decay. There are plenty of examples at your dentist office if they need a visual!
Washing Their Hands
Regular hand washing is one of the best weapons against spreading disease. In fact, according to Children’s Health, routine hand washing could prevent as much as 20% of the respiratory infections that young children regularly get sick with. So for their own health and for others, encourage your kids to wash their hands before eating, after sneezing, coughing, or using the bathroom, after playing with any objects in a communal space, or upon coming inside the house from the outdoors.
Establishing proper routines in your children can be a hard, frustrating, often uphill task, but just remember that the outcome is a happy, healthy, and well-adjusted adult. Even if they don’t thank you now, they’ll be grateful later for your implementation of healthy routines. Habits stick after all, good or bad!