Shape your family’s healthy habits

A new year is a great time to jumpstart your family’s health and wellbeing by creating and building healthy habits. While New Year’s resolutions are easy to make but easier to break, investing in developing healthy habits through repetition, which can be easily incorporated into your lifestyle will help you sustain them.

Start at a young age

The younger the children are, the more likely they are to develop healthy habits. Remember that both bad and healthy habits can be hard to break. Good habits developed at an early age can increase the probability of carrying their good habits into adulthood.  While it is ideal to start healthy habits at younger age, it is never too late to introduce them to older children.

Involve the whole family

Invite children to participate in the process. If they are older, ask them to consider and evaluate some healthy habits that the family can work on together. Discuss and educate children on the reasoning and benefits of the habits and come up with strategies to work on them.

Be patient and persistent

Know that setting habits takes substantial amount time, effort and consistency.  Also, know that that progress may be slow; be ready for some frustration, resistance and pushback.  Be persistent and patient, re-evaluate the goals and restart the process again.  While it can be challenging at times, the rewards are worth the effort and time.

Provide motivation

It can be tempting to give up on their habits as the results of the good habits might not be immediate.  Counter the lack of immediate progress with reinforcements such as positive self talk, providing support and cheering each other on. Check in and track the progress that your children and making, acknowledge their effort, and remind them of the long-term benefits. Remember to celebrate the small wins.

Be a good role model

Children learn best from significant people around them. For most children, the most important role models are their parents and caregivers. In other words, children are more likely to develop good habits if their parents have good habits. This means, acting the way you want your children to emulate.

Focus on positive habits

Focus on new healthy habits to counteract the negative habits. For instance, instead of cutting out junk food, try creating habits of eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. By focusing on the positive habits, it becomes less tempting to go back to the old bad behaviours, and increase the chances that the positive habits will stick.

Start with small achievable habits

Start with a few small and specific healthy habits and add more as needed.  Keep in mind your children’s development and maturity level when helping them develop good habits. Younger children might need simpler and achievable habits to start with.

In conclusion, helping children to develop healthy habits can be very beneficial for their wellbeing.  While it might take time and effort, it is well worth it when we see the benefits.  Let’s start the new year strong with healthy habits.

– Canadian Immigrant

Bustani Media

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