Do as I say and not as I dowas never a good way to teach kids. What they actually get is more like I can’t hear what you’re saying because your actions are speaking so loudly! This is especially true when it comes to how kids develop good health habits. As a parent, you are your child’s first teacher. This means if you desire your kids to develop good health habits, they have to see you modeling those habits.
Establish Good Habits Early
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child have their first dental visit when the first tooth erupts, or at least by the first birthday. That may seem a little extreme for some; however, getting your little one accustomed to visiting the dentist is a good idea on several levels. Primarily, your child can get used to going to see the dentist. Chances are, you won’t have to take her kicking and screaming. A good dental practice will teach you how kids develop skills to care for those first primary teeth and what you need to do to help. Your child will know early on what good dental care is all about. The dentist will be able to catch any problems before they develop into bigger issues.
Can you imagine taking your school-aged child to the dentist for the first time when there is an issue with his tooth? Pain, injections, and who knows what else will need to happen. On the other hand, if he grows up knowing how to brush and floss and makes the required annual visit to the dental office, he may not ever have a negative dental experience.
Ever met the adult that hates broccoli? When you ask if she’s ever tasted it she says, “No! I hate it!” When you ask how she knows she hates it if she’s never tasted it, she answers, “I don’t know, I just know that I hate it!” How kids develop the ability to experience new things depends on you. Teach your kids to be willing to try new things – including green vegetables! Eating healthy foods will make every area of their life better because that little body is getting the nutrition it needs.
How Kids Develop the Desire to Get Moving!
Decades ago, parents would tell their kids to go outside and play. Kickball, tag, cops and robbers, double-Dutch jump rope and a host of other games were played. Fast forward to the new millennium where video games rule. Kids are getting more obese and experiencing more health problems than ever. Take your kids on a hike. Go bike riding with them or teach them how to play tennis. Get out on the basketball court.
How kids develop good health habits is the same way they develop other habits – through example. Start early and practice good health habits around your kids. As they grow up watching you make healthy choices it will become second nature for them to do the same. Who knows? They may grow up loving broccoli and they may be inclined to give kohlrabi atry!
Want more ideas on how to help your kids develop good health habits? Visit us at Pediatric Healthcare of Northwest Houston. We are here to support you in raising healthy, happy kids. We pride ourselves on personalized attention. When you have questions about your child’s health care, we stand ready to answer them.