New Year's resolutions? No, teach your children good habits! This is how

Goede voornemens? Nee, leer je kinderen goede gewoontes aan! Dit is hoe

Now that New Year's Eve is behind us, many people are starting their New Year's resolutions. More exercise, healthier eating, or quitting that one bad habit you couldn't shake off last year. Ironically, research shows that New Year's resolutions tend to fail in the beginning of the year - about 80% of people fail to achieve their resolutions. What you'd better do is teach yourself good habits. And, the sooner, the better. In this blog, you'll find everything about how to teach your children good habits.

Why is it so important to teach children good habits?

While New Year's resolutions may be doomed to fail, good habits create positive patterns in daily life. By teaching your children good habits at a young age, you help them towards a healthy and happy life. If children learn, for example, to exercise regularly and eat healthily at a young age, they are more likely to continue this later in life. Additionally, such good habits help children better cope with challenges. Teaching your little ones to go to bed on time and do their homework early will make dealing with stress much easier. And did you know that teaching good habits also helps build self-confidence and discipline? Both are important character traits for the development of every child. There are countless other benefits to teaching good habits at a young age. The best thing is to just start!

5 tips to help teach good habits to children

Of course, you don't learn a good habit overnight. Time, energy, and repetition are important. To get you started, we have five tips for teaching good habits to children.

  1. Use positive attention and rewards to reinforce good behavior. When your child does something good, give them positive attention and reward this behavior. This shows that you are proud of what your child has done. This way, children, and secretly adults too, are more likely to repeat the same behavior. In no time, it becomes a good habit.
  2. Provide clear guidelines and express expectations to each other. Everything has a first time. For teaching (new) good habits, this is no different. When children know what is expected of them, they are better able to learn good habits. For example, if you want to explain to your children why it is important to do their homework on time, explain the benefits and what it takes to learn this habit - by starting immediately after school, for example.
  3. Work with 'natural consequences'. Punishment is often out of the question and counterproductive when trying to teach good habits. But 'natural consequences' can help. This means that you let behavior be related to the consequences that result from it. Don't feel like brushing your teeth? Then you'll end up with bad breath or worse, cavities! By emphasizing these kinds of natural consequences, your child can learn that certain behavior has consequences. This way of parenting also encourages children to make healthy choices for themselves.
  4. Be a good example. As a parent, you are the most important example for your child. If you have good habits yourself, such as going to bed on time and brushing your teeth regularly, your child will probably do the same.
  5. Use repetition and consistency. Teaching good habits is largely about repetition and consistency. Teaching good habits takes time and energy, so be patient and remain consistent in encouraging good behavior. It can also help to create certain rituals or routines to make teaching good habits easier. Think of a sleep ritual or morning ritual, we've written blogs about this before!

What good habits are you (your child) going to learn this year?

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