Good habits are sometimes innate, oftentimes taught. Passing our positive daily rituals onto our children is part of what makes humans so successful. Kids need strong role models, but more importantly they need the adults around them to share the wisdom of their experiences and impart lessons on how to lead happy, fulfilling, and productive lives.
No parent is perfect, and helping kids build up good habits can be hard when you’re struggling to develop them yourself. In that case, make it a learning process for both of you. While the following five habits are fantastic to see in your five-year-old, they’re for anyone at any age:
Keeping your tasks, goals, errands, and dreams in order is easier said than done. Teaching organization habits to your child is one of the most beneficial things a parent can do when considering the long-term, besides start a college fund. Use a school planner app on your tablet, or some other interactive organizer, to help your son or daughter grasp concepts and stay organized as early as possible.
Inability to sleep comfortably through the night is almost always a secondary symptom of some larger problem. Whether rooted in a diet, schedule, or psychological issue, poor sleep patterns need to be sorted out right away for kids and adults alike. Being afraid of the dark is perfectly understandable, and stress-induced insomnia is an unfortunate side-effect of working hard to pay the bills. But these are no excuses for allowing bad sleeping habits to continue. Health, both mental and physical, is at stake.
Being compelled to help others is perhaps the greatest trait we humans can possess. If you note your son or daughter has a habit of wanting to improve the well-being of living things and environments around them, take it as a sure sign your child is on track to be one of the better people on the planet. Better yet, allow your kid’s charitable nature to remind you of the power and importance of kindness.
Humans are question machines, kids taking the lead for the most part. Encourage this at all times. Asking questions is essential to human development. Another reason why a willingness to ask for answers is important is because without it we become ants in a colony, enslaved to overlords without ever asking “why?” With that said, always make sure to teach your child the difference between inquiry and nitpickiness. There’s a polite, and a not-so polite way to go about being defiant. Push for the former.
Being “Street Smart”
Lastly, we feel it’s important for people to develop street smarts as soon as possible. Five is not too young. By street smarts we don’t mean the ability to detect a card con or tell the difference between the sound of a broken bottle and a window shattering. It’s more about developing habits critical to having fun away from home while still staying safe. No five-year-old should be playing somewhere unsupervised, of course, but building up the skills and knowledge a kid needs in case they get lost or approached by a stranger, for example, should begin long before kindergarten.
Nothing says good parenting like imparting good, strong, healthy habits onto children. It’s never too early to start. The benefits will last your son or daughter a lifetime.
Photo Credit: Flickr via Creative Commons