The new year is a perfect time to work on some new habits, not only for parents but children as well. People can develop good habits at any age, and it’s critical to teach children while they are young. Childhood habits can stick with them throughout their life so it’s important to start out on the right foot.
And with anyone, it’s not just STARTING a good habit that’s necessary, but also sticking with it that counts. Are you looking to help your child be successful with their goal-setting? Here are some great ways to nurture their childhood development while making some new habits fun and around for the long-haul.
Be A Role Model
Children are like sponges and take in everything they see, especially from those around them. Teachers, friends, caregivers–everyone has an opportunity to make an impact. One of the best ways in helping them develop good habits is by setting a good example. How does your day care center interact with the children? Good manners and kind words are a perfect way to set a good example–the more the children hear and see these in action, the easier it will be for them to incorporate into their everyday lives. Daycare education should aways include setting good examples for this very reason.
Involve Your Children In Setting Routines
Having your kids involved increases the likelihood of success. They feel included in the decision-making, are able to take responsibility, and are able to stay motivated. Ask them what specific habits they would like to develop and figure out a plan together on how to make that happen. It could be something as simple as getting a smoother child care routine so no one is rushed in the morning getting out the door. They can pick their clothes and snack out the night before and feel a sense of accomplishment.
Keep It Simple
New habits aren’t meant to overwhelm or feel impossible to achieve. Start small and simple–this will help build your child’s self esteem. This could be as easy as remembering to say “Thank you” after being given a snack. Maybe you both want to have more outdoor play–running around outside for a quick game of Tag is simple and fun to do together.
Help Them Understand The ‘Why’
The key to helping a child develop a good habit is for them to understand the reason behind it. Scientific thinking is a fundamental life skill that all children should know. So if you’re encouraging your child to eat more fruits and vegetables, that’s a perfect opportunity to teach about foods that make us healthy and strong. You could even get in some outdoor learning and show them how fruits and vegetables grow in the soil and need rain and sun to thrive. These things help solidify the habit and helps them realize why it’s important.
Habits are formed through repetition so it’s important to keep up with the routine. Saying ‘thank you’ at home, saying ‘thank you’ at their child care center, and saying ‘thank you’ at friend’s houses are all key to helping habits stick.
Make Room For Improvement
Of course there are going to be times when your child doesn’t eat fruits or vegetables, or forgets to say thank you to a friend. We are all human and that’s part of growing up. Let your child know that perfection isn’t the goal and it’s not expected. Everyone makes mistakes and that’s what is so wonderful about tomorrow–there’s always another chance.
If you’re searching for a high-quality daycare center near Philadelphia, turn to Ducklings Early Learning Center. Children can look forward to fun, themed enrichment activities, plentiful outdoor playtime, and socialization with their peers. Our well-trained teachers encourage children to explore the world around them with a focus on mind, body, heart, and family. Families can feel confident that students are engaged in an age-appropriate daycare curriculum in a safe, compassionate environment. Our childcare education is well-rounded and has the whole child in mind.