Parenting is no easy feat. There are millions of things to consider when raising a tiny human from the ground up. Unfortunately, all the information thrown around by the media, by other parents, and by just about every living, breathing person can be a tad overwhelming for parents who are just trying to do their best. Obviously, you want your child to be happy and healthy, but what are some of the best ways to go about that extremely important task? Well, you’re in luck because here is a handy little list of some of the simplest and most creative ways of keeping your child feeling their best.
What They Need for Healthy Bodies
One of the first elements to consider with childcare or child rearing is their physical health. Getting adequate exercise and maintaining a healthy diet are both key when cultivating good habits that will last a lifetime. No one wants to hear their child utter the words ‘why do I keep getting sick’, so some of the most important lessons to instill in them early on are those related to proper nutrition, physical activity, and personal hygiene.
Kids can be a bit difficult when it comes to proper nutrition. They infamously make vegetables out to be the enemy, but there might be other challenges with their diets as well. If they fixate on certain unhealthy items (like those they see on TV), it can be tough to enforce healthier choices. However, some simple substitutions can be a great way to get the healthy options you want and the fun, snack-like foods they want. Vegan chocolate, for example, is a great way to give your children a treat without undermining the nutritional value or environmental impact of the food they eat. Another great snack for kids (and parents) is a nut mix. They’ll enjoy the variety and snackability, while you’ll relish in the added protein and complete avoidance of junk food.
Exercise is another important feature of making sure your kids feel their best. Not only do they need to burn off all the energy they build up naturally, but they need to develop strong bones and muscles, which can only be done through active use. Working in regular and enjoyable exercise or physical activity into your child’s daily routine is a great way to ensure they grow to love the process of maintaining their physical health. Habits like these are created and fostered very early on in a child’s life, so regardless of your own track record with physical activity, don’t leave this important aspect of their health to chance. Outdoor games, extracurriculars, biking-riding, there are so many great options these days for simple, active childhood fun.
In addition to diet and exercise, a child’s personal hygiene can also have a massive effect on their overall health. From how long to brush their teeth to the proper way to wipe their bums, children must be taught each and every aspect of hygiene from scratch. They’ll need to know what type of soap is safe for their skin as well as when to replace their shower loofah, absolutely everything, and while these might seem insignificant or rather basic lessons to the average adult, for children they form the basis of all sorts of self-care knowledge. Parents might not always be there to teach their kids each and every hygiene lesson, but the ones that do get their undivided attention are where your children will draw their subsequent information. So take the time to make these lessons really stick.
What They Need for a Good Night’s Sleep
Another key factor in the overall health of your children lies in their ability to get enough, high-quality sleep. As their bodies and minds grow and develop, they need to be well-rested and refreshed each day. Many healthcare professionals agree that children need between 9 and 12 hours of sleep every night, and with the right setup and routine, that’s not as impossible as it sounds.
As it is for adults, the sleep a child gets can hugely impact their overall wellbeing. When considering the sleep your child is getting, the actual time they spend in bed shouldn’t be the only factor you address. Simple aspects such as comfortable pajamas and soft, warm sheets and blankets can also affect how well your child sleeps as well as how easily you can shape good sleep habits. Avoiding things like temperature inconsistencies or other discomforts that might occur while your child sleeps can ensure that they can not only fall asleep but that they can also stay asleep throughout the night. You might also want to consider other elements of comfort related to their sleep time, such as night lights, ambient noise, access to drinking water or a bathroom, etc. All these elements work together to put your child’s mind at ease allowing sleep to take over.
Children truly thrive with routine, so when working on developing healthy sleep patterns, consistency will also be key. Choosing and maintaining a regular bedtime and wake-up time are the first steps to regulating their circadian rhythms. Just as it was important to monitor these patterns when they were babies, as children they still need your guidance as to how long they should be sleeping and when. You might also want to focus on making the bedtime experience a positive one with traditions like story-telling, tucking-in, fluffing pillow, etc. If going to sleep looks and feels like time-out, it’s not something that your children will likely want to do, regardless of how crucial it is for their health.
What They Need for Engaged Minds
Of course, children also need to feel engaged in order to be truly happy and healthy. As they grow and develop they are learning about themselves and the world at breakneck speeds, and these learning processes really need to be supported and encouraged for your children to reach their full potential. Luckily, nowadays, there is an abundance of options available for this sort of childhood stimulation.
Perhaps one of the most important elements of a child’s development is their learning journey. Through their parents, their formal education, and their everyday experiences, children are constantly picking up new things and fitting them into their ever-growing bank of knowledge. While you and their teachers contribute quite a lot to your children’s overall education, there are additional sources available all across the web that can supplement and enrich whatever foundation is already present. Kumon is a great example of an online platform that works to foster a child’s innate abilities and help them to develop and succeed in all areas of life. Finding fun and engaging materials at every age can ensure your children not only feel their best but can also perform their best.
Equally important for a child’s wellbeing is their sense of fun. It is just as critical for your kids to play as it is for them to learn. Social skills, imagination, creativity, and so many other interpersonal skills are developed in this way. Through all the experiences and products available these days, your children should have no shortage of engaging and innovative ways to have fun and build their emotional intelligence at the same time. With companies such as Camp, you can find a vast array of ways to play and experience new things together as a family as well. While it can be tough to see at times, these moments are the ones that will last a lifetime in your child’s memory, so do your best to join them in the powerful process of play.
Ultimately, there’s no wrong way to raise your child. You have the final say in almost every aspect of their upbringing; however, you also don’t have to do it all alone. There are massive amounts of well-researched and creative ideas for keeping your child feeling their best. In the end, all you can do is whatever feels right for you and your family, making sure to take the time to soak up these precious moments and experiences together.