Eliminating Bad Habits for Your Children
When it comes to our kids, it can be hard to tell what's really best for them. Of course we want them to turn into happy, well-balanced, successful adults, but how exactly do we make that happen? It turns out, sometimes it matter more what we don't do. Here are five habits to get rid of to keep your kids in good health and happiness.
1. Saying "Yes" to everything
While it can be tempting to give in to your child's every wish, it's important not to let saying "yes" become a habit. Break this habit by setting firm boundaries with clear consequences for when those lines are crossed. When your child hates you for saying "no," remind yourself that their dislike won't last forever, and you're teaching them important discipline.
It's only natural to feel self-conscious from time to time, but it's important not to model criticizing talk in front of your kids. When you engage in negative self talk in front of your kids, they won't think any less of you. Instead, they'll learn that being a grown up means finding flaws in yourself. This can lead to confidence issues as they approach adolescence. Instead of making commentary on anyone's shape or size, limit body-talk in your family to health issues only.
3. Smoking cigarettes
It can be extremely difficult to break your smoking habit, especially if you've tried to quit before and failed. Some extra motivation might be that if you smoke, your kids are twice as likely to smoke themselves. There's no way around it: quitting is hard. Start by limiting cigarettes to outside the house while the kids are asleep or at school, then transition into a fully cigarette-free life. Many parents use electronic vaporizers and e cigarettes starter kits to quit smoking. They offer the nicotine kick without the tar and odor, and come in different flavors. Try making the switch to e-cigarettes if you aren't able to quit cold turkey.
4. Eating too much junk food
While the occasional treat is encouraged, try not to make chips and soda staples in your diet. Some parents prepare healthy, balanced meals for their children and then partake in extra sweets in addition. Try to avoid this habit by limiting your junk food at the grocery store. Keeping fatty, sugary foods away from your home helps keep them out of your diet as well. Late night temptations can be strong, but try to keep satisfying, healthy treats on hand. Keeping a healthier diet will keep your body in prime condition, give you more energy, and help you stay on top of your busy schedule.
5. Keeping the truth from your kids
Sometimes our little white lies are told to keep our kids from harm. On the other hand, sometimes our lies are just to avoid an uncomfortable conversation. Difficult topics will come up as your kids get older, but lying to them will create a sense of distrust when they find out the real truth. Explain even the hard truths to them in a kind, age-appropriate way. This can be tricky when it comes to topics that make you uneasy as a parent, like sex, death, or divorce. Just remember that telling the truth kindly now will make them more likely to come to you with questions about difficult concepts as they get older, too.
While this list is not an exhaustive parenting guide, it can help you eliminate some of the parenting faux pas that can lead to unhealthy behaviors and attitudes in your children. Keep these tips in mind to keep your body and relationship with your kids healthy.