The Habits You Should Instill in Your Children

23 March, 2021
The habits you should instill in your children are essential for their development. In this article, we'll tell you which habits you should teach them to help them become good and healthy people.

One of the biggest challenges parents face is instilling habits in their children to help them become good people. You have to instill healthy and positive habits in your children so that they do good in the world. After all, this is perhaps one of the main responsibilities of parents.

Habits are behaviors that are acquired by repeating the same or similar actions. According to psychology, a habit can include anything from a gesture to the satisfaction of personal desires. They’re a basic component of the learning process, meaning parents must teach them to their children.

How to instill habits or routines in children

You need to remember that the most important thing is to make your child feel secure. They should know what comes after each activity. For example, eating dinner, brushing their teeth, and sleeping. You have to give them peace of mind and foresight.

By doing this, children feel better, more secure, and more confident in themselves. They’ll even be more affectionate in the family environment.

It’s easier to instill habits in children if all the household members have the same behavior patterns. It’s best for mom, dad, and siblings to know what they need to do and what their role in the family is. You have to give them a role at home and encourage them to pitch in.

But remember that it’s important for them to have stable routines. In her work “The importance of habits and routines in 3-year-olds”, Badia states that habits help children be autonomous. Adopting them helps children have more tools to deal with their day-to-day lives.

A father doing homework with his son.
Reading and the determination to learn new things are good habits you should instill in your children.

The habits you should instill in your children

It’s best to always teach them good habits and explain why they should avoid bad ones. This is a crucial task for parents and a turning point in children’s lives. Below, we’ll explain some that can prove helpful.

1. Don’t skip breakfast or any meal

Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day for children. Yes, children should have three meals a day, but the first meal of the day is the one that gives them the energy they need to face the day.

If they don’t have breakfast, their body goes into metabolic fatigue. In other words, into a sort of “energy-saving mode”. This affects concentration and could lead to premature fatigue.

Read on to learn more: 4 Habits that Affect a Child’s Brain Development

2. Reading every day is one of the habits you should instill in children

Reading sharpens the senses, stimulates the exchange of knowledge, fosters concentration and empathy, and helps broaden the knowledge of the world.

You can read a story or a novel to your child before bed. A good idea is to read a chapter a day so that your child is always anxious to know what comes next. You have to make this habit interesting for your child, not an obligation.

3. Looking at food labels

To follow a healthy diet, you have to read the labels of the foods you eat. Doing so allows you to know what you’re eating, the sugars and calories in each food, their expiration, and manufacture dates, and the ingredients and additives they contain.

By reading the ingredients and nutritional information, you can compare foods to discover which are healthier.

4. Be understanding

When a child becomes impatient or angry due to someone else’s behavior, remind them that they aren’t perfect either and ask them if they’d like to be treated that way.

Make them understand that people have flaws or weaknesses and that that doesn’t make them inferior. Show them that, if they’re good at a certain activity that proves difficult for another person, they can teach them how to do it well.

5. Getting enough sleep is one of the habits to instill in children

Age influences sleeping hours. Children between the ages of three and five should sleep 10 to 13 hours a day. Children between the ages of six and 13 should sleep 9 to 11 hours a day. If they don’t get enough sleep, their school performance could suffer. They could also have a hard time thinking clearly and making decisions.

Discover: Strategies to Promote Healthy Habits in Teens

6. Limit screen time

Regulate the time you allow them to watch TV and be on their phone, computer, or tablet. Set schedules so that they always do it at certain times of the day. A good way to do it is with parental controls.

7. Do a physical or educational activity

You can enroll your children in extracurricular activities, such as dance, martial arts, swimming, or target shooting, from a very young age. If your child isn’t very physical, you can enroll them in chess, language, piano, or art lessons.

A child playing soccer.
Physical exercise is part of the good habits you should instill in children from an early age.

8. Hash washing is one of the habits you should instill in your children

Washing your hands is a lot more than a good habit. Doing it before eating or after using the bathroom prevents contamination and will keep your child healthy.

The habits you should instill in your children reflect parental behavior

Remember that children are the reflection of their parents and that habits aren’t learned quickly. They’re learned by repetition and by watching others do them. Teaching your children habits not only makes you a great parent, but a great human being.

Don’t get discouraged along the way. Parenting is a never-ending journey. Enjoy the process and be aware that you’re raising the children of the future.

  • Medlineplus. Dormir bien. Medlineplus. 12 de noviembre de 2020 [Revisado 04/02/2021]. Disponible en: https://medlineplus.gov/spanish/healthysleep.html#:~:text=Cuando%20no%20duerme%20lo%20suficiente,ponerse%20en%20situaciones%20de%20riesgo.
  • Konrad Lorenz, Fundación Universitaria. Los beneficios de la lectura. Konrad Lorenz. Revisado 04/02/2021. Disponible: http://www.konradlorenz.edu.co/es/estudiantes/servicios-para-estudiantes/biblioteca-juan-alberto-aragon-bateman/novedades/714-los-beneficios-de-la-lectura.html
  • Carmen B. Importancia de los hábitos y rutinas en los niños de tres años [Grado maestro educación infantil]. Universidad Internacional de la Rioja; 2012.