When you find out you are going to become a parent it can be very daunting. You never know what to expect or what type of child you are going to have. Every child will have a unique personality and it is up to you as the parent to nurture this. There is a whole ongoing debate still to this day about whether it is down to nature vs nurture. You may be wondering how you can encourage your children to be happy and healthy. There are so many stories in the media regarding this but it can send a lot of mixed messages. The best thing you can do is follow your gut instinct as a parent, this will never steer you in the wrong direction. Take a look below to find out some helpful tips and tricks on how to ensure your children are happy and healthy.
Focus On Diet
One of the most important things you will hear professionals talking about is children’s diets. A healthy balanced diet is paramount for your child’s development. Letting them constantly eat junk food and fizzy drinks is not only bad for their physical health but their mental health as well. If you have a busy lifestyle and it is easier to grab and go then how about pre-making some healthy homemade meals that you can simply take out of the freezer in the evenings? Children should also be enjoying five pieces of fruit or veg a day. This will give them the added vitamins and minerals their body needs to function and thrive.
Get Them Outside
Physical activity is also important for your children. Without running around they will turn into couch potatoes. These days with so much tech floating around it can almost seem impossible to get the children to leave the house. If you find something they are interested in doing, such as going to the park then they will be more than happy to go for a run-around. Better yet, you could get some of their school or nursery friends together and they can all have fun at the park while you chat with the other moms.
If you feel your children don’t have a healthy diet and they are in need of some extra help then you can get them a child supplement or multivitamin to take daily. These will contain the necessary amounts of vitamins and nutrients that your children are potentially missing out on. A lot of children aren’t keen on eating vegetables or fruits so a multivitamin will provide them with the goodness they are missing. The good thing about children’s multivitamins is that they come in gummy bear form with a variety of flavors. Can’t get them to eat veg but you can get them to eat a gummy bear!
It can be incredibly difficult to get your child to drink water. They get to a certain age and decide they no longer like it. However, seeing as more than 60% of their little bodies are made up of water, it is essential they are replacing what is lost through the day. You don’t want your child experiencing signs and symptoms of dehydration. They will present with lethargy, moodiness, and a headache. Encourage your children to drink water by investing in some cool water bottles, they will want to show these off at school. Quite a lot of schools have a water-only policy in place meaning you can’t supply them with juice for school. Children should be aiming to drink around six glasses of water a day to stay hydrated and healthy.
Protect From Bad Habits
When you have children you want to protect them their whole life. However, quite a lot of parents forget that smoking and drinking around their children is a terrible habit. It is one that they will pick up on rather quickly and you don’t want them to copy you. If you do want to smoke then this should be done outside of the house, in the garden perhaps. That way you are not exposing your children to secondhand smoke which can lead to childhood illnesses and complications with their immune systems.
Talk To Your Children
Something else to think about is how important it is to talk to your children. When they are babies they learn how to communicate by copying the adults around them. Don’t stop talking to your children just because they can hold their own conversations with others. If your children come to you with any sort of problem or they simply just want to tell you about their day then ensure you are listening. Children can tell when they have your full attention by your body language and what you are saying to them. Talking and listening to your children ensures they know they are able to approach you at all times in case of a problem they cannot solve.
Seek Professional Help
As children get older they are far more susceptible to feeling the effects of their hormones. They are also more at risk of mental health conditions than younger children. If you notice your children feeling down or being sad a lot of the time then speak to them and see if they will tell you what the problem is. If they don’t and you want to get your children the help they deserve then you could seek out a counselor. If your child has additional needs then this puts them at a greater risk of developing mental health conditions. Bipolar disorder in children is becoming increasingly common.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is so important for children, depending on the age they need around eight to thirteen hours of sleep each night. If they are not getting this then they can be grouchy and irritable for the rest of the day. If your child is still young enough for naps then make sure you are encouraging this. It will give them a little recharge so they can get through the rest of the day without any hiccups. If your children are struggling to get to sleep then think of ways you can help with this. You may decide to do some light meditation with them to help them drift off to sleep naturally.
Children will rarely be called for check-ups as doctors just assume that you will take them in if there are any problems. Babies and young children will be called for developmental checks, you should go to these as they will highlight any potential developmental delays your child might have. You should also register your child at a dentist and the opticians, you never know when you may need to attend an appointment there. You can check out the best ones in your area by doing a quick internet search or asking other moms for recommendations.
Read With Your Child
Reading is something that a lot of adults enjoy doing but you can guarantee they didn’t all enjoy it as a child. Learning to read can be tricky but in the end, it will be so rewarding. Watching your child grow and develop is one of the best things about being a parent. You can encourage their love of books by reading with them from a young age. It can be common to read a book with your child at bedtime as part of their nightly routines. Reading will give your child a steady foundation for continuing this learning when they start school.
Take Away The Tech
Children need a break from technology every so often, it is bad for their brain and their vision to be staring at a pad or tablet all day. If your child is tech dependent then it may be necessary to put a temporary ban on technology to prove to them they can live without it. It will be a struggle the first couple of days but it will be worth it and a great lesson to teach. You can put strict timings in place for screen time. If your children struggle with time then you can even set an egg timer as a visual so they know how long they have left.
Support With School
There is nothing better that you can do as a parent than support your children with their school work. If they come home and need a helping hand with some homework or a school project then it should be all hands on deck. Your children have come to you for help as they deem you capable and knowledgeable. Don’t let them down by being too busy to help when they need it most. If you don’t understand what to do then you can always do a quick internet search to see if someone else explains it better than the sheet of paper.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article and that it gave you some helpful advice on ensuring your children are happy and healthy. Remember, children are just small humans. They all have feelings and it is okay to not be okay sometimes. You need to teach your children the importance of this, if they are having an off day then this is alright.
This is a collaborative post.