Having a child will change your life and change your focus on helping your child learn to be strong, healthy, and happy. Providing for their needs is essential, but empowering them to provide those things for themselves when they’re adults is just as crucial. Here are some areas to concentrate on, when passing wisdom to your children.
Teach Them Auto Safety
When your children become teens, they’ll be able to learn to drive a car. Part of teaching them how to be strong, healthy, and happy will include lessons about being a safe driver. An essential habit for them to acquire is a safety check of the car before driving. Show them how to check the tires, the engine, and the lights before driving.
Help your teen study for the written test and point out examples of the road rules when they’re driving. Be as calm as possible while they’re driving and praise them when they do a good job. Remind them to keep their focus on driving by avoiding texting or talking on the phone while driving. They’ll soon be on their own, and you can empower them to be as responsible as possible when that happens.
Strongly encourage your teen to prioritize preventative measures for the car. For example, if you’re driving with them and get a small crack in the windshield, use the crack as an example of how repairing it will to prevent it from getting worse. Bringing the car to a place that provides windshield services will give an example of preventative maintenance.
Teach Them Dental Health
Your child’s dental health is a crucial part of their overall health. Dentists advise getting your child used to brushing their teeth by gently wiping their gums with a washcloth before they get their teeth. This action will help the baby get used to having something inside their mouth.
As they go through their elementary years, empower them to take responsibility for daily dental hygiene tasks like brushing and flossing. Set up an achievement chart for those tasks, allowing them to earn rewards for clean teeth. Allow them to ‘play dentist’ with their dolls to help them see the dentist as fun. Part of showing them how to be strong, healthy, and happy will include accepting regular visits to the dentist.
When your child becomes a teen, they may need to see an orthodontist, if their primary dentist recommends it. If the orthodontist recommends braces, see if your teen prefers to get Invisalign bands rather than braces. Invisalign is preferable to teens since its clear surface will be less noticeable.
Teach Them What Tough Choices Look Like
Some of the choices you’ll make when demonstrating how to be strong, healthy, and happy will also affect you. If your spouse becomes challenging to live with, and marriage counseling hasn’t helped, you may decide to get a divorce. For your own sake, contact a family law attorney. For your child’s sake, encourage them to be honest with both of you about their feelings.
When it comes to helping your child through the divorce process, make it clear both of you will continue to love and care for them. Reassure your child the divorce is not their fault. Encourage their relationship with their other parent but allow them to vent if they are frustrated with that parent. Do your best to keep your comments about your spouse as positive as possible.
You’ll be going through a challenging time, so taking time for yourself is okay. Although your child will continue to need your comfort and support, be sure to carve out some time for yourself. If the stress of the divorce becomes disruptive for you or the child, a family therapist can work with all of you through the challenges.
Encourage Your Child to Be A Part of Something
Although you aim to empower your child toward independence in adulthood, there will be times when your child would like to be a part of a church. According to parentingwithfocus.org, children who attend church may feel happier, healthier, and better-adjusted. In a church, children also learn to distinguish right from wrong and treat others with kindness.
Another good reason to bring your children to church is to allow them to associate with others in their age group who are also learning to acquire good morals and values. These are admirable traits – regardless of your views about the church or its theology. You’ll likely feel glad your child is making friends with children who espouse good values.
Teach Them to Care for Their Skin
One of the many things you’ll teach your child is how to perform basic hygiene tasks. You’ll bathe them when they’re babies, but you can involve them when they use a washcloth. As they grow, empower them to take over their hygiene tasks. Be sure to give them explanations for why clean skin contributes to their health, as well as to their appearance.
When your child is a teen, they should be entirely responsible for their hygiene. Because teenagers are prone to developing acne, please encourage them to create a daily skin care regimen. Suggest easy tasks for them, such as washing their skin each morning and removing makeup at night. If your child develops acne, you can help them find the best options for acne reversal treatment.
Part of showing your child how to be strong, healthy, and happy will be providing healthy food and beverages. Good nutrition is essential, as it will contribute to their overall wellness. You can hope your child will adopt a healthy nutritional routine as an adult.
Teach Them How to Assume Responsibility
One way to show your child how to be strong, healthy, and happy is to allow them the responsibility of a pet. Pets help children learn compassion by allowing your child to care for the needs of another living being. You can begin their pet ownership by demonstrating pet care but turn it over to them as soon as they are able.
Your child will get to know their pet, and realize the pet depends on them for food, exercise, and companionship. Although they’ll enjoy playing with their pet, they probably won’t enjoy cleaning up after the pet. By insisting they do these tasks to the best of their ability, you’ll help them inure themselves to difficult tasks they’ll assume as adults. Empowering them to do distasteful things is another necessary lesson for their maturity.
When your child takes care of their pet, they may struggle with the pet’s behavior. Their pet may misbehave, and you may find neither you nor the child can break them of the negative behavior. You can bring a misbehaving dog to a dog behavior trainer, and your child can take part in the training class. It will be enlightening to the child to watch their pet learning – in the same ways the child must learn at school.
Teach Them it’s Okay to Have a Treat Once in a While
While you’re teaching your child proper nutrition, it’s essential that you don’t expect them to be perfect. Forbidding them to have sweets isn’t realistic and banning them could cause your child to sneak treats. Unless there are medical reasons for your child to avoid sweets, including them occasionally is a good practice. If you’re keeping an achievement chart, an occasional treat can be one of the child’s rewards for good behavior.
Children who are diabetic should avoid sweets, but if you ask your local bakery, they may have some dietetic cookies available. You can also give your child fresh fruit with sugar-free whipped topping. In addition to edible treats, you could plan a special treat for them, such as a trip to an arcade, a new piece of jewelry, a music tape, or a new item of clothing.
In their lives, as adults, they’ll remember these treats and know it’s okay to treat themselves now and then. As a parent, you can let your child see you do this for yourself, too. Everyone needs to reward themselves. Demonstrating these rewards is a way to model an emotionally balanced life for your child.
Teach Them How to Express Their Creativity
Creative outlets help people pour out their feelings, tell a story, or allow children to work through their emotional challenges. Painting and sculpture enable your child to pour their energy through their hands to let them speak words they cannot. By using dance, your child uses their body to express those inner thoughts.
When children are young, most bring home art from school, and many dance along to the TV, when they hear music. It may take years to see they have talent – or tell you they’d like to take art or music more seriously. If you can afford a weekly dance lesson or art training, it’s an excellent way to help them discover how to be strong, healthy, and happy.
Art or dance lessons provide benefits beyond their finished creations. The need for rehearsals in dance – or for repeating the basics in art – will remind them that monotony is sometimes the price we pay to express ourselves. Your child will have opportunities to align themselves with a group in both dance and art.
Teach Them to Care for Their Eyes
As mentioned, helping your children realize how to be strong, healthy, and happy includes caring for their health. One vital part of caring for their health is noticing if they have vision problems. Instead, you may get a call from your child’s teacher that they’re noticing problems with the child’s vision.
When either of those things happens, it’s time for you to have your child examined by an eye doctor. When they find the child’s vision problems, they’ll give you an eyeglass prescription. Bringing your child to an eyeglasses store will allow them to pick out their frames. Even if you don’t like the design of those glasses, they choose you should enable them to make that choice.
Show your child their eyeglass prescription, and let the doctor explain what the numbers mean. Your child will soon become an adult. When they must assume responsibility for their own eyeglasses and doctor visits, they’ll know how.
Teach Them to Take Care of Routine Problems
As they reach their teenage years and are driving for themselves, you’ll be able to see them begin to care for their problems. As each challenge arises, in the last few years of their adolescence, you’ll be able to praise them and let them know how proud you are of the person they’re becoming. By this time, they’ll know how to stay healthy, happy, and strong.
One of the things that may seem scary to a teen is to speak for themselves in the business world. Let them practice living on a budget – perhaps with a simulated budget activity. They’ve probably gotten used to ordering food or buying things online. Do they know how to make their healthcare appointments or make an appointment to fix their cars?
By the time your children have reached adulthood, it’s a good idea for them to know the basics of car care. They don’t have to become mechanics, but they can learn how to change a tire, check and fill their oil and wiper fluid, and know how to tell they have a transmission problem. When they’re on the road, away from home, they should know enough to tell a mechanic, ‘I need you to fix my transmission.’
Parents have many things to do when raising their children. However, the best strategies may become apparent if you look to empower your children to become adults. By making it your priority to teach them how to be strong, healthy, and happy, your children will learn how to become their best selves. Keep your eyes on that goal and shower them with love – and your time and energy are likely to be well invested.