By Alec Pronk
As parents, we are often concerned about the effect we will have on our children. Will it be good, bad, or somewhere in the middle?
This fretting can lead to many sleepless nights as parents consider their impact on the life of their child and how they can leave the best impression possible. Of course, worrying too much is unhealthy, but approaching this question with conscious thought and a little effort can manifest great results.
With this said, being a parent can be stressful, and the long hours and hard work can leave its toll on our bodies. So, it is important to make sure you are taking care of yourself as well, so you can give your all to your child.
Therefore, we are going to look at building good habits for yourself and as a result providing your children with a good example of how to live their life. You can probably think of some habits you picked up from your parents. Hopefully, they are the good ones!
This may sound like a convoluted term, but it is really quite simple, sleep hygiene is all about making sure you get the right amount of quality sleep. And, as with all of the habits in this list, sleep hygiene relies on repetition and commitment to building good habits.
The golden rule of sleep hygiene is going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, within a margin of a half hour or so. Setting a regular sleep schedule is easier for some parents than others. But once your children start going to school then your little one’s schedule can dictate when you get up and go to bed.
Another key to making sure you get quality sleep is making sure your bed is for sleeping and not looking at your phone or computer. The bright light from your phone, tablet, or computer makes you associate being in bed with being awake. By simply removing your phone from your bed, you would be amazed how much better your sleep can get.
And of course, you should be encouraging your children to build the same habits. Perhaps you will have to remove their phone and computer privileges from the bedroom completely or set some ground rules that will help your child get a better night’s rest.
Thibault Perinet from parentscorner.com.au commented, “we find that a lot of parents are asking for tips and advice on how to get their children to bed. Sleep hygiene and repeating routines can improve a child’s overall health and help them live a healthier life."
Some might not see reading as a habit, but setting aside time for regular everyday tasks can be difficult in a busy household. Reading is something every parent should look to set time aside for in order to build your child’s reading comprehension and share with them the gift of storytelling.
Various studies have shown that kids who read at home perform better in school, so building the habit of reading can have a long-term impact on the life of your child.
To go along with the sleep hygiene tip above, setting aside just fifteen minutes at the end of the day is a great time to read your child a story. Reading a physical book has the added benefit of removing light from your bedtime routine, and it gives you and your child something to dream about.
Make sure you pick fun and compelling stories!
Eating a Family Dinner
Having a family dinner every night may sound quaint, but it can make a big difference in your and your child’s life if you set aside time in your daily schedule to break bread together. At the end of a long and stressful day venting with your family or sharing the day’s events is hugely important to developing a strong family bond.
Focusing on the positives in every day can really lift your family’s spirits, and you can also discuss any bad things that have come up. Discussions and open communication are necessary elements to a healthy family, and making a habit out of eating dinner together can leave you all feeling happier.
Your dinners don’t always have to be five-star quality, but it is more about the routine and showing your children that you want to set aside the time to focus on your collective group.
These tips can set you and your child down a healthier, happier path. In building habits, it is important to start with achievable goals and building on them. If you don’t do any of these things, start incrementally.
Read for five minutes a day, eat a meal a week together, and set your phone far from your nightstand. Soon enough you may find that you can’t live any other way.
- Alec Pronk
Do you know someone who could really benefit from reading this? To give them the motivation and push they need to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of the young people around them? Share this post with them. Even if they don't embrace it straight away, you've done your part. Thank you.
Alec is an English Language teacher with degrees in Journalism and Political Science. Alec also enjoys teaching and playing chess and connecting to different communities through learning languages.
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