As parents, we all wish the best for our kids – whether it is to see them excel in life, or watch them turn into kind, healthy and successful human beings. Hence, we all understand the importance of parenting when it comes to shaping children. One right step, and it goes a long way. One wrong step, and it damages them or their health. 

So, it is a given that we must be careful, especially when it comes to their health. The most common scenario would be that they will be healthy in their 20s. But most health problems start when people are in their 30s. And these health problems are often influenced by their lifestyle and health in the past – when they’re kids, teenagers and adults. Not to mention, habits that they follow for a lifetime, develop in the foundation years. 

So, now is the time to take matters into your hands and ensure that they lead a healthy life. 

Forbidding playtime 

The last thing you would want is for your child to be a couch potato while watching television. You wouldn’t even want them to study all day, compromising their playtime. Just so you know, this is their time to be active, to be on the ground, playing their favourite sports. 

Not to mention, playtime is crucial for their development as it contributes to the social, cognitive, physical, and emotional well-being of children. Playtime also helps in the development of children’s motor skills, prevents childhood obesity and builds emotional intelligence, all of which is vital to lead a physically and mentally healthy life in the future. 

Letting them depend on gadgets for entertainment

So, what does your child do when they’re ideal or when they’re having their meals? Tell us, if it’s not watching their tablet or playing games on the phone. If the picture seems familiar to you, this is where you have to step in. 

You must not let your child depend on gadgets for entertainment. It won’t only harm their vision, but also affect physical and mental development. Not to mention, it will encourage them to lead a sedentary lifestyle both in the present and the future. 

Instead, you can encourage them to take a walk, read books or solve puzzles in their leisure time. Limit gadgets as much as you can. 

Feeding them processed food frequently

You may hail the idea of Saturday dinners as it would give you time to enjoy with your family. Family time is good, but if it becomes an excuse to feed your children junk food frequently, you may need to rethink the very idea. 

Feeding them processed food every now and then will make them addicted to it. Not to mention, it will have them form an adverse relationship with food. You don’t want that to happen, right? 

So, the best thing to do here is go for homemade meals, instead of processed food. You’ll not only be feeding them healthy food but also get time to bond with them. 

Not reading them books 

Watching movies with your kids is no doubt enjoyable, but reading books with your kids is not only enjoyable but productive. Let’s just face it, we are not unfamiliar with the cognitive benefits of reading. It doesn’t only open gates of knowledge for them, but also supports cognitive development by enhancing problem-solving skills, improving focus and memory, and critical thinking.

Rewarding them with junk food

Picture this. You eat clean for two weeks straight and to celebrate this achievement, you order yourself a pizza. So, what is it that you’re doing here? You are rewarding yourself with junk food. 

This is what you don’t have to do with your kids. 

Even though eating junk food once in a fortnight is okay, but considering junk food as a reward only establishes an unhealthy relationship with food. Remember, the perception they have about junk food, will develop their eating habits. So, make sure you don’t make them perceive junk food as a reward. 

Not encourage them to apply sunscreen 

Sunscreen is not about getting tan-free skin, but it is also about protecting yourself from damage.  Just so you know, whether it is adults or children, sunscreen is important for everybody. As your child is most likely to be out in the sun, whether it is in school or during playtime, they’re more exposed to the harmful rays of the sun. UVA/UVB rays of the sun can be harmful enough to cause skin cancer. The sunscreen is your child’s layer of protection. So, make sure your child applies sunscreen when they go out in the sun. 

Being too strict 

You may have good intentions, and you may want to protect your kids, but excess strictness is not how you do it. Remember, extremely strict parents can shatter a child’s confidence and self-esteem.  They can give them insecurities they wouldn’t be able to get rid of throughout life. It may even spoil your relationship with your kid. 

So, be strict when necessary, but make sure you are not strict enough to affect their confidence and your relationship with them. 

Not encouraging them to be independent 

Are you somebody who feeds their children everything with a silver spoon?  If yes, you need to make some adjustments. You must encourage them to be independent. This doesn’t mean asking them to cook their meals, or living on limited money, but encouraging them to do their chores on their own. Whether it is to clean their room, pack their bags, or fetch a glass of water or food plate themselves.

Not emphasising the importance of exercising 

Exercising can help avoid a number of health issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cholesterol, to name a few. Encouraging your child to include exercise in their routine would help establish a routine they will follow all their life. 

Closing thoughts 

Safeguarding the well-being of our children involves steering them away from certain health mistakes that can have lasting consequences. As caregivers, it is crucial to instill healthy habits early on, teaching the importance of balanced nutrition, regular exercise, and adequate sleep. Avoiding excessive screen time, promoting good hygiene, and fostering open communication about mental health are integral aspects of raising resilient and thriving individuals. By being proactive and attentive to these considerations, we can help our children establish a foundation for a lifetime of well-informed health choices and overall vitality.

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