We all want the best for our children, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed about how the actions we take today may affect the future. Here are three tips that will set children up for success while easing the mental load for parents and caregivers.
Establish routines. A predictable schedule can help kids stay on track with their day-to-day activities and give them a sense of stability. When a child feels comfortable and safe, they are open to learning new skills – it’s why childcare or early learning centers are built around regular schedules.
What’s more, healthy, lifelong habits may be easier to instill when they’re tied into a routine, sometimes called habit stacking. It’s like brushing your teeth right before story time which comes before sleep. The more chores, like brushing teeth or flossing, can become habitual for kids, the more likely they are to carry them into adulthood.
Cook for life. There’s a role for kids in the kitchen, from toddlers to teens. Teaching children about food from a young age will give them the tools to take ownership of their health later in life. Exposing them to culinary variety also helps to build kids’ interest in the larger world. Something as simple as getting them to talk about the shape, smell and taste of a new fruit goes a long way in developing little palates.
Choose age-appropriate tasks like stirring ingredients for little ones, or simple meal prep like grilled cheese for older children, with supervision as needed. Learning special family recipes not only develops teenagers’ culinary skills, it also helps them to celebrate cultural traditions. Teaching these empowering skills can also save caregivers some time in the kitchen.
Trust your community. Parents want their children to be curious, knowledgeable and well adjusted, but we can’t be everything, everywhere, all at once. You don’t have to be the only champion for your child’s future.
Aside from friends and family, many childcare centers employ early childhood educators to provide caring, learning-filled environments. It’s okay to trust that caregivers and educators are just as dedicated to your child’s well-being and growth as you are. Knowing they have the proper training and expertise can also relieve some stress.
If you’re passionate about children and looking for a way to channel your creativity, you may want to consider the field of early childhood education yourself. It’s much more hands on than being a teacher, and you get to play a greater role in fostering children’s emotional health. The career is in high demand, too, with childcare centers hiring for all age groups.
— Content courtesy of Childventures and News Canada