1. Read to them at night
Not only does it give you some quality time where you can be 100% present and focused on them, but it also creates a great habit that they can continue as they get older themselves. Also, if you start to introduce more positive principle-centred books over time, then it will give them a positive habit they will have for life. Positivity will help your child cope constructively with life’s challenges.
2. Dance with them
Not only does it give you both some fun exercise time, but it also allows them to be silly with you and get lost in the moment. Furthermore, it’s a great way to have fun with them without having to think too much. In addition, as they get older they will automatically associate certain songs with great memories. So even when you are not there when they hear a certain song, it will instantly bring them back to a happy time.
3. Make chores fun & create positive associations with them
It is important to give them a small role to play in every household task – no matter how badly or poorly they do it, or how much extra time it takes you to complete the task with their help. Also, once they have completed their role, you can give them a coin for their money box so they associate reward with effort and early on see the value of saving. Make sure that immediately after every chore you do something fun with them for 5 minutes, so they associate completing a task with having fun. This should help to eliminate procrastination early on in life and shows them the value behind completing every task 100%.
4. Apologise immediately & whole heartily when you are wrong
As soon as you ‘do or say’ something you would not like them doing, you need to apologise. Then explain clearly why you should not have done it and explain why you did it, so they understand everyone makes mistakes i.e. it was an accident, mistake or irresponsible action. The reason this is so important, is that they will learn early on to admit when they are wrong and to apologise quickly themselves when they do something they know they shouldn’t. Also it will teach them early on that just because AN ADULT does something; it doesn’t automatically make it right. That way you don’t need to worry about them imitating or being influenced by any bad behaviour they see or hear in your absence.
5. Slowly introduce good nutrition into all of their meals
It is important to do this in a fun way that allows them to adjust and make their own choices. Keep the end meal in mind every time even if it takes you 2 weeks to convert them fully! When I wanted my son to swap jam and toast for porridge with seeds for breakfast, it took me a full week to transition. I started by making toast and porridge, then just porridge, then porridge with a tiny amount of seeds in a ‘funny face’ egg cup (which he thought were strange and not for him), then playing airplanes with the seeds being the passengers in the porridge. Then it slowly transitioned from that, to him asking for more seeds than I had given him in his egg cup and allowing him to put them into his porridge himself. This became the norm every day. The really great thing was that it was so gradual; he didn’t even notice the change, because I went at his pace and let him think it was him making all of the decisions…not me. It doesn’t matter how you get there, or how long it takes, once the end outcome is that it eventually… becomes a habit.
When it comes to Self-Care and maintaining optimal health we should all have some sort of natural, safe and holistic approach at home that we turn to first, instead of resorting straight away to synthetic medications unless absolutely necessary. Having a responsible holistic alternative at home sets children up early on, to take responsibility for their health. This helps them to take more notice of any symptoms they experience, before they lead to more complicated or critical issues later in life. It can be anything from reflexology to herbs, CPTG essential oils to bioenergy, massage to Homeopathy. The main thing is that children become aware early on, that they have lots of options and being proactive is much more positive than being reactive.