Humans are creatures of habit. Habits are powerful as they move us to action. Choosing the right course of action becomes easy when we have been trained to do so. Habits become particularly powerful when we forge them in our youth. Habits are important for children in many arenas—especially in healthy living.
Parents should train their children early to form sound habits for good health and healthy skin. Parents should encourage their children to do the following:
- Get enough sleep – Kids may get caught up in watching TV or playing video games into the night. It’s important to pull the plug and help them adhere to a consistent bedtime. Children need around 10 hours of sleep at night. Sleep can contribute to healthy skin, better behavior, and improved brain function. Younger children may need to augment that with daytime naps. Parents can make bedtime an enjoyable experience that children will be looking forward to by incorporating fun activities such as reading, doing a puzzle, and singing.
- Develop good personal habits – Children should master such basic habits as washing their hands, wiping their nose, and covering their cough. Help them understand the importance of these habits in warding of illness.
- Eat healthy and drink plenty of water – Parents should encourage their children to eat healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables instead of the junk food that most children prefer. It can do wonders in producing healthy skin and overall physical well-being. Keep healthy snacks readily available. These may include raisins, cheese squares, and carrot sticks. Also, help kids understand the importance of drinking water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
- Train children to take vitamin supplements – Because children may not be getting all the nutrients their body needs from their food intake, a vitamin supplement may be in order. Talk to your physician for a recommendation. Encourage kids to take their vitamins at the same time each day, so it becomes a firmly engrained part of their daily routine.
- Keep children away from cigarette smoke – Help children understand the damaging effects of smoking on their skin and overall health. Teach them how to respond appropriately if friends try to get them to smoke. Also, help them stay away from second-hand smoke.
While words are important, actions are even more critical. The best way to teach these principles to your children is to model them yourself. As they see your commitment to healthy skin and a fit, healthy body, they will likely want to emulate it themselves.