As a parent, you have many responsibilities. One of the most vital of these is the responsibility to teach your children good habits. By putting a concerted effort into instilling the value of things like personal hygiene, personal ethics, empathy and drive, you can transform your innocent and inexperienced toddler into a responsible and mature adult of whom you can be proud.
Personal hygiene is one of the most basic habits your child must learn and, as such, the best place to start when trying to get him to develop good habits. At a young age, start teaching your child the value of bathing regularly, brushing his teach and combing his hair. When he reaches the age of three or four, take him to the dentist to ensure he doesn’t develop a fear of this medical professional–as proper dental care is of paramount importance when it comes to personal hygiene. Use dental coupons to help fund these intial trips if you worry that it will be too costly to support. As your child ages and becomes more capable of tackling hygiene tasks on his own, praise him for doing so to show him how proud you are of him.
Teaching your child right from wrong is a vital part of helping him become a responsible individual. To ensure your child understands what is and is not ethical, speak to him about situations in which ethics are in question. Start young, talking to your toddler about whether it’s right to take someone’s toy or to hit someone. As your child ages, select more complex topics to discuss, tackling each as they arise. For example, talk to your middle school child about the dangers of bullying or your high school child about the importance of academic honesty.
Sense of Empathy
Your child isn’t born knowing how to empathize with people. This is, instead, an important skill he must learn. Facilitate the development of your child’s natural empathy by talking to him about emotions and feelings. Read him picture books in which the characters feel sad or upset, and talk to him about what these characters might be feeling. Explain candidly to your child what empathy is and why it’s important to be empathetic. As your child ages, make it clear that he can speak to you about feelings he’s experiencing and, in doing so, encourage him to allow himself to feel these emotions instead of stifling them.
If your child has nothing naturally pushing him to do well in life, getting him to attend to the boring but necessary tasks he must complete as he ages will be highly difficult. Instead of beating your head against the wall for years trying to get your child to be more motivated, work to build his natural drive. While creating an internal drive to do well within your child isn’t something you can do in one sit-down, it’s worth the long-term effort.
To create this drive, engage your child in goal-setting activities, asking him to select things he’d like to accomplish, write goals and create plans for reaching them. As goal setting and striving to succeed become commonplace for him, gradually withdraw yourself from the process, allowing the natural drive he’s developed to take over.
It’s your job as a parent to transform your tot into a mature and responsible individual. To do this effectively, you must help your youngster build good habits. Start young and work with your child as he ages, ensuring that by the time he reaches adulthood he’s fully aware of his responsibilities as a productive citizen.