Making Family Time Meaningful
5 Habits to Develop into Daily Rituals TogetherSeptember, 2022
Did you know that every parent is a superhero? Not the kind that appears in movies (though there are some who do!). No, it’s about the fact that your kids model their behaviours after you. That’s an amazing superpower!
Here are some ways you can use that power to help your kids form positive habits into daily rituals – while you do the same:
1. Do things together!
To model positive behaviour, you can do things together! Try simple things like taking a walk together, or even brushing your teeth together to reinforce positive behaviour and form important daily healthy rituals. Positive reinforcement has been proven to help kids learn and stick to a new habit, so encouraging them with incentives like occasional extra privileges (for example, more time on the playground) can motivate and inspire.
2. Make Healthy Choices Easy
If there are chips on the bottom shelf and healthy snacks on a higher shelf, the tendency is to go with what’s in reach. We all know kids are busy and often prefer to snack, so try placing bananas and trail mix within easy reach in the pantry to fuel their energy and meet their nutrition requirements for the day. For playtime, keep sports equipment and outdoor toys in view and within reach so they’re inspired to move. When you make those healthy choices easier, you’re setting your family up to sustain their energy and wellness.
3. Make healthy choices fun
Calling something a “healthy choice” can give it a bad rap, making it something your children are less likely to adopt. Changing the language around “healthy choices” by positioning “play” at the forefront of every family activity will make it seem less of a chore. Integrating play into your day-to-day adult life has shown to improve not only your relationships with family members, but also other people you interact with in your life like your co-workers. Focus on the play your family is doing together. After all, if everyone is having fun, you’re going to want to do it again.
4. Limit the Screen Time
The flickering light from TV and computer screens stimulates the brain and can impact the quality of sleep. Blue light supresses the production of melatonin and impacts your circadian rhythm, which is essential for quality sleep, an important daily habit to maintain. Switching to a good old-fashioned story time or opting for a calm activity like colouring about an hour before bed will help ease kids into bed, which means more sleep for everyone.
5. Talk Things Out
One of the most powerful things you can do for your kids – and for yourself – is to talk things out in a positive way. Children are working through complex emotions without the tools needed to communicate or share those big feelings. Patience, active listening, and validating their experience
will help your child feel understood. This not only helps everyone de-stress, but you start building a better and stronger relationship together.
These are all lessons you learn and can practice together to make your daily rituals special and long lasting.