We usually think of self development and personal growth as activities we start in our thirties. While that’s probably true for several generations of people, there is no reason that kids can’t focus on becoming the very best kid they can be.
As parents, here are some basic lessons you can teach your child that will stand them well for years to come.
Go to bed early. Renewing and regenerating your body is a life-long necessity. It’s one of the best habits to get into. Go to bed early, even if you read for a bit in order to wind down. 8 hours is the average most people need, but listen to your own body to figure out your own optimal amount of sleep.
Eat varied foods. The more variety you put into your diet, the more you’ll enjoy life. Opening yourself to new foods will allow you to be willing to experience many other things in life. You might not like everything you try, but it’s the open-ness to new experiences that will be the lifelong benefit.
Make friends with soap and water. There’s an old proverb that says “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”. Learning to enjoy being neat and clean will serve you well, especially as you mature and get interested in the opposite sex. But long before you get there, staying clean (Or rather, getting clean after getting dirty, since it’s important to get dirty as a kid. In fact it’s your job!) will help you establish and maintain a good relationship with your parents. Trust me, they really don’t want to spend all their quality time with you trying to get you to clean yourself or your room.
Build, take apart, explore. The other primary job a kid has is to find out how the world ticks. You may need to remind your parents the goal isn’t to break things, but to figure out how it works. Those building and taking apart activities will teach you how to learn, another lifelong advantage.
Talk to Mom and Dad. Establishing a healthy relationship with your parents early on in life will ensure that you’ve always got allies. You’ll be surprised at how opening up with them and being willing to share what’s going on in your life will make a difference in your self esteem. 99% of all parents who constantly question and nag their kids feel out of the picture and have no clue what their kids are doing. They just want to know your safe. Start sharing with them and you’ll be surprised how differently they treat you.