Your child’s health is a constant, no matter what their dietary or health needs may entail. You are constantly figuring out what they like or dislike, how much exercise or sleep they need, and more. But have you ever stopped and thought about how much they know about their health? Your child learns through you and has probably picked up on a few things, but it’s important to talk to them about why they have to do certain tasks or eat certain things. 

It’s For Them

First and foremost, making sure your child knows why they’re taking care of themselves is important. They may not be putting the pieces together as to why they have to brush their teeth so often, but they continue doing it anyway. Explaining to them the importance of hygiene just for their physical wellbeing can put things into perspective for them. You may have to explain things in stages to your child, depending on their age and how much they will be able to comprehend. Having that awareness that these practices are for them ultimately will help encourage them to continue without having to ask. Your child will come to realize that it’s not another chore or task that you decided to give them, but something that will affect their health in the long run. 

Demonstration Time

Make sure you’re watching your child or children every so often when they’re taking care of themselves too. They may have forgotten how to do something a certain way and slightly improvised, which may not be helping them out in the long run. Children can be fast learners, but if they learn how to do something incorrectly without realizing it, they may continue doing so until it’s pointed out. Always be ready to give an example of how to do something, whether big or small, to make sure your child knows how to do it moving forward so you can avoid that confusion from the very get-go. 

Take Ownership

When children can take ownership of their bodies, they will feel empowered to continue caring for their health. Understanding that a big step into adulthood is taking care of themselves will help your slightly older child take on more responsibility with their autonomy. Knowing what to eat, how to care for themselves physically and mentally will give them a better comprehension of the real world and help set them up for making good life decisions.    

Katie Kyzivat

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