Children and their Habits

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I recently went to visit an old friend of mine. He is in his Thirties and has a daughter who is 3 years old. She is a very bubbly and playful child. But that day she seemed out of place. When I asked her Mom about it she told me that her daughter nowadays she doesn’t go out to play. All day long she watches TV and then in the afternoons sleeps for 4-5 hours. She has also started showing odd behavior like eating less and throwing temper tantrums.

Just 2 days after the visit, I read in a magazine about the lack of exercise and related problems that are growing in children as small as 2 year olds. The symptoms include restlessness, reduced hunger, sudden moments of excessive energy, etc. These children do not go out and play and thus do not get proper exercise and pure air. They are so addicted to technology that they cant even stay away from the television even for a day.

Well, this is serious.
These children are the future of our country, the future of mankind. These are the ones who are going to take the world further. If they inculcate so many unhealthy habits from such an early age, their health in their later years is bound to suffer horribly.

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Today there are a lot many cases in which we have young girls who suffer from menstrual problems or problems related to obesity and other related stuff. The problem of erectile dysfunction in men has increased too. Not just hormonal but many other problems are now seen in children at a very young age. Obesity, bad eye sight, reduced energy, feeling of lethargy and fatigue, overall low immunity is seen in many children these days.

Most parents I know will feed their children a healthier diet filled with fruits and veggies if they though that maybe their children would eat them. But, they don’t.  And since parents often have grander and greater goals than feeding their kids a nutritious diet such as keeping their kids alive—it’s hard for them to keep serving food that gets disapproval and faces rejection every single time.  Don’t laugh. No matter how silly it seems, it’s true.  Very few parents actually want to feed their kids the pizza-pasta-wafers-pastries diet.  What they want is that their kids should neverfeelhungry.

Or maybe they want to avoid conflict and then prevent a meltdown.  Because most of the times both the parents are working nowadays, they wish to buy some quiet time from their children by offering them their favorite food. Make their kids happy. In my experience, parents know very well about what their kids should eat.  It’s getting kids to eat it when it is served that causes parents so many problems.

As parents and guardians, it is your responsibility to make sure that your child does not get into the habit of sleeping for long hours in the afternoon or getting addicted to the television. Even if you are working, make sure that your child does good things throughout the day. Make your child follow a timetable regarding his/her eating times. And as a parent, make sure that you serve your child with healthy food on that time every day.

We must realize that children behave the way they see people around them behaving. If you lie on your couch eating chips at odd hours, don’t be surprised of your child does the same. If you keep on meddling or sending mails with your laptop or mobile during the time you eat, don’t be surprised if your child watches the television every time he/she eats.

On weekends, go for a walk with your kid. Or take him/her to a nearby park. Let your child see that whatever you tell him/her to follow; you follow the same yourself too.

Your children are a reflection of what you do and how you do it. Make sure that you set a good and proper example in front of them. There is a famous quote by Shakespeare, ‘The world is a stage’. Referring to this quote, a psychiatrist has said, “Home is the primary stage, because it is here that children learn the different roles in life.”When you are making sure that your children follow god habits, keep these things in mind –

  1. Along with love and affection, children also require discipline. However, it should not be inconsistent. Remember, distortion creates problems.
  2. Punishment should follow the mistake immediately: When children commit a mistake, parents should immediately make them realize about it and also punish them, if necessary. The child’s mother should not tell him/her, “Wait till your father arrives in the evening”. This type of delayed punishment does not create an equation in child’s mind that ‘mistake = punishment ‘and hence, a child keeps on repeating the same mistake again and again.
  3. Also, it may happen that there is a difference of opinion between parents and other elder members of the family on punishment; however they should not interfere when a child is being punished.  Any difference in this regard should be sorted out in the child’s absence; otherwise a child will be totally confused about what is correct and what is not.