Think back to when you were a kid. There were probably things your parents did every day for you, like reading a book or talking about your day over dinner. These things are important, becoming a part of your family dynamic and culture.
Kids love and learn through routine. Uncertainty and change is stressful for everyone, especially youngsters. Routines are great for kids, as it allows them to navigate the continuous challenge of learning new things from the safe and comforting boundaries that routine creates.
Try to incorporate these seven things into your everyday life with your kids:
Read to your child
You probably already know about the importance of creating a reading habit. Do this before bed every night to teach them new concepts and how to handle new situations – not just to develop their words and visual associations.
Introduce your child to the kitchen. Kids love to help out and ‘be like their parents.’ Even if they don’t do much and simply sit by you holding a spoon and stirring every now and then, they feel a sense of purpose. It also lets them get comfortable in the kitchen, teaching them that cooking is a daily habit.
Have a little fun every day and turn up the volume. Pick the soundtrack to their favourite movie and dance around while you’re cooking or just relaxing. Even if your kids are young, sing to them and have fun. Dancing is a form of self-expression and self confidence.
Babies and toddlers can benefit from pre-writing activities like drawing and colouring. Instead of buying them an iPad, go for a set of Derwent pencils, chalks or paints. This way, they’ll develop the physical and mental skills that are required for writing early on. Encourage your little artists. Allow them to be as messy as possible – in a controlled area, of course.
Limit screen time and instead of TV, enjoy music, drawing and then outside play time. Set up an area that’s designed for running around, with toys to keep them amused. Make sure it’s safe and you feel comfortable letting them play on their own, while you relax with a book (inside or close by).
Oh, and we nearly forgot the most important one of all: say, I love you every day.