Wanna hear a fun fact about raising kids? It’s incredibly tedious. Sure, there are times when it’s chaotic and spontaneous but there is also a lot of times when our routines and daily habits for kids kind of blend into each other.
Clean. Cook. Shop. Pack up toys. Play. Drive them someplace. Remind them to put on their pants. Remind them why we don’t pee in bushes. Bathe. Read. Sleep. Repeat multiple times a day.
The good news is that there are a few of these daily habits for kids that are actually incredibly beneficial to our children. And, chances are, you’re already doing them! If not, give them a go and see what you think.
DAILY HABIT #1: The day starts at X
You know what makes parenting hard? When your day starts at 4 am with a toddler jumping on your head! Want an easy way around this? It’s called “The Day Starts At X” and it allows you to choose what time the day starts.
For example, let’s say the day starts at 7 am. This means your kids MUST remain in their rooms, playing quietly until 7 am. Once the clock strikes 7 am, the day can begin and they can be loud and crazy and jump on ALL the heads.
The simplest way to encourage this daily habit is with a sleep training clock that allows you to swap colours from night to day.
This little trick is great for teaching kids patience, self-control, respect for boundaries and independence. Plus, it means you can get a little bit of a sleep-in! Do the same at night. The day ends at 8 pm which means lights out and in their rooms.
DAILY HABIT #2: Drink for digestive health
We’ve all heard the saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but there are other daily habits to incorporate into your child’s diet. A great habit to get into is adding a Yakult Original or Yakult LIGHT to a daily snack or meal (and yours too).
Yakult is a probiotic fermented milk drink that contains a very high concentration of the unique bacterium Lactobacillus casei Shirota strain (LcS). Probiotics work wonders for gut health by stimulating digestion, regulating bowel movement, improving the absorption of nutrients from foods and supporting immunity.
In other words? It’s great for their gut! You can find Yakult in the dairy section of your supermarket.
Want quick nutrition tip videos on healthy eating for the family or when dealing with fussy eaters? Click on the find out more button below.
DAILY HABIT #3: The great toy cleanup debate
Sure, it’s easier to just pack the toys and put them away yourself (several times a day) but it’s so much more beneficial for your kids to do it (or at least help you). Not only does this teach them responsibility but it helps them with organisational and tidying skills.
You need three main things to make this happen – a timer to put on for 10-15 minutes a few times a day that singles its tidy-up time. For example, before naps, before dinner and before bed. You also need big baskets so that it’s easy for little hands to pack things up.
And finally, you’ll need to take a step back and not micro-manage the toy organisation. Sure, your two-year-old put the blocks back in with the puzzles, but, breathe. It’s okay because he did it all by himself!
DAILY HABIT #4: Quiet Time
I don’t care if you’re three or thirty-three, we can ALL benefit from a daily dose of quiet time. Little ones often use this time to nap but older kids should have 15-30 minutes to just chill out, in a quiet space, doing their own thing.
And mums, we need this too so set up a daily designated ‘quiet time’. Meditate, do a quiet activity like reading or puzzles. This is a great lesson in patience, independence and learning how to reset.
We recommend doing quiet time after lunch but this depends on your daily routine. It might work to have quiet time around 3:30 pm if you have school-aged kids. Or for 20 minutes after dinner.
DAILY HABIT #5: Move your body
Daily exercise. So so so important. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s possible with all the other things on the to-do list but take ten minutes to simply walk around the block with your child. Visit a park if you can. Kick a ball in the backyard. Put on some music and dance in the street like proper weirdos.
If your kids are at the age where they “don’t like walks, mum”, then suggest a bike, a scooter. Heck, they can cartwheel down the block if they want, as long as they are getting some fresh air, soaking up some Vitamin D and burning some of that excess kid energy.
DAILY HABIT #6: One on one time to CHAT
Some days you have all the time in the world to chat to your kids about everything. Why the sky is blue, why do we need to wash our hands, why Peppa talks with a different accent. Other days we may feel so run off our feet that we barely even see our kids.
And on those extra crazy days, 10 minutes is all you need. Per child. To sit down with them. Talk to them about their day, what they liked, what they didn’t like. Stroke their hair or tickle their arm while you chat and reconnect and let them know that you’re always there, even on super crazy days.
DAILY HABIT #7: One on one time to PLAY
In addition to 10 minutes of talk, try to also get in 10 minutes of one-on-one playtime with your child. Again, some days you may feel like you’ve literally played ALL day but other times you won’t. And on those extra crazy days, you may feel like you didn’t do enough, that you weren’t ‘there’ enough. Mum guilt at its finest.
But just 10 minutes is all you really need. Just 10 minutes to make playdoh monsters or colour-in a picture, to watch them do cartwheels in the backyard or build a house in Minecraft. Whatever they’re into at the time, do it with them. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, it’s enough for today.
DAILY HABIT #8: Food for thought
Choosing the right foods is probably a daily battle you feel like you’re never winning. So focus on something else. Focus on making mealtime a nice experience. Aim for one sit-down meal as a family a day.
For most of us, this usually means dinner but not if you’re a shift worker or if you have older kids who happen to have sports or part-time jobs in the evening.
Do what works for your family and use this time to chat, laugh and fill their bellies and their emotional cups at the same time.
DAILY HABIT #9: The gratitude game
This is my favourite daily habit for my kids ever. Simply find a time every day to name three things you’re grateful for or looking forward to and get the kids to do the same.
It can be anything. They may be grateful for their teddy, a cuddle, or a yummy snack they got. They may be excited about a birthday party on the weekend or a special event at school.
Teaching your kids how to be grateful and appreciative is by far one of the best gifts we can give them. And it’s doesn’t hurt for us to remind ourselves daily of how lucky we are too!
DAILY HABIT #10: Always end with a KISS
The final daily habit to benefit your kids? It’s easy. End the day with a kiss, a cuddle and an “I Love You”. You may not realise how much this means to them. No matter what age or stage, they are never too old for a kiss goodnight.
In fact, you may not realise how all of these little things will make a big difference in their worlds. These daily habits for kids will benefit them both now and down the road. You’ll also improve their physical, emotional and digestive health and alleviate some of that dreaded mum guilt you may be feeling.
Try them and see if they can a difference and bring harmony to your home.
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