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Five Things Every Parent Should Do for Their Young Children

Five Things Every Parent Should Do for Their Young Children

Five Things Every Parent Should Do for Their Young Children

    Babies are wonderful bundles of joy. They are easy to love. Nature has cunningly designed them to be irresistible. This helps new parents cope with the hardships of getting up at night and caring for their infant’s immediate needs, which tend to be food, drink, exhalation of wind and clean diapers. So far so good. It is the next part that is more difficult and which many parents flunk. As well as fulfilling their physical needs you have to cope with other important demands for growing children. Here are some key rules for those years from toddler to early school. As a parent you should definitely:

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    1. Spend time with your child.

    The one thing you should never deny your child is your time. You should play with him or her. Talk and listen. Children need attention, communication and stimulation. Don’t lock them in the play pen or dump them in front of TV. Treat them with respect and with a great sense of playfulness.

    2. Read to your child.

    Just playing, eating, chatting or walking together is good but it is not enough. From an early age you should sit and read with your child. Reading helps develop language, understanding, verbal intelligence and a love of books. Picture books, nursery rhymes, fairy stories and all the old favorites are great. As your children get older listen to them read and discuss the stories and what they mean.

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    3. Set rules and say ‘No.’

    Many parents indulge their kids, smother them with love and deny them nothing. But this is not doing you or the child any favors. Children have to learn the difference between right and wrong; and between safe and dangerous. You have to firmly correct them when they do bad things. You have to set rules and restrictions, explain them and make sure the child understands. Children get this quickly and they respect boundaries provided they are applied fairly and consistently.

    4. Set a good example.

    Children learn from those around them and especially their parents. If you swear, shout at your partner, kick the dog, leave a mess and don’t tidy up then why shouldn’t they? Teach them good manners and behavior through your actions as much as your words.

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    5. Encourage a healthy lifestyle.

    Many of today’s teenagers who are obese couch-potatoes started with bad habits at an early age. Give your toddler fruit, vegetables and sugar-free drinks and he or she will grow up liking them. Encourage your children to walk, cycle and play and they will love exercise.

    Children are a blessing and a privilege. Parenthood can and should be a source of happiness and wonderful fun. But it is also a duty; one of the most serious that you will ever undertake. Do it well and the benefits will last a lifetime.

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    Paul Sloane

    Professional Keynote Speaker, Author, Innovation Expert

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    Last Updated on November 18, 2020

    15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

    15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

    It’s okay, you can finally admit it. It’s been two months since you’ve seen the inside of the gym. Getting sick, family crisis, overtime at work and school papers that needed to get finished all kept you for exercising. Now, the question is: how do you start again?
    Once you have an exercise habit, it becomes automatic. You just go to the gym, there is no force involved. But after a month, two months or possibly a year off, it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to climb back on that treadmill after you’ve fallen off.

    1. Don’t Break the Habit – The easiest way to keep things going is simply not to stop. Avoid long breaks in exercising or rebuilding the habit will take some effort. This may be advice a little too late for some people. But if you have an exercise habit going, don’t drop it at the first sign of trouble.
    2. Reward Showing Up – Woody Allen once said that, “Half of life is showing up.” I’d argue that 90% of making a habit is just making the effort to get there. You can worry about your weight, amount of laps you run or the amount you can bench press later.
    3. Commit for Thirty Days – Make a commitment to go every day (even just for 20 minutes) for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit. By making a commitment you also take pressure off yourself in the first weeks back of deciding whether to go.
    4. Make it Fun – If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are thousands of ways you can move your body and exercise, so don’t give up if you’ve decided lifting weights or doing crunches isn’t for you. Many large fitness centers will offer a range of programs that can suit your tastes.
    5. Schedule During Quiet Hours – Don’t put exercise time in a place where it will easily be pushed aside by something more important. Right after work or first thing in the morning are often good places to put it. Lunch-hour workouts might be too easy to skip if work demands start mounting.
    6. Get a Buddy – Grab a friend to join you. Having a social aspect to exercising can boost your commitment to the exercise habit.
    7. X Your Calendar – One person I know has the habit of drawing a red “X” through any day on the calendar he goes to the gym. The benefit of this is it quickly shows how long it has been since you’ve gone to the gym. Keeping a steady amount of X’s on your calendar is an easy way to motivate yourself.
    8. Enjoyment Before Effort – After you finish any work out, ask yourself what parts you enjoyed and what parts you did not. As a rule, the enjoyable aspects of your workout will get done and the rest will be avoided. By focusing on how you can make workouts more enjoyable, you can make sure you want to keep going to the gym.
    9. Create a Ritual – Your workout routine should become so ingrained that it becomes a ritual. This means that the time of day, place or cue automatically starts you towards grabbing your bag and heading out. If your workout times are completely random, it will be harder to benefit from the momentum of a ritual.
    10. Stress Relief – What do you do when your stressed? Chances are it isn’t running. But exercise can be a great way to relieve stress, releasing endorphin which will improve your mood. The next time you feel stressed or tired, try doing an exercise you enjoy. When stress relief is linked to exercise, it is easy to regain the habit even after a leave of absence.
    11. Measure Fitness – Weight isn’t always the best number to track. Increase in muscle can offset decreases in fat so the scale doesn’t change even if your body is. But fitness improvements are a great way to stay motivated. Recording simple numbers such as the number of push-ups, sit-ups or speed you can run can help you see that the exercise is making you stronger and faster.
    12. Habits First, Equipment Later – Fancy equipment doesn’t create a habit for exercise. Despite this, some people still believe that buying a thousand dollar machine will make up for their inactivity. It won’t. Start building the exercise habit first, only afterwards should you worry about having a personal gym.
    13. Isolate Your Weakness – If falling off the exercise wagon is a common occurrence for you, find out why. Do you not enjoy exercising? Is it a lack of time? Is it feeling self-conscious at the gym? Is it a lack of fitness know-how? As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.
    14. Start Small – Trying to run fifteen miles your first workout isn’t a good way to build a habit. Work below your capacity for the first few weeks to build the habit. Otherwise you might scare yourself off after a brutal workout.
    15. Go for Yourself, Not to Impress – Going to the gym with the only goal of looking great is like starting a business with only the goal to make money. The effort can’t justify the results. But if you go to the gym to push yourself, gain energy and have a good time, then you can keep going even when results are slow.

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