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Good habits to teach your child from an early age

Mtoto umleavyo ndivyo akuavyo

A mother and her son (Courtesy)

Do you sometimes come across some kids in public spaces and wonder who the hell raised them? Because, zero manners.

I think parents of this new generation are so busy working and trying to make ends meet that the role of parenting has been left to house helps. I don’t know about you but I cannot stand naughty kids. As a parent, you need to teach your kids some manners and healthy habits from early on. They will not always be at home with you – sooner than later, they will start interacting with other kids and people say when they join school or even during Sunday school and you definitely want to have a well-behaved child because truth of the matter is, the way a child behaves reflects on you as a parent. Here are habits you should teach your kids from early on.

1. Mannerisms.

The basics, parents! To say please when borrowing something, thank you after being given something, welcome, excuse me, to greet people well. Not to shout while asking for favors. And not just the manners but also things like sharing with other, being obedient, listening, not interrupting, not stealing, being rude etc. It’s very important to have a well-mannered child as you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. Failure to instill these habits when they’re young, you’ll have a tough job ahead when the child is in his or her teens.


2. To hold their mouth when sneezing or coughing.

So, the other day I was at a certain reception waiting and this kid and his mum were sat next to me – a grown boy in his pre-teens. He was playing on his mom’s phone and he couldn’t stop sneezing – mind you, he did not even think to hold his mouth or use a handkerchief. Funny enough, the mother saw no issue in that. Like, c’mon! You’re sat there watching your child spread germs to everyone? It’ disgusting. Teach your children to carry handkerchiefs and blow their noses, remove boogers and cover their mouths when yawning, sneezing and coughing. Oh, I almost forgot, also teach your children to chew food with mouths closed.

3. To wash their hands.

You’d think that this is basic right? Well, you’d be surprised at how many parents themselves do not ash their own hands. Teach your children that it’s healthy to wash their hands before handling food, after the bathroom and to wash their fruits before eating them. Children play all the time and they’re exposed to so much dirt and bacteria which cause diseases easily because their bodies are still delicate and their immune system is still developing.


4. To protect themselves at all times.

If they’re in a car, ensure they know how to buckle up (if they're old enough). If they’re riding a bike, teach them that they must always protect the head by wearing a helmet. It’s very necessary and can save your child’s life one day.

5. To take care of their teeth.

To brush before sleeping and brush in the morning. If you don’t take care of your teeth at an early age, you will only have yourself to blame in future when you start getting cavities and other teeth problems.


6. Not to litter.

The fate of the environment is in the hands of our children. We have to teach them that littering is bad, we have to teach them ways of recycling and preserving the environment and we have to start doing this when they’re young. If your child eats a sweet and throws away the paper, have them collect it and let it be known that trash belong in a trash can.

7. Not to be a couch potato.

Nowadays, kids don’t even play anymore. They just spend time on the couch with their tablets playing games and watching TV. You have to teach your child that everything should be done in moderation and have them balance everything. Not to spend too much time watching TV but also engaging in physical activities by playing with friends outside. Give them a few simple chores in the house, teach them how to clean after themselves, how to make their bed after waking up and to take bedtime seriously because sleep and rest is important for their general health, development and well-being. 



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