This article gives tips on how to help your child build healthy habits. We also have a free printable chart that your little one will love, and reward ideas that parents enjoy!
CREATING HEALTHY HABITS THAT CAN LAST A LIFETIME
WHAT IS A HABIT? A habit is the internal process of turning a repetitive behavior into an automatic action. The habits we create can be either beneficial or harmful to our health. Sometimes a habit develops accidentally over time, as an unconscious reaction. But many good habits are established by choosing to pursue a goal.
WHY ARE PEOPLE "CREATURES OF HABIT"? The reason is that once a particular activity is deeply engrained in our brains, it becomes a quick, efficient activity. Habits allows people the ability to do something without wasting energy or time thinking about the process.
HOW ARE HABITS CREATED? Studies show that after 21 days, a routine activity can start to become a habit. And after 66 days, that habit evolves into an automatic behavior. It takes focus and intentionality to remove a bad habit or create a good habit. Experts recommend having something visual to assist you in achieving a certain goal. Incentives and rewards help the brain to desire certain positive actions.
USE OUR CHART AND CREATE A REWARDS SYSTEM. We encourage your family to make daily brushing and flossing a healthy habit that becomes a lifelong automatic behavior for your little ones. By downloading our free printable, you can give your children a visual calendar for them to monitor their success. Remember to floss once each day and brush for 2 minutes, twice daily. Five minutes each day can have dramatic benefits to your child's overall health, oral health, and even their self confidence.
REWARD IDEAS FOR YOUR CHILD. What motivates your child? Come up with healthy ideas that can be used as an incentive for full charts. Some of our ideas include:
Earn a sticker each day
Earn a special prize at the end of each month
Fun activity at the end of each week: bonfire outside, fishing, beach, park, etc.
Special activity at the end of each month: museum, movie theater, bowling, putt-putt, etc.
Celebrate the month by going on a day trip to a local town (for example, take the ferry to Southport)
We hope that this is helpful! Have any other ideas that work well in your family? Please share them with us! We would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for joining us and being part of the Sunshine family!
To ensure all your children’s teeth are ready to SMILE all year long, be sure to visit Sunshine Children’s Dentistry. The American Dental Association recommends oral checkups twice annually for children (and adults, too). QUESTIONS? We are a resource to you and are happy to answer any questions you may have about your child’s changing smile. We believe that oral health should be FUN and something to SMILE about! f you ever need to reach us, our number is 910.762.7736.
For more helpful resources and fun activities, be sure to read our other Blog Articles.