Roughly 58% of all American parents consider parenthood to be core to their identity, says a report from Pew Research Center. Parenting can be a monumental effort, but it would seem that the vast majority think it worth committing almost their entire selves to. Still, some parents can’t help but wonder if they’re doing enough for their child. If you’re the type of parent who can’t shake the feeling that there’s more to the occasional visits to the pediatrician, here’s how to go the extra mile for your child’s health and wellness.
Tend To Their Mental Well-Being
Nowadays, it’s common knowledge that a child’s mental health must be preserved because it’s at this point in their life where their mentalities are the most fluid. So how do you go the extra mile for your child’s mental health? You can start by constantly checking on your child in the most non-intrusive way as possible. Ask them how they’re doing, what they’re thinking, and how they’re feeling. Simply take time to listen and respect their answers.
This opens them up to free expression to you without fear of judgment. Ideally, you would have them sharing a healthy amount of their activities and interactions with you, especially online.
Enhance Their Dietary And Physical Health
Developing a healthy body starts with healthy eating habits. Beyond limiting your child’s salt and sugar intake, it’d be wise to do your best to make sure they develop a palate for nutritious foods too. Start by giving them small helpings of vegetables with each meal, gradually increasing until they’re comfortable with half their plate being fruits and veggies.
Aside from a balanced diet, ensure that your child is getting enough exercise. The prescribed amount of exercise for preschool-age children is as much as possible throughout the day, to get their bodies used to moving around and thus promote growth. For children aged 7 and up, at least 1 hour per day is recommended.
Finally, it’s also important to update your child on their vaccines. This maximizes immunity, which is especially important considering that they’ll be running around outdoors a lot with several kids their age. For more serious health risks, it’s also prudent to look up life insurance plans for your child to cover medical costs in the future.
Cultivate Emotional And Social Skills
Aside from mental and physical well-being, it’s also important that your child is developing well in terms of social and emotional intelligence. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, a child with social and emotional intelligence is usually in a positive mood, cares about their caregivers and peers, and expresses genuine interest in other people. The ability to have good emotional intelligence and thus develop proper social relationships begins at home.
Even the simple act of eating meals together and discussing the events of the day without fear of antagonization can work wonders to form a child’s basic emotional support structure. Meaningful expressions of love and healthy doses of attention are also well-appreciated by a child’s subconscious as well as their conscious mind. By this example, they can show others the same behavior and become more sociable as a result.Raising a child takes a lot more than simply providing them sustenance. It’s more than a quarter-lifetime of hard work and patience. But the fulfillment from knowing that your child will grow up to be a kind-hearted adult of sound mind and body makes it worth doing it right.