Many people are often saying that today’s children are growing up too fast, and while we certainly want them to keep their innocence for as long as possible, it’s still very important to do certain things early with your children. This doesn’t mean they’ll be forced to grow up sooner, but it will help you from experiencing some meltdowns or other issues as your child gets older. Here are six things to do early with your kids that you may think are crazy but will actually help keep you sane.
1. Visit the dentist.
Ever since your child was born you take him or her to the doctor, but most parents think they can put off the dentist until your child is on his or her way to kindergarten. Unfortunately, this is not the case. According to professionals like Stanton Smiles in Florida, “Seeing a dentist early can not only accustom your child to a dental professional, but it can often help us resolve issues before they turn into more expensive fixes like root canals or pulled teeth.” According ot the American Dental Association, you should bring your child for his or her first dental visit around the age of one.
2. Eat healthy.
Sure, popping some chicken nuggets in the microwave or heating up a nice grilled cheese sandwich is the easy way out, but it’s meals like this that will get your kids to deny what’s good for them. From the moment you can feed your child something other than formula or breast milk, be sure to include healthy foods, such as vegetables, into his or her diet. Teaching them to be open about food and recognize what’s good for them can help you have a less picky eater as your child grows.
3. Talk about money.
Talking about important issues like money may seem crazy, but teaching your child about the importance of money at an early age will only benefit your child in the long run. For instance, be sure your child understands how to save money and the value of things like an allowance. You can even teach your child about how money comes in and goes out by “charging them” for things like rent, electricity, food, etc. Obviously, this can be done at a very small scale, but by doing so, you’ll have a child who understands the value of a dollar and can create a lifestyle that doesn’t involve too much debt.
4. Talk about sex.
If you think talking about money was hard, you know the sex talk may be a bit harder. However, when you can talk with your children early about sex, it will help them have a better understanding of their own bodies and how to protect it from harm. Let your child know what parts of their body are private and what to do if they ever feel uncomfortable with someone’s touch. Raising this awareness early can keep your child from situations that put them in danger.
5. Teach proper hygiene.
Kids are notorious for never wanting to bathe, but if you can make bath time fun and get your kids used to washing hands and brushing teeth regularly, you’ll have a child with better hygiene than most. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to your child’s body. Boys as young as first grade can start to produce a stink when they sweat, and this may mean you’re buying your son deodorant at that age. However, by teaching these things early, you’ll have an easier time with your child when they start to go through puberty.
6. Talk about other big things.
Talking openly and honestly with your child will be very advantageous for them, so don’t hold back on having big conversations. For instance, if you’re a religious person, then you may want to talk with your child about religion when they’re young. If you want to teach them about the dangers in the world, don’t hesitate to talk about things like “stranger danger” or even bullying in school or online. These conversations will not only help your child learn, but they’ll also encourage your child to come talk to you when they’re in need or troubled.
Being a parent is a tough job, but if you can start on these things early, you’ll find that your child has an advantage growing up. Plus, you’ll just be happy to know you were helping to shape them into good people from the start.