Encourage These Science-Backed Habits to Raise a Successful AlphaKid
The actions you help instill in your kids regularly become a habit, and those habits become the building blocks of a successful, healthy kid!
It’s the big moments of your child that you remember, but it’s the small steps and daily habits that got them to where they are now—thriving, healthy, and on their way to becoming a successful AlphaKid!
As a parent, you want what’s best for your child; and that applies to the habits you actively instill in them through habit or repetition. When their daily habits make them healthy, happy, and whole, they’ll have the energy, health, and grit to tackle whatever comes their way on a daily basis—and be better-positioned to achieve more in the long run.
If you want to raise successful AlphaKids, setting these conditions will help instill winning habits, and in turn help pave the road to success.
Encourage independent problem-solving
The true measure of success is not the amount of money someone makes in their life, or by their popularity or influence. What will make your child a successful AlphaKid is if they can confidently take on what comes their way, and make the best choice possible for themselves.
As your child grows up, they will continuously assert their independence in different ways. Rather than pushing back, tightening your grip, and controlling them, guide them towards making the right choices. To give them a sense of control and help them think for themselves. When faced with a problem, help them decide on two pre-approved choices.
For example, your kid doesn’t want to pack away. Rather than yelling that they follow you or else no more screen time, give them choices. “Do you want to do it now and I’ll help you, or do you want to do it later and you can do it on your own?” Giving them choices helps them feel independent, and will establish what it takes to solve problems.
Give them room to play
Yes, it gets messy and time-consuming, but when kids play, that’s when their brains work! Open-ended toys, crafts, building blocks don’t only give hours of fun for your child, they activate their brain through teaching them how to solve problems, role-playing taps into their imagination, and teaches them values like patience and perseverance.
Walk the talk
Complaining about your child’s hours of gaming and screen time won’t work when they see you glued to your computer and TV all day long, too. You are your child’s main role model, and your actions need to match what you’re saying for your children to follow suit.
Your kid can acquire positive behavior through observational learning, or learning from watching what other say or do. If you model generosity, hard work, kind words, and healthy hobbies like exercising or reading, they will be encouraged to follow your lead.
Assign them chores
Beyond teaching your kids life skills that will help them live independently, chores also instill responsibility, organization, and a growth mindset.
With chores, it’s not a matter of doing things perfectly at the onset, but it’s doing it and constantly improving one cleanup session at a time. Packing away their toys and books on their own is one of the first chores most kids learn to do, then they can graduate to other tasks, such as making their bed in the morning, preparing their clothes the night before, or tidying up their study table after a day of online school.
The science bears this out. A meta-analysis of data collected over 20 years found success in young adulthood strongly correlated with whether the subjects did chores as early as 3 or 4 years of age!
To ensure that kids keep doing their chores, fight the urge to force them to do things “your way” or to reprimand them when they forget to do it the way you taught them. What matters here is for your child to do the chore, and when you see room for improvement, you point it out but are put in between compliments.
Here’s an example: “I see how hard you worked on putting away your books and notebooks after school.
Tomorrow, you can try lining them up by subject, so that you can easily grab what you need during class. Thank you again for working hard!”
Set a firm sleeping schedule.
Children are continuously growing, both in mind and body. When it comes to good health and nutrition, sleeping habits are sometimes not included. Sleep, exercise, and the right nutrition are essential during this golden window of opportunity that takes place before kids turn 5 years of age. The amount of sleep they get every day aids their growth and mental development—and the flipside is true as well.
In a 2017 study, seven-year-olds who lacked sleep during their toddler and preschool years reported more behavioral problems compared to those who got the right amount of sleep in those years. (The study defined insufficient sleep as less than 12 hours during infancy, less than 11 hours between 3 and 4 year of age, and less than 10 hours between 5 and 7 years of age.)
Everyone would benefit from a complete night’s sleep, especially kids. They wake up mentally alert and full of energy. Proper sleep hygiene is necessary for adults too, and when kids instill this habit in themselves early on, they will continue to make sleep a priority as they age.
Raising a successful AlphaKid isn’t only seen in the high grades that a child gets in school. It’s also how they solve their problems, make their own choices, and how they handle setbacks in life. When an AlphaKid is confident, kind, and in control of their life, that is what makes them successful.
• American Psychological Association, Cognitive and Social Skills to Expect From 3 to 5 Years, 2021
• Child Mind Institute, How to Build Independence in Preschoolers, 2021
• Michigan State University, Monkey see, monkey do: Model behavior in early childhood, March 30, 2015
• Psychology Today, 5 Guidelines for Giving Kids Choices, February 1, 2016
• ScienceDaily, Poor sleep in early childhood may lead to cognitive, behavioral problems in later years, March 2017
• University of Minnesota, Involving Children in Household Tasks: is It Worth the Effort?, 2014
About The Writer
MAITA DE JESUS
A mom of one 6-year-old girl, Maita started her writing career as an intern for a popular local women’s magazine back in 2004. Her career has seen her assume leadership positions in several wide-reaching publications: she’s served as managing editor for Good Housekeeping and Total Girl Magazine, and as editor-in-chief for Disney Princess Magazine.
She became a full-time freelancer in 2015, to help focus on raising her daughter as a single mom. In the course of her freelance career, she’s published parenting, lifestyle, and personal finance content for a variety of online portals.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are his/her own, and does not state or reflect those of Wyeth Nutrition and its principals.