Don’t Teach your Children these Bad Habits

1.       Using toothpicks – Do not use toothpicks infront of children and don’t use it on them. Introduce them to flosses as early as possible. Toothpicks are bad in that they create holes between teeth. Let them know and see you using it to pick of meat stuck in their tooth and for cleaning their teeth everyday. By the way a piece of floss can get to places between teeth that a toothpick cannot get to without damage. There are some products too that make floss easier to use for children by holding them. E.g. Reacher Daily flosser

2.       Drinking soft drinks – soft drinks are bad simple, not sure why anyone allows children to drink them! They are full of unbelievable amounts of sugar, they are carbonated, provide empty calories and worse of all children can get used to drinking them from childhood.

rp_father-and-daughter-portrait.jpg3.       Not drinking water – Water is necessary for everything! For adequate hydration, growth and eliminating toxins. Teach them early the importance of drinking a lot of water and encourage them to look at their urine. A simple measure of adequate water is whether the urine is light or deep yellow, the darker it is the more obvious it is water consumption not enough.

4.       Not eating vegetables and fruits – It is not an option for children to say they do not like or want vegetables and fruits (unless there is a medical reason). Parents need to teach them what is right and therefore from an early age get them used to and exposed to a variety of vegetables and fruits. There are also many ways to make it fun, blend them into juices, cut them into fun sizes. Let them eat it first before they eat their main course. If you reduce the amount of snacks and make the healthy alternatives available they will get used to picking up a stick of carrots to snack on versus a bag of crisps.

5.       Using cotton buds – these are just bad! Cotton buds push debris and wax further into the ear canal. The ear does not need any help in cleaning itself and should there be a build up of wax a little drop (using a dropper) of olive oil will typically loosen the wax and let it flow out. Cotton buds also pose a threat of going too far into the ear canal and either getting stuck or rupturing the ear drum.

6.       Eating lots of processed foods – Natural is better all the time. So instead of corn in a tin why not get local corn and peel it into the fried rice instead, instead of buying rice cereal why not blend the rice in a blender and create your own rice cereal at home. The bottom line is if something is in a tin usually it has been processed and preserved with something to make it have a long shelf life! Think about what they are consuming.

7.       Eating fast food frequently – it is called fast food for a reason, they have been prepared in a “fast” way and not as healthy as homemade meals. With new fast food restaurants opening up everywhere here in Lagos we have to reduce and limit the number of times they eat fast foods. We shouldn’t expose our children to being overweight and other health concerns that come with consuming excessive amount of unhealthy food.

8.      Not exercising – With all the evidence and dangers of a sedentary lifestyle we must ensure that our children understand the importance of exercise. Part of this is to ensure that they get physical activity everyday. From playing outside to following some children excersice activity video everyday. Children should not be allowed to stay glued to the television or the ipad.

9.       (Over)Reliance on technology – there is bad reliance on technology. Everything created and invented has a good and a bad use. With the invention and wide acceptance of smartphones, internet, ipads, and various social media options like blackberry, facebook, twitter etc. Children nowadays have to learn how to manage the amount of time they spend on all these. Are you a good example? Are on the internet or mobile device all the time?

Parents have to model good behaviour! Are we practising what we preach? Are we eating right? Drinking water? Excersing etc. Children are most likely to adopt what they see their parents and adults around the house doing.

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