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10 Healthy Habits That Strengthen Your Family (Part 2)

Today’s families face many challenges. But by implementing Mighty Mommy’s 10 healthy habits, you can strengthen family bonds and lay the foundation for your children’s future.

By
Cheryl Butler,
October 14, 2012
Episode #202

10 Healthy Habits That Strengthen Your Family (Part 2)

Last week, in Part 1 of this series, I introduced 5 healthy habits that can help strengthen your family. I urge you to check out the first 5 healthy habits that have made a huge impact on my life.

This week, I have 5 more successful habits that have made a positive impact with my own family of 8 kids ages 6 – 19. 

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Healthy Habit #6:  Get Plenty of Rest

Getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night is very important to our physical and emotional health. Of course, with everything we need to do throughout the day, many of us deprive ourselves of the proper rest.   Families are often so busy that they steal extra time from their sleep, creating a bad habit that can last a lifetime. By establishing a regular bedtime for yourself and your kids, you will be setting up a very important habit that will not only benefit you, but will carry over into your child’s adulthood. 

For example, if your 10th grader loves to leave school projects until the last minute, figuring he can pull late nights on a regular basis to get the job done, it’s time to make a change. Establish a family habit that homework, projects, and your own professional deadlines must be completed by 9pm the night before they are due, no excuses. You will set a positive guideline for your entire family that once 9pm arrives, if the school science experiment is still not done and the review of your company’s payroll policy is not even close to being rectified, it’s going to have to wait until the following day. No one in the family wants to squirm under pressure when a deadline isn’t met, so set the example yourself by completing work and home tasks on time so your family will follow.

Healthy Habit #7: Tell the Truth

We are either in the habit of telling the truth or we’re not.  Being honest isn’t always easy, but I definitely think our kids follow our lead in this area.  For instance, if you are invited to a party that you don’t want to attend, don’t tell a little white lie in front of your kids about why you can’t make it. Instead, let the host of the party know that you appreciate the invite, but are just not able to fit it into your schedule that week. Even small examples such as this will lay the foundation that your family values honesty in all circumstances.

Healthy Habit # 8: Financial Responsibility

Do your children a favor and teach them good financial habits from an early age. Doing so will make them better equipped to deal with their finances as adults.  Instilling responsible financial habits can include starting a savings account for your child and teaching them to save for desired items rather than purchasing them on your credit card and paying it off over time.

If you give kids an allowance, show them how to allocate their money into spending, savings, and investments or donations. This can be done by paying them in $1 bills. For example, if you give them $5 per week, let them have $2 for spending, $1 for savings account, $1 for donating to a worthy cause like the Animal Shelter, and $1 for putting away in their college fund.  This pattern will instill a sense of fiscal responsibility that is absolutely crucial for adulthood.

For more on family money management, check out Money Girl’s podcast.

Healthy Habit #9: Punctuality 

Teaching punctuality is another way of teaching the importance of selflessness. Our schedules don’t exist in a vacuum, so when we’re late, we can start a chain reaction that impacts others. Start building a good family habit of arriving to functions such as birthday parties, church, school activities, and playdates on time. If you do this now, your kids will learn that being on time is just as important as keeping a promise.

Healthy Habit #10: Refuel Your Tank

Today’s kids live very full and scheduled lives. While there is nothing wrong with that, it’s also important to learn that we all need down time on a regular basis to recharge our batteries. 

Remember: You don’t have to accept every invitation or commitment that comes your way. 

Get into the habit of incorporating “time for self” each and every week for all members of the family. Let your children see you lying on the couch reading or sitting at the table doodling. Take walks at the beach or in the park together. When our kids and other family members see us creating regular “me time” it teaches them the important lesson that it is not selfish to step away from our harried schedules to refuel our tanks, but rather that it’s vital to our overall healthy well-being.

Be sure and check out Part 1 of this series for my first 5 healthy family habits

Do you have healthy habits that you value in your family?  Have they had a positive impact on your life?  Let me know in Comments or post them on the Mighty Mommy Facebook page. You can also connect with me on Twitter @MightyMommy or e-mail me at mommy@quickanddirtytips.com.

Check back next week for more Mighty Mommy tips. Don’t forget to check out my family-friendly boards at Pinterest.com/MightyMommyQDT.

I hope you start building some healthy new habits for your family today.

Until next time—Happy Parenting!

Girl Sleeping, Girl with Piggy Bank and Family Walking in the Park images from Shutterstock

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