As your child grows, some of the practices they used to do can become harmful. It’s important to help your kids understand the habits that need to shift as they grow. These are a few of the activities your kid might be too old for.
Using a Bottle
When your child gets to be roughly two years old, it’s a good time to help them stop using a bottle. As a baby, a bottle can help your child comfort themselves and get to sleep at night. It’s also essential to their nutrition before they can eat more solid foods. However, after about the age of two, continuing to use a bottle can cause quite a bit of harm. For one, older children who use bottles have more of a chance of tooth decay. Drinking milk at night leaves deposits on your children’s teeth, which can attract the bacteria that causes cavities. Constantly sucking on the bottle can also cause your child’s teeth to shift and become crooked, leading to more potential oral health problems.
Another one of the habits your children should quit as soon as possible is sucking their thumb. Just like a bottle, babies also use sucking their thumb as a self-soothing practice. However, just like a bottle, there are negative consequences that can come up should they continue to do this. This has similar consequences as using a bottle, namely oral health problems. Thumb sucking past the toddler stage can be harmful to your child’s dental development. To help your child break this habit, try painting their nails. This can be a fun time for them, and also help them to remember not to suck their thumb. Remember to discuss the process with them. Simplify the process into terms they can understand, but talk through the importance of healthy habits. Be sure to provide gentle reminders along the way, and remember to be patient.
Children start out picking their nose because they don’t understand how to properly take care of a stuffy nose. However, your nose is your primary protection from airborne bacteria and viruses. When your child picks their nose, they push past all these defenses with a dirty finger. Once again, the first step in stopping this process is explaining to your child why they should stop. One helpful practice to help your child stop the habit is to model good behavior. When they’re young, and complain of a stuffy nose, show them how to blow their nose, and mimic doing it with them. They likely won’t quite get it right until they’re older, but this sets a solid foundation. Gentle reminders are important here as well.
Children do all sorts of funny things as they grow up that are the result of just trying to figure out the world around them. However, some of these practices can turn into bad habits if they continue on for too long. These are just a few of the activities you should help your kids stop doing when they get older.
Check out this article on good home habits that can improve outcomes for your children!