Sunday, May 1, 2022

10 Natural Living Principles a Child Should Know by Age 5

 


Children are natural learners, and our best teachers among the essential things you can do as a parent are to teach your child the importance of living a natural lifestyle and educate them about making wise decisions when it comes to their health.


In our busy lives, we sometimes ignore the simple truths of life, which significantly impact our overall well-being. From self-reflection to goal-setting and everything in between. In other words, how to live a wholesome organic life.


Here are 10 Natural Living Principles a Child Should Know by Age 5.


1. Be grateful for what you have.

It's so easy to take the simple things in life that we're blessed with for granted. You may not have what someone else has, but you should still be thankful for what you already have. 


It's important to teach kids that it's not all about themselves. It's good to be grateful for what they have, even if they don't have much. We all know that children can be incredibly difficult at times, but one thing we should always try to teach them is to be grateful for what they have. By age five, your child should know ten natural living principles that will help them be grateful for the life they have and the opportunities it provides them with. 



2. Eat fresh and whole foods.

For your child, eating fresh and whole foods means that they will get all the nutrients needed for a growing body. Fresh and whole foods are as close to their natural state as possible. In other words, they don't come in a box or a bag on the grocery store shelf. Fresh and whole foods include fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and healthy grains like quinoa or wild rice.


Children need to learn what types of food are good for them and why those foods are good for them. Talk with your child about avoiding processed foods like junk food snacks and fast food meals. Explain how although these foods may be tasty (and cheap), they're full of ingredients that can damage their body in the long run. 


Processed foods have few nutrients but lots of salt, sugar, unhealthy fats, preservatives, and chemicals that teach children to crave empty calories instead of natural nutrition. Some processed ingredients you should avoid: artificial sweeteners; artificial colors; artificial flavors; MSG (monosodium glutamate)--the list goes on! Any ingredient you can't pronounce is best left out of your child's diet if possible.



3. Drink lots of pure water

The body is 70% water and needs it to function. Water helps the heart pump blood efficiently, flush toxins out of vital organs, and carry nutrients to your cells. Kids who are appropriately hydrated also tend to be more active as they have more energy.


To stay hydrated, we suggest using a water bottle or glass that is easy for your little one to grip. This way, they can make sure they are getting enough water throughout the day without asking you every 5 minutes.



4. Get regular sunlight exposure.

This principle is vital for you and your kids, especially if you don't live in a place where sunshine is abundant. Vitamin D is a vital part of our bodies since it helps us obtain calcium and phosphorus for our bones.


It's difficult to gain enough vitamin D from diet alone, so regular exposure to sunshine, especially in winter, is critical. It may be counterintuitive to go outside when it's cold, but make sure you bundle up nicely so that your time in the sun can be refreshing without discomfort. 


If you live in an area where the sun is rarely out, try taking a vacation somewhere sunny or using a light therapy lamp at home.



5. Exercise outdoors daily

Exercising outdoors is a no-brainer. You get your workout in and commune with nature at the same time. Get outside as much as possible and explore nature. It is a great way to learn about how nature works and how it provides us with the gifts we need. 


It can get boring to play outside, but try to get kids involved in skipping, jumping rope, running, or doing yoga on a playground. Read books about nature and learn about the different types of animals and plants. 


Not everyone has the luxury of exercising outdoors every day, especially if there are no parks or open spaces nearby. Try getting some fresh air by walking with your family on weekends or after dinner, park farther away from your destination, get off one stop early on the subway, and walk the rest of the way home. 



6. Get plenty of sleep every night.

Being well-rested is essential for both physical and mental health. Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night, but young children need significantly more. Every age group requires different amounts of sleep. Newborns need 15 hours or more of sleep each day, and toddlers need 11-12 hours. 


As children enter kindergarten and school begins, their nighttime sleep requirements will decrease slightly to around 9-11 hours per night. You should watch your body and recognize when you aren't getting enough sleep. 


You aren't getting enough sleep at night if you feel tired or sleepy during the daytime. If this happens frequently, try going to bed earlier each night until you can stay awake during the day without feeling drowsy or taking naps every afternoon or evening.


Sleep has many essential health benefits, including helping children grow and improving their immune systems. Thus, they don't get sick very often, increasing memory and thinking abilities, lowering blood pressure, and reducing stress levels throughout the body, which helps keep hormones balanced.



7. Don't forget about mental health.

To keep your child’s mental health in a good state, you need to take care of yourself first, even if it's tough. Kids should know that it is normal to feel sad, worried, and angry sometimes. You'll need to know what order to take care of these emotions in, but this is not always easy for kids because they may be afraid of the emotions if they are too intense. 


Use the words happy and sad to teach them how those emotions feel. If a child falls, you can say, "We need a band-aid for that boo boo." No more explanations. Just let them feel their emotions to know how to handle them in their own lives. It's ok to touch them and talk to a trusted adult about how it feels.



8. Make choices for good health.

A fourth fundamental principle is to make choices for good health. The natural living lifestyle requires making some changes, and not everyone is willing to do so, regardless of the benefits. 

It also means that one must be willing to work hard and take responsibility for not understanding what is healthy and what is not. 


Many people don't want to be bothered with all this—they would stick with their habits than learn new things or adjust their lifestyles. That includes a fear of change. It's sometimes easier to say that we don't know enough about something than it is to put in the effort required for real change. 


So if you want your child to embrace natural living principles, teach them early on that they should not let fear or laziness prevent them from making better decisions regarding their health. They shouldn't be afraid of change itself; they should only be scared of staying stuck in old patterns that aren't serving them well!



9. Animals are living creatures who deserve respect.

You and your child can learn a lot from the animal kingdom, and they feel pain and joy just like us humans. As fellow creatures of this planet, animals deserve our respect, love, and empathy. Some animals are kept as pets; others live in the wild. Our connection to these living creatures helps us understand what it means to be part of a larger community of beings who share this world with us.


As you go about your day-to-day life with your child, try to notice all the ways that animals contribute to our lives and well-being: the squirrels that run through your neighborhood on their way to gather food for the winter; the bees pollinating flowers; birds singing in trees; fish swimming in ponds or streams. Talk about how all these different creatures have their own needs, desires, and communities—and how those needs often conflict with each other or with our own needs as humans. How do we reconcile such competing interests? What solutions exist?


10. Respect yourself and others.

The second principle a child should know is that respect is a two-way street. Respect yourself and others. It is a sign of strength to respect others and realize that they have their own beliefs, even if they are different from yours. Respect is not the same as liking someone, but you can respect someone without agreeing with them. This peaceful way of being can bring much more happiness into your life.

Respect is a core value in many cultures around the world. This world will be a better place for everyone here if people who know how to treat each other well get along better.



Give yourself the best chance of success by starting young.

You can grow your child to live naturally whatever way you want, but the earlier you start, the simpler it will be. Most children are like little sponges, and when they're young, they absorb all sorts of information without even trying. It is much easier to remain consistent if you start young. 


If you wait until your child is older (or worse yet, a teenager!), the trouble begins!

If you wait until your child is old enough to make their own choices, then it will become more difficult for them to accept your natural parenting techniques. They may think that their way is better than yours simply because it's what other people do or what works for them.



Author bio

Andrea Gibbs is the Content Manager at SpringHive Web Agency, where she helps create content for their clients' blogs and websites. She is currently a blog contributor at Montessori Academy, a blog dedicated to helping parents with the ins and outs of parenting children within the Montessori tradition. When she isn't writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and her dog.


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