An Ounce of Prevention
Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That’s a wise saying for many areas of life, including parenting. It is much more satisfying to prevent the crisis rather than deal with a problem after it arises; to look ahead and avoid the trouble rather than deal with the aftermath of troubling behavior.
With that in mind, here are a few preventative steps to take with your children.
- If you want your children to eat healthy foods, eat regular family meals in which you serve healthy food.
- Remove TV’s and game systems from your children’s bedrooms to prevent your children from spending all their time in their bedroom.
- Buy fruits and healthy snacks to keep in your house instead of junk food if you want your children to limit the amount of junk food they eat.
- If you want to limit how much time your children spend playing video games, get them involved in community activities with your family and as individuals (like sports, dance, music, youth group, etc.).
- Build strong relationships with your children by showing interest in their activities, having regular family meals, and engaging in open communications with them to decrease the chances of your children becoming involved in drug use.
- Model enjoyment of reading, read with your children, and share books with your children to raise children who read.
- Involve your children in significant household chores and do the chores together if you want your children to become hard workers.
- Each day spend time with your children identifying things for which you are grateful to help prevent children who develop a sense of entitlement.
- Model kindness to others and to your family in order to prevent your children from becoming rude.
- If you want your children to become creative and learn to have fun, get toys that require imagination— like dolls, action figures, and empty boxes.
- If you want your house to be the house where all the kids come and so allow you to keep an eye on what they’re doing, keep lots of food in the house and build positive relationships with your children’s friends.
- Teach your children an emotional vocabulary as they experience various emotions in order to prevent future meltdowns.
- Apologize when you are wrong to prevent irresponsibility in your children.
Each of these preventive steps will lead to healthier children and a happier home. Benjamin Franklin was right. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”