Five ways parents can help children thrive
Catherine, Princess of Wales recently launched a new initiative focusing on how "early childhood shapes the rest of our lives".
More details about the project, conducted in partnership with officials at The Centre for Early Childhood, are yet to be unveiled.
But for parents and caregivers, it's never too late to have healthy conversations about emotions and encourage positive lifestyle choices.
Anton and Sherie Ann Danyluk, co-founders of children's wellness app The Can-Do Crew, have offered up some top tips for how parents can help their little ones thrive.
Teach accountability with household tasks
Life is so busy that sometimes it's just easier for parents to get jobs done quickly like making the bed or washing the dishes.
"However, giving children regular chores helps teach them responsibility. They can also learn to become more self-reliant by completing tasks that directly affect them, such as making their bed or tidying up," said Sherie Ann. "Following this with praise will nurture your child's confidence and sense of self. Even if they don't make their bed very neatly the first time, the more their confidence grows the more they're going to learn and thrive."
Talk about emotions openly
It's really important to provide an environment in which children can explore, express, and discuss their feelings.
"What's even more important is actually acknowledging and listening to what your child has to say. If your child knows you're listening, they will develop that feeling of safety to talk to you more often and openly about their feelings which could be significant later in life," the expert continued.
Teach children to 'do the right thing'
Guiding and correcting behaviour with values helps your child thrive far more than being disciplined with rules.
"Teaching children to independently make good choices from a young age is crucial," noted Sherie Ann. "For example, teaching a child to share can be a struggle for some, but rather than using punishment as a form of teaching, helping a child to understand why they need to be kind can help them thrive far more."
Emphasise focus on exercise and outdoor activities
Technology can be a great tool when utilising educational apps but it's important that more emphasis is placed on daily exercise and outdoor activities.
"Even if it's as simple as playing hide and seek in the garden, providing your child with attention, fresh air and fun is always going to be more beneficial and help them thrive more than staring at screens," she explained.
Make cooking a family event
One of the best skills you can pass on to your children is the ability to cook.
"Not only will this help them to understand the importance of different food groups and how to incorporate them into a balanced meal, but it will also make sure they can get through the teenage years without living off microwave dinners," added Sherie Ann. "Of course, there's lots of safety aspects in a kitchen to be cautious of, but children are more capable than you think. Children can help wash fruits and vegetables, or you could get them a blunt, plastic cutlery set for tasks like making toast to help them learn how to use utensils safely. Most importantly, cooking as a family can be an important bonding experience that will strengthen your relationship and increase household harmony."