11 Habits a Child Should Acquire Before Adolescence

Did you know that before adolescence, children should acquire certain habits that will help them at this stage? We'll tell you what they are.
11 Habits a Child Should Acquire Before Adolescence

Last update: 19 August, 2022

Kids grow up very fast and time goes by without our even noticing. And when we do, they’re already teenagers! But we must keep in mind that everything that happens before that time will determine the way they go through this new stage that’s full of so many changes. For this reason, it’s important that before puberty, children acquire certain habits to maintain them over time. Keep reading to learn about these habits that your child should acquire before adolescence.

When your child grows up, little by little, they stop spending time with their parents and the influence of their elders is significantly reduced. For this reason, it’s important to consolidate the foundations beforehand so that, at this time and in the future, the teachings of the family will last. This will allow them to develop solid and positive bonds, both inside and outside the home, without the need for parents to be present to remind them how to behave.

If your little one is approaching this stage, be sure to put into practice the tips we bring you in the following article. You’ll see how good it is for them.

What habits do children need to acquire before adolescence?

The habits that are kept at home serve not only to improve family coexistence but also to instill in young people a sense of responsibility. For that reason, next, we’re going to see what habits you should establish in your children before they become teenagers.

1. Setting aside time every day for dialogue

If from when your children are small, you dedicate time to speaking with them every day, when they reach adolescence, they’ll tend to isolate themselves less than if you don’t do it.

You can use dinner time as an excuse to converse as a family and to connect again. In general, this is the time of the day when everyone in the household gathers around the table.

A mother talking with her teenage son over tea.
Sharing a moment of the day with your children to exchange ideas, feelings, or emotions, is key to strengthening the bond over the years.

2. Having lunch and dinner as a family

Lunch and dinner are ideal moments to share as a family, as they favor the exchange of ideas and feelings. Therefore, establishing the habit of eating as a family, whenever possible, will result in many benefits for children and adults.

If this ritual is performed from the time they’re young, when they reach adolescence, they’ll keep the habit as something normal in their lives. They’ll even tend to reproduce it with their friends outside the house.

3. Don’t use the cell phone at the table or in the car

Children are sponges and learn more by example than by the words of their parents. Therefore, if you don’t want them to spend lunchtime looking at their cell phones in the future, then it’s essential that you stop doing it now.

In general, the use of screens should be limited and shouldn’t be offered to children for more than one hour a day. Excessive hours of exposure or consumption of age-inappropriate content could have a negative impact on their physical and mental development.

4. Encourage them to know their tastes and interests

As children grow, their interests change, and that’s why it’s important to know what things they like and what things they don’t like. This will allow you to keep getting to know them and not lose track of them. In addition, it will motivate them to discover what’s really good for them and differentiate it from what they do to please someone else.

5. Establish physical contact with your children

In order to establish a good emotional bond with your children, you need to maintain physical contact. According to psychotherapist Virginia Satir, “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth”.

When children become adolescents, they forget to show affection or tend to minimize its importance. But if we instill in them the habit of giving hugs from a young age, they’ll maintain it with their loved ones.

Physical contact should never diminish, even if we’re adults.

6. Play

A child needs to play to develop, as this is one of the most enriching activities throughout life. The benefits of play are countless, especially when we’re small. For this reason, at home, there should never be a lack of games and toys, as well as playful moments shared with adults or other children.

7. Maintain good hygiene habits

This is a basic and fundamental habit for life. Learning to maintain personal hygiene every day, such as brushing their teeth, and washing their hands before eating or after entering the house are essential for health care. If these habits are acquired from an early age, it’ll be easier to sustain them over time.

8. Read every day

Encouraging children to read every day is fundamental in order to establish the habit for life.

Reading stories from the time children are babies, besides stimulating language development, helps strengthen the bond between parents and children. Therefore, if we accustom our little ones to reading a story every night before going to sleep, this will encourage a taste for reading and encourage them to continue on their own when they know how to read. This won’t only help them improve their academic performance but will also generate an enormous personal enrichment.

9. Maintain organization and order

Before adolescence, it’s important to establish this habit so that children know how to be organized and tidy at this stage. These habits will also help them in the future, especially when they want to live with someone else.

If, from an early age, children learn to pick up their toys and keep their personal objects tidy, it’s likely that when they grow up, they’ll be more aware of order.

A preteen boy folding and putting away a pair of jeans.
Instilling order and cleanliness in the home, both in personal and communal spaces, is essential to acquire the habit and reproduce it in the future.

10. Have a daily routine, with a regular schedule

From the time they’re babies, children need good routines for sleeping, eating, grooming, and recreation. This gives them a sense of security and helps them regulate their behavior and needs.

If children are used to having a routine with established bedtimes and sleep at least 8 hours a day, they’ll continue to do so when they reach adolescence.

11. Respect themselves and others

From an early age, we need to teach children to respect others as much as themselves; to value people for who they are, no matter where they live, how they dress, what their tastes are, etc. This provides them with essential tools to live in harmony with the people around them and to create a more just and respectful society.

It’s also important to instill in our children respect for the environment, for animals and plants, and the importance of recycling and reusing.

About the habits children should acquire before adolescence

In this article, we’ve detailed some of the habits your children should acquire before they reach adolescence. It’s important that you instill them from an early age so that everything will be easier during this stage of change.

If adolescents have good habits, it’s likely that family life will be more bearable and that they’ll be able to face the physical and emotional transformations that characterize this time of life.

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  • Estivill, E., & de Tejada, Y. S. (2012). ¡A jugar!: juegos para enseñar buenos hábitos a los niños. DEBOLS! LLO.