12 Tips for Raising a Healthy Child

While there’s no specific blueprint for raising a child, there are several steps you can take to help develop healthy qualities in your child from a young age.

  1. The First Years Last Forever - Wiring a brain is like wiring a house — it works better if you start from the beginning.
  2. Love and Affection Cannot Spoil a Baby – Be warm, loving, and pay attention to your child’s sounds, movements, and expressions.
  3. Talk, Read, and Sing to Your Child – You are your child’s first teacher.
  4. Have a Regular Schedule - Children find comfort in the same routine every day.
  5. Play is the Work of the Young Child - Encourage safe exploration and play.
  6. Pay Attention to Your Child – Be aware of how, where, and with whom your child spends his time. Choose TV, radio, and internet carefully.
  7. Take Care of Yourself - You cannot take care of your child if your basic needs are not being met.
  8. Discipline to Teach, Not Punish – Use discipline as an opportunity to teach appropriate behavior. Never hit or shake a child.
  9. Choose Quality Child Care and Stay Involved – For local information on approved childcare sites, call Child Care Resource Center – (304) 292-7357.
  10. Children Develop at Different Rates – Celebrate each child.
  11. Give Your Child a Childhood - Children need unstructured time. More is not always better.
  12. Children Need to Know They Matter - Show your children that they are loved for who they are.