Good Habits To Teach A One-Year-Old Child

Teaching kids good habits can start at an early age. Those who are as young as one can begin to understand the importance of everything from manners to hygiene, responsibility, and more. All it takes is some time, patience, and repetition, and before parents know it, their young toddlers will have enviable manners. This will have other parents wanting to know how such good habits were taught to a one-year-old.

As soon as one-year-olds can communicate with and understand what parents are saying, they are ready to learn rudimentary manners. The manners they learn at this age will build a foundation for appropriate behavior in the future.

Because of this, starting at a young age and teaching little ones a few habits here and there will not only help to establish good behavior but healthy behavior as well.

RELATED: The Worst Habits Your Toddler May Develop & How To Break Them

Here are some good habits to teach a one-year-old.


10 Washing Hands

Good hygiene will not only help to keep little ones healthy during cold and flu season, it will also help them to establish healthy behavior from a young age.

As such, washing hands is a great place to start when it comes to staying healthy and clean.

According to We Are Teachersways to teach young children to wash their hands include:

  • Wash with warm water

  • Lather with soap

  • Scrub for 20 seconds

  • Rinse in warm water

  • Dry hands with a clean towel

While one-year-olds will not be able to do this on their own, by starting this routine early, toddlers will understand how to thoroughly wash as they get older and can do it themselves.

9 Brushing Teeth

When babies get their first teeth, according to Hurst Pediatric Dentistrythey should have their teeth brushed to fight plaque.

As babies get older and become young toddlers, this is something they can begin to practice so that they have established a habit of good oral health.

While this is a good habit for one-year-olds to have, parents should always brush little ones’ teeth either before or after they have to ensure that proper brushing is had and no teeth are missed.

8 Saying “Please” & “Thank You”

Saying “please” and “thank you” is a good habit to instill in one-year-olds so that they can begin to develop manners from a young age.

One of the best ways to teach young children to say these phrases is to say “please” and “thank you” to one-year-olds when appropriateaccording to BabyCenter.

Parents should not be surprised, however, if it takes time for the manners to begin to develop. Even at 18 months old, per the publication, “please” and “thank you” will still be used infrequently.

7 How To Apologize

It is not until kids reach the age of four that they are able to grasp what apologizing is on their ownaccording to Greater Good Magazine. That does not mean that the art of apologizing cannot be modeled before that time though.

If parents do something to one another or even to little children that warrants an apology, they should apologize. The more that one-year-olds see this behavior, they will begin to understand what an apology is.

Better still, if parents want to explain why they are apologizingthat can go a long way to teaching what the art of saying “sorry” is all about.

6 Patience

When it comes to teaching patience, parents need to have “realistic expectations” with young children, according to BabySparks. This does not mean that the foundation for patience should not be taught, however.

Some of the best ways to teach patience is for parents to model it themselves, per the publication. They can also play games that revolve around being patient. That way, one-year-olds do not realize they are having to wait and be calm. Something that will go a long way to instill patience.

5 Cleaning Up After Themselves

Cleaning up is a good habit to teach one-year-olds. That way, not only are parents not responsible for tidying up consistently but little ones become responsible for their things.

As such, teaching one-year-olds how to put something away before something else is taken out will help with cleaning. Even letting them help with chores around the house will instill cleaning up. A basic but necessary habit to learn young so that it lasts a lifetime.

4 Sharing

One of the hardest things to teach young children is how to share. That is why it is a habit that will take some time and patience to teach as well as learn.

But, by practicing sharing in little increments daily, one-year-olds will learn the importance of Being cooperative, taking turns, and negotiatingaccording to Something that will come in handy when playing with friends in the future.

3 Safety

From an early age, safety needs to be taught in many forms. This can come in the form of holding hands when crossing the street, not touching sharp objects in the kitchen, or even beginning to teach parents’ phone numbers, names, and the address where toddlers live. All of which will help toddlers remain safer and learn to be cautious in their environments.

2 Eating healthy

By providing healthy food from an early age, young children learn that is what is normal. They do not see junk food as the standard in the diet but as a treat, if even had at all at the age of one. And by instilling this habit early, healthy eating can be had for a lifetime.

1 Staying Active

One-year-olds want to be active. As such, parents can keep that fire alive to want to move by modeling the behavior themselves.

Young toddlers may not be the most graceful on their feet. As such, spending time doing activities that require standing is a way to stay active. Going outside to explore the great outdoors will not only keep the body but mind active as well. Anything that keeps toddlers away from a screen and using their bodies to move is a great way to build a foundation of health that will hopefully follow them into childhood and beyond.

Source: We Are Teachers, Hurst Pediatric Dentistry, BabyCentre, BabySparks,

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