Daily vitamins strategy – a unique parenting tool to encourage good habits

by

Daily vitamins strategy - a way to help kids build good habits

Recently I learned about a ‘daily vitamins strategy’ used as a coaching tool. It was mentioned in an episode of the Trained podcast (which, for reasons currently unknown to me, is my new obsession). Essentially, ‘daily vitamins’ are the specific, personal things that an athlete has to individually work on before each training session. One athlete might be prescribed dribbling and core work as their daily vitamins. Another may need to do sprint drills, passing and mental focus. I think of them as ‘wellbeing vitamins’ – things that are specific to helping an individual reach optimal performance.

I immediately thought that daily vitamins would be a fantastic parenting tool. Wellbeing vitamins seems like a great way to help kids form good habits and work on individual challenges. It’s a shorthand way of guiding them to make beneficial changes. I think it would work for kids of all ages, not just older kids like my three. It even works for parents too, trust me!

A daily vitamins strategy helps us:

  • Focus on what is most important to us
  • Make small, gradual changes that we can build on
  • Create consistency over time
  • Take responsibility for our own wellbeing

Older kids can be really resistant to change, such that we want to pull our hair out in frustration. Despite trying to teach them good habits their whole life, it can be distressing to find that they still don’t brush their teeth / hair / life without constant nagging.


I’m done with the nagging: I stopped cleaning up after the kids and this is what happened


 

A daily vitamins strategy is a way to curb the nagging. We make the list of 3, 5, 10 wellbeing vitamins (or as many as you think your kid can handle) and then it’s done. Our only job is to check in to see if the vitamins have been ‘taken’ and perhaps to discuss strategies to get them done tomorrow.

Daily vitamins - a parenting strategy

Getting buy-in

I think it’s a really good idea to bring your kids along from the beginning. My kids were on board with the concept, especially when I mentioned that taking their vitamins every day might result in a reward. I’ve therefore allocated a point a day for checking off every vitamin. The kids can swap their points for money or treats.

I also made sure that we discussed the vitamins I was considering with them before I made the prescription. That way, I had their buy-in. They were happy to work on the vitamin areas and confident that they could stick to them every day. By keeping it to just five vitamins, we kept it achievable. We plan to swap out the vitamins from time to time to keep things motivating.


Buy-in strategies: 3 excellent wellbeing apps for teens and how to get their buy-in


Daily vitamins prescriptions

Every child will have a different ‘prescription’ that is unique to their needs. In our house, everyone has three vitamins the same, and two different vitamins. The three everyone has in common are:

  1. Make your bed
  2. Put in at least one hour of outdoor exercise time
  3. Do something kind for someone

Here are some examples of what other wellbeing vitamins might look like for different kids. Remember, the vitamins need to be something that happens every single day. It’s also useful if they are building skills that will help our kids’ longtime wellbeing.

  • Practise your instrument for at least 20 minutes
  • Do one hour of homework
  • Walk the dog
  • Cook dinner
  • Dance to loud music for at least 15 minutes
  • Meditate
  • Spend time outside
  • Walk up as soon as your alarm goes off
  • Get along with your siblings
  • Write in your gratitude journal
  • Spend time talking to a friend or family member
  • Choose fruit over other snacks

  • Say your prayers
  • Pull some weeds in the garden
  • Keep your room neat
  • Walk 10,000 steps
  • Read a book
  • Eat five different kinds of vegetables
  • Fill your drink bottle three times
  • Do your core exercises
  • Watch your posture
  • Pack your bag for tomorrow
  • Go to bed on time

Try these tips too: A quick guide to developing good daily habits for kids


 

Make it a general prescription

We typed out our daily vitamins strategy lists and put them up inside the pantry door. There are five vitamins for each kid and five for each parent too. I figured, why not prescribe some change and good habits for myself and my husband while we’re at it! I think the kids really appreciate the fact that we are working on daily vitamins alongside them. It’s all about the role modelling, people!

So far, I have been the worst at sticking to them! Must do better. I wish I hadn’t prescribed myself a ‘no sugar’ vitamin. That’s definitely proving to be a hard pill to swallow!

Reckon you’ll give this strategy a go?

Feature image by Ketut Subiyanto; Fruit plate by Brooke Lark; Strawberries by Artur Rutkowski

Written by Bron Maxabella

Bron is the founder of Mumlyfe and is so happy to welcome you here. Bron has been writing in the Australian parenting space as Maxabella for more than seven years and is mum to three mostly happy kids and wife to one mostly happy husband. Mostly happy is a win, right?

We’re very social

More for you

This is how I take a week off when I really need it

This is how I take a week off when I really need it

I remember writing an article years ago where I said that holidays when you're a mum are just the same sh*t, different location. Nothing has changed. In order to take a week off during an actual holiday, we'd need to go somewhere remote without the family. Somewhere...

10 wellbeing podcasts that will help you feel better

10 wellbeing podcasts that will help you feel better

I can't get by without my wellbeing podcasts. Truly. I save them up to listen when I'm out walking and they basically keep me walking. So only letting myself listen to them during a walk means they are working already... I have other podcasts for other times of day...

How to be someone others want to be around

How to be someone others want to be around

I’m writing this guide for my kids as they grow up and go out into the world — but it’s for anyone who wants to connect with others. To be a connected, fulfilled person, we have to be someone others want to be around. I’m writing it for my teenage self, who was shy...

Affiliate links

From time to time Mumlyfe uses affiliate links.  It means that Mumlyfe may receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using the link.  You can find out more about how it works here.

You may also like

Related

It’s time to banish ‘mum guilt’ once and for all

It’s time to banish ‘mum guilt’ once and for all

Confession time: I'm over the whole 'mum guilt' thing. Yes, mothering is a b*tch of a thing because we love those little terrors so deeply and utterly that we want everything to be absolutely perfect for them. We often sacrifice our own happiness to make that happen...

What makes a good teacher?

What makes a good teacher?

We recently spoke to Eddie Woo (of WooTube and Teenage Boss infamy) to get his thoughts on what makes a good teacher. This question was sparked by our own frustration at the enormous differences between classroom teaching styles and teachers ability to engage a...

Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s hunter’s chicken stew

Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s hunter’s chicken stew

A fresh new recipe from A Year of Simple Family Food by Julia Busuttil Nishimura. This hunter's chicken stew makes a delightful family meal for the 'almost cold, almost not' nights that we tend to get around Sydney in spring.  I honestly can't stop cooking from...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This