/**/ The Purposeful Wife: How to Help Your Kids Drink More Water

Friday, February 5, 2016

How to Help Your Kids Drink More Water

Everybody knows that staying hydrated is super important. Especially during cold and flu season, it's essential to make sure that you and your kids are drinking enough water. Sometimes kids just aren't big drinkers... and what mom has the energy for another battle? The easier it is to establish this good habit, the better.

One of my kids is constantly drinking. I never have to tell them to do it, they just drink water all day long and continually ask for refills. My other big kid is a different story. If I want that kid to hit their daily quota, it will involve lots of coaxing and encouragement.

Here are a few non-stressful methods I've employed to ensure that my non-drinker drinks enough.

Before you can do this, drink this. Before I serve you your dinner, you have to drink this entire glass. Before you watch a movie, drink this much. Potty break during the movie? I won't turn it on again until the kids have drained half of another glass. Finishing a sippy cup is their ticket to the next cool thing they want to do- play play dough, go to the library, have a snack. This provides an effective incentive!

When one of the kids is sick and hydration becomes all the more essential, I've been known to go through stacks of books, having the child take another sip before I will turn the page. Each book, depending on length, can get a good ten sips or so.

Make water novel. Sure, water is anything but novel... but how can you make it just a tad more enticing? Sticking slices of lemon, lime, and cucumber are more obvious additions. But why not a few frozen berries for ice cubes? Or sliced grapes? Throw a fancy swirly straw in the glass, and you might just inspire your kid to drink more readily. Serve it out of a tea pot and have a "tea" party. A little bit of creativity goes a long way in motivating small children.

Model it and share. My kids are still little enough to want to be just like mom {I don't have high hopes, but I'm praying that this lasts!}. When they see me drinking out of my Starbucks cold cup with the straw, they want to drink it too. If I offer them what I'm having, they are super-de-duper excited to be in on it. When that non-drinking kiddo is struggling, I encourage them by taking one sip for every sip they take, or chugging down my glass while they do the same. Children more readily follow instruction when the instruction is accompanied by example.

It really can be as easy as all that. How do you encourage water drinking in your home?

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