Parenting is more than a full-time job. It’s a continual learning process that requires your time and attention to raise healthy, happy, and well-adjusted children. As a parent, it’s your duty and privilege to make sure these children have an inspiration upon which to base their own behaviors. Here are four areas that you can model the healthy habits that your kids will take into adulthood.
“You can be anything you want when you grow up!” How many times have you said that to your children? Probably more times than you can count. And it’s true! With nurturing and encouragement, the kindergartners of today will be prime candidates for president in a few short decades. But if you are still sitting on dreams that you never chased, you may not even have the drive to encourage reaching for the stars.
Do something about this now. For example, if you didn’t finish your bachelor’s degree, now’s a great time to go back to school for business or accounting. Both of these degrees will help you learn about economics, marketing, and other aspects of running an organization, such as finance and ethics. You may even get a raise at work or find that you have an interest in pursuing a higher-paying position.
Exercise and physical fitness should be a priority in your household. Given that nearly 20% of children in the United States are considered obese, making non-video game activity a part of your daily routine can help keep your children from becoming a statistic.
One way to ensure your entire family gets enough exercise is to enroll in kids, teens, and/or adult classes at Pedro’s Judo Center. More than just a workout, martial arts is an opportunity to bond with classmates, while learning about trust, perseverance, and self-discipline. The martial arts belt award process is also an excellent way for your children to gauge their progress and to have a goal to work toward, which will further entice them into staying physically active and healthy.
Speaking of being healthy, your eating habits are just as important as your exercise routine. If your children see you subsisting off of things like snack cakes and white bread, they will likely take these eating habits into adulthood with them. However, stick to whole foods and leave the sweets for special occasions, and your children will almost certainly follow suit.
Even if you eat at restaurants, A Sweet Pea Chef asserts that you can still order healthy foods while enjoying a night out. However, the easiest and most effective way to instill healthy eating habits is to simply cook with your children. Let them fix some foods on their own, and make sure they know how to use the oven, microwave, and blender.
- Talk to your children about peer pressure. Give them examples of ways that you went against the grain that turned out to your benefit.
- Remove toxic influences from their lives. Remember, no one has a right to make your children feel bad about themselves, even if it’s their grandparents or other family members.
- Teach body autonomy. Just as no one has the right to make your children feel bad, no one is entitled to touch your children if they do not wish to be touched. Tell them that it is okay to say no to hugs or other kinds of physical contact if they are not comfortable.
- Let them see you fail. We can’t be on top all the time, and that’s okay. Let your children see you struggle and then get back up and try again.
Our job as parents is never-ending, and the lessons we teach don’t always have to involve a sit-down conversation. Sometimes, the best way to instill information, knowledge, and healthy habits in your children is to “practice what you preach.”