You may not realize this, but as a parent, you have a considerable effect and impact on your child or children and the way they live. We’re not just talking about at a young age either. Your actions and decisions today will affect who they are tomorrow and ten years from now. They will learn from you, and while it’s not always the case, a child can grow up to be quite similar to their mother or father. This is partially nature and partially due to nurture. The way you choose to raise your children will have an impact.
One of the most basic examples would be views of the world. You might remember, not so long ago, that a video of a child who had been bullied went viral. He was recorded by his mother on camera asking why he didn’t have friends and why people bullied him. Almost immediately, the support came flooding in to help this child. Celebrities joined in the cause, and it soon became a story known across the world. Unfortunately, it was then revealed that the child was bullied because he used racist language in school. Users online investigated the family to discover that the mother had a history of using racist language online and supported the federal flag. Support for the child quickly deteriorated but a few were quick to point out that the child wasn’t to blame for the family they had grown up around. They were right of course. At a certain point, a kid has to learn right from wrong, but that’s difficult to do when the parents are setting a bad example.
The same is true for healthy living. If you don’t lead by example, you can’t expect children to know the importance of looking after their health. So, how do you do this?
Explore The Different Diet Options
These days from vegan to vegetarian to avoiding gluten to avoiding dairy, there are various types of dietary options to explore that may be beneficial to your family. We’re not suggesting that you force your kids to eat a certain way or avoid certain foods. If you do this, you’re just asking for trouble, and you could ultimately find yourself in a position where they simply look elsewhere to get the chocolate or even the meat that they want.
Be that as it may, it’s important that kids know that they have different options for their diet and that, once they reach a certain age, you support a healthy decision. For instance, your child might decide to go vegan. If that’s the case, you don’t need to go vegan yourself. But you do need to make sure that you are buying them the right food and learning to prepare it.
Cut Out Bad Habits
You would be amazed how early on kids start to notice certain habits that may be damaging your health. Take salt as an example. Do you regularly add salt to your meals at the dinner table? If so, your child may have noticed this. Particularly if your partner has addressed the issue in front of them. The child may realise that salt is bad for you or they may follow in the footsteps of their other parent and add more salt to their food. Don’t forget that at certain ages throughout development kids see you, their parents, as superheroes that can do no wrong. They could certainly follow in your footsteps and not for the right reasons.
A more extreme example would be alcohol or smoking. If you think that either of these behaviours is bad for your health be aware that doing it will normalise this for your children. They will grow up thinking that there’s nothing wrong with it and even if you warn them of the dangers at a certain age the child will realize you don’t have a leg stand on. The reason for this is the question: Why? Why can they have it and I can’t? If you’re still researching how to quit drinking alcohol or how to stop smoking, it may help you to know that there are various methods online that could help you out a lot. It’s certainly not easy, and it can take a lot of work. But it’s always great to be able to show your kids that you’ve quit an unhealthy habit so you can encourage them to do the same.
Make Fitness Family Time
There is definitely a struggle right now for parents who are desperate to get kids outside, exercising in the fresh air. Kids want to play on their computers; they want to stay on their phones or just watch TV. With even more tech than ever before, you have to drag your kids out through the front door, but at a young age, you do have an incredible opportunity. There’s nothing wrong with encouraging kids to exercise when they are little.
Even weight training has been shown to have a positive impact on their growth and their strength as well as their motor skills. The important thing is to make sure that fitness is as much about spending time with the family as it is staying healthy.
It’s also worth noting that the exercise in question does not have to be particularly strenuous. Instead, it can be as simple as going for a walk. Take a drive and take the whole family for a couple of miles on a walk around a lake. You’ll get just as much of an impact from this as you do from hitting the gym for a couple of hours with the kids. But it’s far more enjoyable. Don’t forget; you can also plan your family trips around the possibility of encouraging fitness.
Heading out camping or going an adventure holiday will mean plenty of activities that get the blood pumping and the body sweating. It’s a healthy alternative to the typical trip to a theme park or a relaxing vacation on a beach.
Get Them Cooking
A lot of parents focus on making sure that they are giving their kids at least one home cooked meal every day. Some will settle managing it once a week. However, it is important that you do cook for your kids as regularly as possible. Processed foods are your greatest enemy. Remember, food that is processed tends to be packed full of sugar to add flavor to something that uses the leftovers and the scraps.
By giving them a home cooked meal, you can use organic produce and make sure that you include the best meats. You can also prepare the food yourself so you’ll get to decide what you cook it in. A tip would be to drain out the fat that builds up when cooking meat on the hob.
As well as this, you do want to get kids involved in cooking as early as possible. By doing this, you can make sure that they are invested in what they are eating and what they are putting in their bodies. You’ll soon discover that they are eager to make sure that they are eating right as they learn from you what is good and bad for them. Believe it or not, this is a far better trick than trying to convince young children that vegetables will make them super strong or provide them with night vision like an army cadet. We hope you see now that there are various options of how to lead by example when teaching your kids to be healthy. It is the best way to get them on the right path, even from an early age.