Teach Your Child to be an Ambassador for Their Own Health
As parents, we want the best for our kids. We want them to have great friends, do well in school, be successful… the list goes on. But at the end of the day, our biggest desire is that they be happy and healthy. Happiness is tied to a lot of things both in and out of our control. However, healthiness is a bit more of a long-term goal.
As children, we had parents looking out for us. They worked and provided for us while we went to school and played. But we all grow and become adults with responsibilities. And those responsibilities take time and energy. The long days spent riding our bikes outside become hours sitting in front of a computer. Cleaning our room becomes cleaning the whole house. We have to cook our own meals – and, let’s be honest, sometimes it’s just easier to order in pizza than to make something healthy.
Your child will experience these same challenges: How do you want them to tackle them when the time comes? Now is the time to coach them into healthy habits.
Let them help you in the kitchen. Talk to them before cooking – have them help you plan meals. At first, they may request pizza every night or chocolate chip cookies: Use those as teaching moments. Educate them about healthy choices and why they’re important. They may not truly appreciate it at first, but by building a foundation early on, you can ensure your child will know how to make healthy eating choices as they grow and gain independence.
Be active yourself. Too many adults graduate high school and their athletic programs to fade into sedentary lifestyles. It isn’t necessarily intentional, but transitioning from childhood activities into an active adulthood is a common challenge. Help them develop a regular program that they can carry through life. For example, if your child is a gymnast, enroll them into an ongoing yoga or Pilates class; if all else fails in later years, they can continue these from the comfort of their home.
Most importantly, be a role model. Children tend to follow their parent’s habits, so make sure they see your healthy living habits. Maintain your own activity, eat well, and be positive about your image – and let your children be a part of it!
Teaching your child to be an ambassador of their own health comes from integrating them into your household decisions and showing them what healthy living is all about.