Part of being a parent is helping your children understand the importance of living a full and healthy life.
Starting with leading by example, you can help them make their own choices to nurture their physical health and wellness.
Here are some tips for the journey of teaching your kids about wellness:
1. Make Healthy Choices for Yourself
We know that children often mimic what they see their parents and other adults do. Children are also like sponges and soak up what they see and hear around them.
Giving your children an example to follow is crucial to their wellness education. If you try to teach them to do what you say and not what you do, you can confuse their understanding of what it means to be healthy. When they see you making healthy food choices and practicing self-care, they can make better sense of your verbal instructions.
2. Practice Gratitude and Positivity
Research shows that expressing gratitude can reduce stress and anxiety and improve your physical health.
That attitude will also rub off on your children. When you teach them to recognize the things around them that bring them joy and happiness, and be grateful for these things, you help them see the good in a bad situation. That is a skill they will need throughout life.
3. Teach Communication Skills
Successful communication is a vital life skill for everyone. For children, this is especially important, as it lays the foundation for healthy relationships throughout their lives. Parents play a crucial role in teaching their children the importance of effective communication. By modelling effective communication themselves, and providing opportunities for their children to practice, parents can help their children develop the skills they need to communicate effectively.
When children learn how to effectively communicate at an early age, they are better equipped to manage their own emotions and maintain healthier relationships with the people in their lives.
4. Encourage Them to Pursue Their Hobbies
When your child expresses an interest in a healthy activity, do your best to nurture it. When a kid feels joy in an activity, they will do it continuously, getting better and better. Encourage them to try out for a school team or participate in activities in their local community.
5. Talk About Nutrition
Unfortunately, a shocking number of people go through life without ever learning about the importance of diet and nutrition. Teach your kids about the relationship between healthy eating and a healthy body. Even younger children can understand which foods are protein, and that protein is needed for them to grow and have energy.
A very important lesson for kids to learn is that too much sugar is bad for their body, and they should be guided to eat sugary foods in moderation.
Have them participate in choosing healthy foods when doing grocery shopping. With older children, you can educate them to read Nutrition Facts panels on food and guide them to understand which ingredients in foods should be avoided.
6. Make Exercise Fun
Making exercise fun for kids can be easy. In the summer, take them swimming. Go for bike rides or to the park on beautiful days. Allow them to try different physical activities, and they will eventually find things they love and want to do. Active children usually grow up to be active adults.
When your children have the tools to live healthily, they will find it easier to maintain that lifestyle as adults. Trying to adjust to better eating habits as an adult is significantly more difficult. By teaching them now, you are investing in their healthy future.