It’s been said that the home is every children’s first school, and parents are their first teachers. That’s never been any truer than teaching your children how to live a healthy lifestyle. Whatever your child learns at home will be something they’ll carry with them until they become adults. You want to make sure that whatever you’re teaching your kids is something that will benefit them later in life.
Here are some tips to help you model a healthy lifestyle for your children.
Lead by example
Do you want your children to eat more fruits and vegetables? Show them how much you love to snack on your greens and fruits. Do you want them to read more? Spend your free time around the house reading, or read them short stories for children before bedtime. The best way to get your kids to develop a healthy habit is to lead by example. Whatever you want your kids to do, you have to do it yourself first.
Prioritize your mental health
Children experience a wide range of emotions that they often don’t know what to do with. They will often develop bad coping mechanisms and destructive habits if they aren’t allowed to express themselves freely or aren’t given the space to understand their emotions.
If you’re doing the same thing by bottling up everything or brushing negative emotions aside, you’re setting a bad example for them on how to handle their mental health issues. Don’t be afraid to take a day off for your mental health and don’t bottle up your struggles. At the same time, you should give your children the opportunity to voice out their own concerns and give them the time and space to properly process their emotions.
Make physical activity a family affair
The best way to keep your child active and sociable is to make physical activity a family affair. Plan activities where the family can enjoy the outdoors, get active, spend time with each other, and have fun. These activities can involve anything from hiking, swimming, or even picnicking. This is also a great way to limit screen time since they’ll be away from the TV and computer.
You can allow the use of phones to take pictures or to access a map, but as much as possible, encourage everyone to be present in the moment and try to keep screen time to a minimum while you’re appreciating the great outdoors.
Listen to what your child has to say
Many parents complain that their children are stubborn and never listen to them, but what many parents fail to recognize is that it goes both ways. They shouldn’t be surprised about this behavior if they’ve never actually taken the time to listen to what their child has to say either.
Keeping an open line of communication ensures that your kids will be more responsive to you in the future. Make sure to give them the opportunity to speak their mind and be ready to actually listen to them.
Be the change you want to see in your children. These tips will help you be a good example for your children of what leading a healthy lifestyle should be.