As moms sometimes we wish we could keep our kids young forever, away from the challenges of the outside world. Even though our kids getting older is inevitable, their success once they are out in the world depends heavily on the habits, mindsets and behaviors we instill in them when they are younger. Kids are a reflection of the environment they are raised in, and what we show and teach them determines a lot about how they will turn out. It’s important to teach our children to be respectful of others, hardworking and resilient, but there are other important things we can instill in them in terms of their physical health. What are some of the key health lessons we should be teaching our kids? Here’s a list of a few.
Right now one of the most alarming things in our world is how high childhood obesity is, and as parents it’s our responsibility to make sure our kids are having some sort of exercise and movement in their lives. Without that, unhealthy habits creep in and our kids can end up facing a lot of health issues. All of this is preventable by getting your kids involved in some sort of physical activity whether it’s a sport at school, or by exercising as a family regularly. You can even sign them up for summer programs so they can be busy when school is out. You need to make it fun for your kids and make fitness and health a priority for your kids so that it becomes a habit. When it comes to getting our kids into taking care of their health, the best thing we can do is lead by example. If we show that we care about it, they will care about it too.
Limiting Screen Time
We all love our smartphones and social media networks, and while they are convenient, it’s easy to end up with an unhealthy connection with them. Recently there was a report that came out suggesting that young people are developing a bone in their skull because of how often people look down to their phones. The jury is still out on whether these studies are credible, but the phones are changing a lot about our bodies. The blue light from our phones actually affects our eyesight and our sleeping patterns. It’s also worth mentioning that people having their phones in front of them all the time actually messes with family bonding and communication. One of the key things you need to do as a parent is to limit screen time regularly. Limit screen time during meal times, and make it a rule for your kids not to have their devices close to bedtime because their Circadian patterns can get negatively impact.
With all the sweet treats out there, dental health is one of the most important aspects of your kids health, and it’s important to get them into the pattern of taking care of their deeth. It’s about making sure they brush their teeth twice a day, and also using floss and even mouthwash. It’s also about making it a habit to go to the dentist at least once a year. According to Colorado Healthy Smiles, dental clinic in Broomfield, “Going to the dentist regularly helps avoid dental problems from occurring or reduce the impact of an impending problem with necessary preventive measures. This includes dental cleanings, periodontal maintenance, dental extraction, root canal therapy, and dental fillings, among others.” Our kids need that kind of care and we should never overlook it. And when we instill these habits in our kids, they will carry them into their own lives.
With social media and celebrity culture, it can be hard for your kids to have confidence in themselves because it feels like they have to look and act a certain way to be popular. The problem is a lack of self-confidence breeds so many other problems, even into adulthood. So remind your kids constantly that they are worthy of love, that they are great as they are, that there’s nothing wrong with being themselves. Teach them to love themselves and accept themselves and show them by loving and accepting them that way as their parent. How we treat our children determines a lot about how they interact with the world, so teaching self-confidence should start at home.
Raising well-adjusted children is the greatest accomplishment of every parent, and it’s not just about them being intelligent, successful and going on to have great careers. It’s also about them being healthy and happy, physically, mentally and emotionally. If we instill the habits that make them healthy when they are younger, they will carry those behaviors with them until they become adults too. But the most powerful thing we can do is show them, not tell them how to live their best lives.