Do you have any bad habits? Let’s be honest: we all do. In most cases, we learn to live with the consequences of our choices and get on with our lives. But that doesn’t mean we want the same for our children.
And we know that children learn by example, so it’s probably time to address those bad habits and start practicing some new, healthy ones.
Here are a few ways you can pass healthy habits on to your children.
Maintain a healthy relationship with alcohol
You may talk to your kids about the dangers of alcoholism, but if they see you down a glass of wine every night, you’re sending a bit of a mixed message. Of course, this doesn’t mean you’re an alcoholic, but it’s not exactly healthy behavior. People who drink regularly are likely to become “problem drinkers.” This is a case where bad habits can turn into an addiction. And it can happen before you know it. If you want better for yourself and your children, try cutting back on your alcohol consumption.
Have fun with food
Get your kids involved in the recipe planning and cooking phases of dinner. As they get more involved, they’re more likely to look forward to helping you plan healthy meals. Experiment with different fruits and vegetables to keep things interesting. And as you cook, talk about the health benefits of each ingredient you’re using. This will get kids thinking about their food choices and may help them avoid living a junk-food-fueled life later on. It answers the question, “why am I eating this?” And when there’s no good answer, you’re probably looking at a poor food choice.
To take this a step further, you can bring the kids to the local farmer’s market and have them pick out fruits and vegetables to cook with. You’ll have fun finding recipes for all the new foods.
Talk about your feelings
Why do so many adults have trouble talking about their feelings? It’s probably because they’re out of practice. And when you don’t talk about your feelings, it becomes difficult to even identify them. Start by helping your kids identify their feelings. When they’re grouchy because they’re tired, talk about the big emotions they’re feeling and why it feels so intense because they need to sleep.
Invest time towards talking about your child’s day, every day. Around the dinner table is a great place to start this tradition. If your kids can feel comfortable talking to you about their lives and feelings when they’re young, they’ll be more likely to come to you with problems as teenagers. You’ll want to get them talking and keep them talking.
Have you ever noticed that health seems to be something that runs in the family? Usually, if the parents are fit and slim, the kids are too. And on the other side of the coin, if the parents are overweight, the kids are too. Your children will pick up on your fitness habits, so make an effort to exercise daily.
You can exercise with the kids or on your own – as long as everyone is exercising. Try to make sure everyone is getting at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each day.
The best way to pass healthy habits on to your children is to lead by example. The old “do as I say, not as I do” advice just doesn’t work. Before you do anything in front of your kids, think about whether this is what you want for their lives. If it’s not, don’t do it.
Thank you for reading.
*This is a guest post*