As a parent, it’s natural to want the best for your kids. You want your kids to make beneficial decisions regarding their nutrition and daily activities, but creating healthy habits doesn't always come effortlessly. The National Institutes of Health suggests starting at home by understanding your habits and developing a plan to encourage goal-setting and specific desirable actions. You can help your kids to develop healthy goals and routines using these three simple methods.
1. Praise Their Healthy Decisions
Kids need boundaries and schedules, and as a parent you have to be consistent with discipline and expectations. Also, let your kids know when you see them doing something good and healthy, such as choosing to eat fruits and vegetables or making their bed in the morning without being asked.
According to Today’s Parent, over-praising kids can actually be detrimental to healthy development. You can strike a balance by keeping your compliments specific and honest. For example, you don’t have to tell your child he or she is doing a fantastic job if they failed at something. Instead, praise them for their effort and let them know that failing is also a part of learning.
Acknowledge your children’s frustrations as they strive to make good decisions. You can also use this method as a springboard to teach your kids resilience and the importance of staying positive. In addition, remember to demonstrate that positivity and other good habits when you experience a setback in your life as well.
2. Know Who Their Friends Are
Being a present parent means knowing what is going on in your children’s lives, which also means knowing who their friends are or who they are hanging out with. There is certain information you should always know about your kids’ friends, including where they live, if the parents are home when your kids are over, the rules of the friends’ houses, and what the friends’ hobbies or interests are.
However, you don’t have to intrude on every aspect of your child’s life. In fact, it’s healthy to let your kids take certain risks and find fun and activities on their own. Take a deep breath and, while you should be an active and knowledgeable parent when it comes to your child, avoid becoming overprotective.
3. Participate in Skill-Building and Exercise Activities
You can model skill-building behavior and encourage education by talking to your kids about their dreams for the future. For example, you can demonstrate the importance of education by pursuing your own degree. An online master’s degree can help you gain skills in fields like business, technology, healthcare, and education, helping to make you an in-demand professional along with modeling the importance of a good education.
Exercise is also vital for health, so encourage your kids and teens to pursue an activity that gets them moving. Martial arts, for example, can help develop benefits such as discipline, confidence and an understanding of the importance of exercise, particularly in young adults.
Raising healthy kids takes effort, but you can get off to a good start by developing healthy habits for yourself. By choosing to be an active part of your children's lives, you can have a stronger influence on their health and wellbeing in their critical developmental years.