As any parent can attest, you want your kids to grow up healthy and happy. We do whatever we can while they are still under our care – providing them with a healthy diet, making sure they get exercise, staying on top of their grades at school, etc. – but eventually your kids leave your care. The day is going to come when they are old enough to move out and take care of themselves. When this day comes, you want to know that they will continue to look out for themselves.
In order for this to happen, you need to instill healthy habits within your child. That way, healthy living becomes part of their lifestyle and they can take it with them when they go. To instill healthy habits within your kids you need to set a strong example. Kids emulate the behavior of their parents, so if you can perform the following healthy habits yourself, you are more likely to pass them down.
Getting Regular Exercise
A great habit you can instill in your children is that of regular exercise. As any adult knows, it becomes very easy to lead a sedentary lifestyle as you get older. Many of us work behind a desk and are too busy with other things in our lives to get the exercise that we need. We’d much rather spend our free hour catching up on a TV show than going for a run.
But if you want your kids to always keep their bodies in shape, you need to show them the way. Point out the times you are going to the gym, even when you don’t want to. Join an adult sports league and take your kids to the game. Or even just make it a habit of going for a family after-dinner walk. Your kids will then see that exercise should be a regular part of your life no matter how busy you are and will hopefully do the same as they get older.
Maintaining a Good Diet
Along with exercise, it’s also important for your kids to eat right. You largely control what they eat now – you order the groceries, make dinner, pack their lunch – but this won’t be the case forever. When your kids move out you don’t want their diet to consist of frozen meals and snack foods.
To instill this habit in your kids, involve them in the process. Have them help you pick out healthy foods and show them how to cook. When there’s a big tray of cookies on the table, show your own restraint and limit your intake. As you’re grocery shopping, point out all of the tasty foods you can still eat even though you’re on a diet. If you can make healthy eating a part of your life your kids will follow suit as they get older.
Taking Time to Relax
Next, you should let your kids see you relaxing. While it’s important to instill a good sense of work ethic within your kids, it’s also important that they know the value of taking some time off. You don’t want your kids to grow up stressed out all the time and unable to take a break from their work. This type of lifestyle is not only bad for your mental health, but for your physical health as well.
Let your kids see you reading on the couch for an hour, with no phone or television to distract you. Don’t be afraid to take a nap on the weekends, or to take a day and skip work. You don’t want to do this all of the time, but if you do it every once in a while, your kids will learn the value of taking care of their mental health.
Visiting the Doctor and Dentist
Finally, even if you exercise, eat right, and relax, you may still have some health problems that you’ll need to deal with. That’s why it’s important that your kids learn the value of seeing professionals on a regular basis. Right now it’s easy to make your kids go to the doctor and the dentist – you just put them in the car and bring them. But there’s going to come a time when they need to do this on their own, so you’ll want to make sure it’s commonplace in their life.
A routine doctor visit will typically include things like checking your reflexes, your blood pressure, your eyes and ears, and quick physical examination. The whole process doesn’t take long, and you can use the time to ask your doctor about any concerns you may have. As for the dentist, according to Kreeb Family Dentistry in Huntersville, a typical dentist appointment includes an examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs), an oral cancer screening, a gum disease evaluation, examination of tooth decay and examination of existing restorations. Again, it’s a quick visit, so make it a part of your life, and your kids will follow suit.
Habits Can Last a Lifetime
You won’t always be there to watch your kids day in and day out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t leave a piece of you behind. Habits can last a lifetime, so if you can instill good healthy habits now, your care will extend long beyond the time when they move out of your home.