How to Be the Best Health Role Model for your Children
Children absorb knowledge and behavior like a sponge. With this in mind, its important for you as a parent to be their health role model, yet in the recent Indy Moms survey, 53 percent of moms gave themselves a B when it came to health and wellness. This is good, but does leave room to improve. Good mental and physical health starts with good communication and education. Talking to your kids about diet, exercise and asking them questions about their health is a good place to start. It’s also equally important to lead by example. Make your actions match your words and you can build a great foundation for your kids as they mature. Here are steps you can take to becoming the best healthy role model for your family.
- Be a great health communicator. It’s important to communicate to your kids about their health. Don’t just make healthy snacks- explain how healthy snacks will give them more energy. Don’t just tell your kids to play outside. Let them now how regular play will help make them stronger, faster, and healthier. When your kids have health questions, take the time to listen, and answer them. If you don’t know the answer, help them look up the answer.
- Practice what your preach. Don’t just tell your kids that they need to be healthy- live a healthy lifestyle yourself. Make time for healthy food, and exercise.
- Make working out a family affair. If you’ve made working out a part of your life, make it part of your family’s lives too. Take your kids to your workouts, or even better, do workouts that can involve your kids like running, riding a bike, or playing sports.
- Balance mind and body. Being healthy means taking care of your mind as well as your body. Engage your family in artistic activities. Go to a museum or take a painting class together.
- Healthy eating starts with you. Make healthy eating a priority for your family. Cook healthy meals, and let your kids help prepare them. Let them see how healthy eating can make a real, positive impact on their lives.
- Don’t abuse substances. Children will imitate the behaviors of their parents, and if you smoke or drink, there is a high likelihood that they will smoke and drink too. Limit these behaviors if you don’t want to see them in your own children.
- Limit family screen time. Finally, limit family screen time. Try to engage your family in activities beyond your TV or computer screen. Go for a walk together. Do a puzzle as a family. Engaging in non-screen activities is great for health and mental development.
- For Parents and Caregivers. It is important to be aware of warning signs that your child may be struggling.
- We Can! You are your children’s most important role model—especially when it comes to making healthy choices.