Hello and welcome to another edition of HELP For Mums which is platform of us mothers to share our struggles and successes on this journey to achieving a healthy lifestyle balance . Today we shift focus a little bit from ourselves to our children – undoubtedly the most important people in our lives next to our spouses. I hope that this blesses and encourages someone today.
Triggered by one thing or another at some point in our lives many of us are moved to start making healthier choices. We struggle to change our diet and start visiting the gym various times a week. While this is great for us, the question is, are we setting our kids up to go through the same “struggle” in their adulthood?
The unfortunate truth is that even after we make a positive lifestyle change, many of us leave our children behind and continue to allow them to eat poorly and cultivate the unhealthy habits we are trying so hard to break. We rationalize that it’s just “easier” to let them eat what they want or do what they want, but look where that thinking got you! The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way [s]he should go: and when [s]he is old, [s]he will not depart from it”.
Healthy Parenting involves not only making healthy decisions for ourselves, but also teaching our children to do the same,so that they can also live a healthy and more empowered life. If you are committed to training up your children in order to set them up for success, here are some tips that can help;
- Let Them Eat What You Eat – one bad habit that exists in many households is the “multiple meals syndrome”. In many homes a more health conscious mother might feel the need to provide a meal option for each family member that’s suited to their preference so has not to “force” her new lifestyle on the family. Not only does this create stress but it also results in said mother spending more time that necessary in the kitchen which is not a very good use of her already limited time. Unless your child (or husband) has an allergy, I suggest offering everyone the same meal. It might take some time and coercing to get everyone on board but it will reap pretty awesome results.
- Let Them Help – We are all guilty of it. Propping the kids in front of the TV or banishing them to their room so that we ca cook or clean or do something else around the house. Why not encourage them to join you? Kids learn by imitation – so why not let them learn to cook, clean and take care of the home alongside you. You may have to re-do a thing or two the first few times, but pretty soon you’ll have some pretty efficient little helpers that won’t be too lazy to take care of themselves one day.
- Exercise With Them – Running around, jumping up and down hopping from side to side – now I’m not sure what that all sounds like to you, but that sure sounds like play to me! And that’s exactly how your kids will see it. You will be teaching your kids to be active which will help them in adulthood not to be lazy couch potatoes. Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day and the recommended activities are aerobic activities (i.e. walking or running), muscle strengthening (i.e. gymnastics or push-ups) and bone strengthening (i.e. jump rope or monkey bars). All of these can be accomplished in a really good workout sesh with you! If you children are still young they might not be able to all of this, but watching you do it will influence them to start early! I exercise with my 4 year old and 18 months old and they LOVE IT.
- Make It A Family Affair – I can’t iterate this point enough. Do not be afraid to have that talk with your spouse and children about the changes that you will all be making in order to live a more healthy lifestyle. Involve them in meal planning and prepping, let them come up with an exercise routine – allow them to take ownership of the lifestyle. They will surely thank you for the good habits they learn along the way.
As always, thank you for stopping by today. If you have any questions or issues that you are struggling with please leave a comment. If you found this helpful please share with your friends and family.