When you’re a family unit, it’s important for you to not only look after your own health but also theirs too. This can be demanding at times and often a little concerning, but working together and promoting a healthy lifestyle is the place to start. As a parent, it’s important for you to keep an eye on your own health and it’s best practice to ensure your children understand how to look after their too, especially as they grow into teens and young adults. If you work to instill good values and the importance of healthy living with eating right, regular exercise and regular trips to medical experts such as the dentist or opticians you can rest assured that you’re doing what you should keep your family fit and well.
But, how exactly do you ensure your family is healthy, and what can you do to make sure your children understand the importance? Let’s have a look at some of the areas that you should be focusing on:
Food And Drink
Firstly, it’s essential that you make sure the whole of your family is drinking the right amount of water. It’s essential that eater is the main drink in your household and that it’s promoted as the first option at all times. It can be really easy to give in to temptation and requests of carbonated drinks too often, but your should always try to offer water first. Try explaining to them the importance of drinking water and lead by example by drinking it yourself. Making sure they understand this will help them to continue it into their adult life and pass it on to their children too.
Secondly, you need to look at the food that you eat as a family. When you cook food and sit down to enjoy a meal as a family makes sure you are eating a well-balanced diet. You need to include fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, nuts and seed, and airy products. Of course, at times you might eat out or have a takeaway but you should try to do this in moderation. If you eat out a lot as a family, try to encourage your children to make smart choices when you are out and about. If they’re young children, offer them a few choices from the menu rather than giving them free rein.
There is nothing better than being active as a family. You can enjoy the outdoors together, learn about each other’s interests and see all sorts of different parts of the world. If you want to give your kids a running start with exercise and understanding the importance of it’s best to get them involved in it as early as possible. Plan weekend trips out, even if it is just to kick a ball around at the local park. If you’re active as a family, your children are more likely to be active in their adult lives.
Try talking to your children about the activities that they like to do and get involved. If they love football you should try to make an effort to play football at the park or beach, or enroll them in a football club, if they’re interested in animals to try going for some nature hikes and look out for different wildlife and tracks along the way. One of the best ways to get children interested in the outdoors and activities is to speak to them and let them lead you to what they enjoy or want to try.
Educate Them About The Birds And The Bees
When your children are approaching their teenage years they will go through sex education at school but as parents, it’s your responsibility to make sure they are well informed and educated about the birds and the bees and how to remain safe there 4,400 cases of HIV in Austin alone, and this is partly because of lack of education about safe sex. Although it may not be a conversation you’re looking forward to or ready for it’s imperative that you do.
If your children are reluctant to have a conversation with you, you need to judge if it’s because they’re not ready or just because they feel uncomfortable. If you feel like they’re ready but they don’t want to listen it could be a good idea to source some information and point them in the direction so they can educated themselves.
Regular Check Up’s
As an adult, you already understand the importance of getting regular check up’s with the dentist, optician, and doctor. Whether you are going because you are experiencing a problem or it’s just a routine check-up it’s important that you start to share some of the information with your children. Simply going to the doctors can be distressing for children as they don’t understand what’s going on and become scared, seeing you go to places like this when they’re not involved can help them to feel more comfortable and confident in trusting these professionals. Getting the children involves sooner rather than later is the best thing that you can do, many adults are scared of these appoints still and it’s often because their fear stems from childhood.
Even if you’re scared yourself, reacting in a positive way and showing them that there is nothing to be scared of could help them to become more aware and ultimately less nervous about these sorts of situations. Try not to just ‘turn up’ to appointments and show your children where you are taking them before you go, this works especially well for younger children who are most likely to be walking into the unknown. Having just one unpleasant experience leaves them scared and not wanting to return.
Always Be A Role Model
This doesn’t in any way mean you have to be perfect, no one is perfect. However, setting an example and following it though is more worthwhile than just talking and expecting your children to listen. You should always lead by example and listen to your own advice. You will see many unhealthy parents with unhealthy children which leads to more unhealthy adults. It can turn into a vicious circle. You should lead by example by eating well, exercising regularly, promoting family activities, having regular check-ups and sharing your thoughts and feelings on what you are doing to be healthy in your life. Always be open and honest to answer questions that they might have.
These areas are important to ensuring that your family stays healthy and that your children grow into healthy adults. Do you have anything else that could help? Please share them below.