As parents, we always want to pass down important information to our children. Whether that information is financial advice, relationship advice, life skills, or healthy habits, we want our children to succeed. Studies also show that parents are by far the number one influence on their children in how they act, what they do, and who they'll be. So how do we imprint what a healthy lifestyle looks like to our children? What does it look like to teach my child about health on an everyday basis? We've put together a few tips on ways that you can develop good habits:
Model. Model. Model.
Children learn (especially early on) through model behavior. Observational learning is one of the main ways that kids can grasp information. So even the things that go unsaid, children will catch onto. They will see your daily habits; what you do, what you prioritize. So start with you. Model a healthy lifestyle. Model what prioritizing your health looks like to your children. Our kids zone workers love when children come in and talk about the Y like it's their second home. Model those healthy eating choices at home, model those mental health days for you and your significant other. If your kids don't see it, they won't do it. Model. Model. Model.
Talk To Your Children About Health
Although modeling is a key skill in helping your child learn, we don't want anything to go unsaid and slip through the cracks. If it is not said, you can't guarantee that your child knows the 'whys' behind the 'whats' of your healthy habits. Talk to your children about their body. Talk to them about why sugar heavy snacks are not the best for them. Talk to them about why you don't eat out every meal. Talk to them about the health benefits of balance and moderation. These health conversations can flow naturally throughout your everyday life, and your child will catch on.
DO Things With Your Child
Participating in healthy activities with your child not only is healthy physically for you and your child, it also helps build that connection between you. Find shared common interests between you and your child that are active, and go do them! Be the parent that jumps on the trampoline at the trampoline park. Be the parent that shoots basketball with their kid before practice. Be the parent that volunteers for a youth program and engages the child. Your kids will remember those times fondly, and you will be displaying your healthy lifestyle for them to see.