By Anya Willis
Are you preparing for your first child? Maybe you’re a seasoned parent who’s looking for the perfect home and neighborhood to raise your family, or you’re merely trying to help your kids make healthier choices? We all want what’s best for our children, and Saidatt Senapaty is pleased to share habits that help them thrive and grow.
Practice Healthy Eating
“You are what you eat” actually has a lot of truth to it. Health professionals realize the real power our diets have over our health. Children who consume excess amounts of sugar, caffeine, fat, and junk food are more likely to face obesity. With five of the ten leading causes of death linked to low diet, it’s important to set children on the path to good nutrition.
Cook meals at home, and use wholesome veggies, grains, and proteins when preparing them. Allow your kids to get in on meal preparation, which will make them think about their decisions about the food they’re putting in their bodies. If they’re too young to use the oven or stove, consider getting some kid-friendly kitchen gadgets. For instance, if your kids are pizza fanatics, they can make mini pies in a countertop toaster oven. It is safer to use than a conventional oven (but should still only be used under your supervision!), using kid-friendly chef’s knives to cut up toppings. Please encourage them to choose their favorite veggies over meats, and go easy on the cheese.
Connect with Their Teachers and Peers
Though a sense of independence is essential, it’s also necessary to stay involved in your child’s school life. Create an open communication channel with their teachers to stay aware of any potential stressors or negative influences your child may be experiencing in the classroom. You can also get to know their classmates a little better and help your child form healthy relationships with their peers. Positive social interaction can benefit children by steering them away from bad choices and helping build their self-esteem, both now and as adults.
Tackle Tough Topics
With children seeming to mature earlier these days, it’s essential to discuss these subjects from an early age. Kids face choices regarding drugs, their bodies, and emotions as early as elementary school, so it’s important to begin these conversations with your children when they are young. Be open about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and let them know how you feel about them experimenting with these substances. Open a dialogue about other choices that can negatively impact their bodies and minds, and don’t shy away from these tricky topics. After all, their peers are likely talking to them about it, so you should be too.
Instill Safe Driving Techniques
Since 90% of car crashes happen due to human error, you can’t take a chance with your kids. Before handing the keys over to your teen, go over ways to be more cautious while driving. For example, your teen shouldn’t drive when feeling fatigued; proper nutrition can help combat this occurrence. If they spot wildlife on the road, they should slow down and not swerve. And of course, never use the phone while driving, and never drink and drive.
Teach Them How to Balance a Budget
Money can be a real source of anxiety. Adults who are weighed down by debt are more likely to feel these negative effects, so help your child figure out how to manage finances. You can instill fiduciary responsibility in your kids in a few different ways. Play games with them using real or fake money, give them an allowance to manage with your guidance, and try using cash when making purchases with them. Also, talk to your kids about the benefits of charity, and have them dedicate a percentage of their funds to giving back.
De-Stress Their Home Life
Academic pressures, social influences, and physiological changes all add up to stress in children’s lives. Help them check stress at the door by encouraging them to open up about their day, either to you or in a journal. Get them into mindful meditation or yoga as an afternoon respite from the pressures of their day. To further this balance, be sure to take simple steps to tidy your home and keep things organized throughout the week.
Playtime is also a de-stressor, so encourage your child to participate in their favorite activities regularly. Even video games can help kids unwind, and they can also spark creativity and help build problem-solving skills. If you have it in your budget, invest in a well-functioning tablet so that your child can have a smoother experience with online gaming. You can find a discounted device through year-round limited-time offers and seasonal sales.
Set Positive Examples
Talking to your children about healthy choices is important, but setting a good example will make the real difference. Kids are perceptive from an early age and will take on the habits they see in their parents. If you want your child to make good choices, start by forming healthy habits of your own. After all, you are their first, and often most important, a role model in life, so make sure you’re making a positive impression.
The ability to make healthy choices starts in childhood. Give your children a positive start to help them grow into healthy, confident adults.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
About the Author
For most of her childhood Anya struggled with her weight. In school, she was bullied because of it, and it wasn’t until she took a yoga class in college that things started to change. Anya now uses her knowledge and love for yoga to help kids find physical activities to keep them happy and moving.
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