When it comes to your children you doubtlessly want the best for them. You search for the best schools, the best activities, and opportunities, and you strive to do your best by them day in day out. So it stands to reason that encouraging them to live a healthy lifestyle is absolutely in their best interest. It can be difficult as a parent to strike the balance right between encouragement and nagging but here are some simple yet effective ways you can encourage your children to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Photo credit; Karolina Grabowska from Pexels
#1 Lead by example
No child will be encouraged by the maximum ‘do as I say not as I do’. Nagging your children to eat the veg on their plate will fall on deaf ears if you are not doing the same. Trying to persuade your children to take up a sport or recreational activity will be met with resistance if you spend your free time in front of the TV. Children learn by example, they replicate their role models, and although it might not feel like it at the time they are listening, watching, and learning from you. Seeing you go out for a morning run or making conscious healthy life choices is one of the best steps you can take to try and teach your children to do the same. They may not do it straight away and they may not always make the right choice but the more they see and learn from you the more likely it is that history will repeat itself.
#2 Make them aware of their genetics
When it comes to your health unfortunately genetics can play a part. If you have any genetic pre-dispositions that could affect your or your children’s health then it is always worth being open about them. The more information they have the better life choices you, and they, can make. If, for example, type 2 diabetes runs in the family then it is prudent to encourage healthy choices that can help prevent this from occurring in your children’s lives. If there is a common health complaint or disorder that runs in the family sharing it with your children will allow for future health screening and diagnoses to be made with it in mind. Knowledge really is power. Further, DNA testing may be an avenue worth pursuing as it can help determine the likelihood of your children developing a variety of diseases and conditions, and how the body may react to certain medications. This is something keenly advocated by Brad Schaeffer of MedComp Sciences who believes a proactive approach to healthcare is one the best ways on maintaining optimum health.
#3 Don’t Force Things
No matter how good your intentions are there will be times that children simply do not want to heed the advice of their parents, regardless of how good the advice is. If you find you are met with resistance then don’t push it, chances are your child will just push back harder. Keep on leading by example, encouraging good choices where possible, and leave it at that. Don’t force or insist on changes or make things become a chore. They will listen when they are ready – not when they feel they are being nagged at.