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How to Be a Healthy Role Model


Our children are our favorite people in this world.  We try our best to raise them right and to show them how to behave properly, but are we really SHOWING them or are we just TELLING them what's right from wrong?

Children listen and watch every word and movement we make.  They look up to us.  They want to act older than they are so they pick the closest adult to mimic, which is usually us, their parents.  We are their first teacher in life.  We are the start of who they become and what personalities they will take on.  Children learn so much in the first 6 years of their lives and we as parents need to remember that "actions speak louder than words".




In regards to being a HEALTHY role model, I have listed a few ways in which we can SHOW our youngsters what is important.

1.  Eat Healthy - Trust me, we have falling into the trap of picking up fast food because it's easier or quicker, but is that really what we want in our children's bellies?  If all we gave our babies were healthy options, they wouldn't even know what a sweet was, and therefore, wouldn't crave it.  When a child starts seeing you eat healthy, they will take notice.  You can't complain about it either, because then they will think eating healthy is a chore, and not want to do it either.  The other day my daughter asked me if she could bring salad to school....SALAD!  Of course it had ranch on it, but SALAD!

My husband and I don't bring too many sweets in the house (except for candy the kids get on holidays) so we try our best to have healthy options.  If our kids want something sweet (which to them is usually just granola bars and fruit snacks), they know they need to eat something healthy first.  Usually they'll pick a yogurt.  Other items that they like to grab are hardboiled eggs, bananas, apples, cheese sticks and apple sauce.  Those are all pretty much staples in our house for them to snack on.

2.  Working Out - Even young kids need to "work out" in their own way.  Going outside and running around the yard, riding their bike, or just playing with their neighbors are all simple ways for them to get some exercise in.  Since we have started going to the gym more, our oldest has asked to do her work outs more.  Mainly, since it's so nice out, she wants to go outside and jump rope.  She's even been teaching our son (2 years) how to do stretches and planks and some other easy ones.

You can tell a big difference between the kids attitutes and self motivation when you change up your own routine.  During the winter, we all get a little lazy.  It killed me though when my daughter said "I just want to sit on the iPad and watch my movies".  Get up, get out, and do stuff with your children.  Now that it's nicer out, I'm excited to take more walks when them, for my benefit AND theirs!

3.  Spending Time Outside - Just being out in general leads to healthy activities.  There is no television outside, and it's hard to see screens of iPods and iPads. Therefore you'll find other things to do.  Go outside and play with your kids, take walks with them, or just set up some blankets and read books together.

Being outside will show your children that there is so much to do beyond electronics.  Even when it's cold out, playing in the snow or even splashing in puddles is just SOOO much fun for kids.

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4.  Healthy Relationships - Don't fight in front of your kids.  I know this is pretty much common sense, but everyone does it at some point.  When you are on the other side of it, and see the reaction of children when their parents, or parents with friends, or whoever are fighting, it's heartbreaking.  Show them how to be a friend.  Show them what a good relationship should look like.  Give hugs and smiles OFTEN.  They pick up on all emotions of parents, and it affects them.

5.  Speak Kindly - Be nice to people.  It's that simple.  You know how many times you hear that your child is your mini me?  Make that a good thing.  You want to teach your children how to have manners and how to speak to others.  Please don't teach them that having yelling matches, or calling people names is how you get what you want. When you are courteous, sympathetic and just plain nice, those around you will most likely follow suit.

  It makes me so sad when my children fight with each other.  I try my best to step back and realize that this is a problem that I need to really address.  I talk with them about being nice to each other and telling each other why they are upset with calm voices.  I am very aware of my actions around them, hoping they will start to mimic me.

Basically, you just need to be the best you.  When you work at making yourself a better person, your kids will follow suit.  I know we all have bad days, and that's okay, but teach your children how to cope properly.  Teach them how to be even more amazing then they already are!

Comments

  1. YES to all of this. As my children get older, they are watching my husband and I more and more. Of course my husband swears (Marine) and now he has learned to have control over that due to repeating. Opps!

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    1. My husband used to be in the Navy so I COMPLETELY understand!! LOL

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    2. Apparently my kids don't understand the phrase "cuss like a Sailor". :-P Seriously, it is tough when certain language has been part of your vocabulary for quite some time.

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  2. You are so right. Our children see us and do what we do so we need to make some changes in our lifestyle as well as behave the way we want them to behave.

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    1. Having kids helps us take a good look at our own actions for sure!

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  3. I love this list! Especially speaking kindly. I think we forget that kids are a sponge and their world outlook is directly related to their household. Great article!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I try to speak kindly to those around me to be a good role model for my children!

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  4. All great tips! I need to spend more time outside with them!

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  5. Great tips this is something so important to me with my two children. I love hearing them talk to their friends or teachers about what I've done or what I've shown them. Makes me so proud!

    https://lisanewmanmorris.com.au

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    1. Thank you! Listening to their conversations with friends is very telling on how well they've been taught manners

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  6. Ahh this is a really good post and so true! I've banned fizzy drinks in my house and that includes us too! I would feel like such a hypocrite if I just enforced this on my son.

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    1. That's fantastic! It really does start at home.

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  7. These are good tips! :) I rarely have a can of soft drink, like once every few months, but I've had to stop it completely as my eldest toddler always sees it and wants some! He likes to try a bit of everything so it's so important to model good eating habits :)

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    1. That's great! Thank you for your comment!

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  8. Totally agree - what we do directly affects what our kids do, thank you for the reminders and tips. x

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    1. You're welcome! And Thank YOU for the comment.

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  9. This is all so true! It is so important to teach children through your actions as well as words. I hope to be a healthy role model for my son as he is growing up.

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    1. I'm sure you'll be great! Being parents makes us show our best sides.

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  10. Kids do end up being how we consciously or subconsciously portray ourselves to them...Being a part of the solution and not the problem is one of the major things I take care to show my son through action and attitude. Being kind and respectful to 'everyone' is another major. Very nice list...great perspective.

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  11. This list is so great... and so practical!! Thank you for sharig it. I

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  12. IMO everyone a child comes into contact with is a teacher and role model. We need to all be more mindful of what we think, do and say.

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    1. So true! It's just as important to be nice to the other children around us!

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