Are you, as a parent, struggling with maintaining a healthy lifestyle for your kids? They might refuse to eat their fruits and veggies and throw a tantrum whenever you bring out a healthy meal, or they may become rowdy and cranky as soon as you take their iPad away. These situations may seem insignificant, but they do indicate an unhealthy lifestyle.
However, there is no need to panic. You can still change your lifestyle regardless of how long it has been this way. If you don’t know where to start, we have your back! This article will unfold some of the most important tips you need to adopt to eliminate an unhealthy lifestyle immediately.
Be Proactive with Healthcare
Your child’s mental and physical well-being should be your top priority as a parent. Regular medical checkups and well-child visits are a prerequisite to a healthy and happy child. Well-child visits ensure that your child is healthy and that there are no issues in their current behavior, growth, and social development. If there is any evidence of mental health issues in your child, it is necessary to seek help immediately. Various clinics and institutes with reliable services are available if you visit a therapist or counselor. For instance, you can browse www.delphihealthgroup.com to learn about their services. They offer family recovery specialists and various other programs according to your needs.
During these visits, ensure that the health care provider checks family background and other medical histories. Moreover, these visits generally should include dental care and screening for genetic and metabolic disorders, iron deficiencies, and vision. It is also necessary to ensure your child is immunized from diseases and is up to date with their vaccines. It is important to figure out if the child is doing well. Also, it prevents any serious illnesses like measles and pertussis.
Being psychically active is the foundation for healthy growth and social development. Playgrounds offer kids the freedom of mobility, and they experience the endorphin rush from playing and running around. That is important for the mental and physical well-being of a growing child. It also allows them to release all the pent-up energy through playing, which in turn helps them work through their emotions. If your child has been acting cranky for no apparent reason, try taking them to a neighborhood park. Releasing all that energy through exercise will make your child happy and more active in school and daily life. Not just that, but playing with them is an amazing chance to form an everlasting bond with them. Trust us when we say that you don’t want to miss out on their childhood and the memories you would’ve made with them had you spent time with your kids.
Part of the healthy lifestyle as a family is to communicate with your children, indulge them in games and play with them. Taking time from your busy schedule is crucial so that you can spend quality time together. If your kids are still young and growing, it is high time to do so.
However, sometimes taking them to a park is not enough. They need mentally stimulating exercises to sharpen their brain and develop social skills. That is the part where board games come into play! A lot of board games require decision-making skills, observation skills, as well as building communication skills. If you want your child to be exceptionally good at these, you must indulge them in board games. Not only will they positively impact your children, but they also help you release stress hormones. The release of stress tends to improve your mood too. So now, neither you nor your child is cranky!
Reduce screen time
Does your kid end up having a full-blown breakdown in case you ever try to take their phone away? Cartoon addiction should be a bit of an alarming situation for you. Research from the University of Virginia showed that the kids who watched fast paces cartoons could not concentrate well and generally lacked longer attention spans and thinking skills. Reducing your child’s screen time is important and encourage them to watch educational videos instead of cartoons.
However, things won’t change overnight. The first step is to reduce your screen time first. It would be unfair to expect your kids to ditch their cartoons when you are guilty of using your phone a little too much. Kids tend to follow modeling behavior. That means they are likelier to copy and imitate you and your behavior by observing and listening. By reducing your screen time, your kids are more likely to decrease theirs just by copying you.
Reinforcement rewards are also one of the most effective ways of reducing screen time. You can bribe them with chocolates or whatever they like in exchange for ditching the phone when asked. Doing so encourages children to change or improve their behavior when required.
Quality sleep is essential for both the parent and kids. It is necessary to sleep well to remain physically active and healthy. At least 8 to 9 hours of sleep for adults and 9 to 12 hours for kids between 6 and 13 are essential for performing well at work and school. Kids tend to be grouchy if sleepy or tired. When you take your family out, you don’t want them to melt down on a restaurant floor. Although this might be very common in families with young kids, you would still rather avoid this embarrassing situation altogether.
Remember that you also need to be well-rested to take care of your kids. You are more likely to lose your temper when feeling groggy and tired. Raising a healthy family as a parent requires you to learn to deal with your kids in a friendly way. No matter how rowdy they seem, talking politely with them is the key to a healthy relationship between a parent and a child.
Manage portions and eat healthy
Feeding your kids fruits and veggies can turn out to be a nightmare at times. Especially hearing the phrase “we have food at home” can cause quite a meltdown when they want a Happy Meal instead. However, nagging or forcing your children to eat homemade food should not be the ideal way of encouraging them to stay healthy.
There are multiple ways of tricking your child into eating the vegetable they hate the most. The key is to incorporate veggies in the daily food by dressing them up or blending fruits in a smoothie. Additionally, involving your kids in cooking can encourage them to eat nutritious foods. Try making fun shapes or use flashy, colorful plates and mugs to peak their interest in food. Most kids may also get attracted to crockery with their favorite cartoon character imprinted on it. The key is encouraging your kids to eat healthy voluntarily instead of forcing them to do so.
Spend quality time together
For a parent-child relationship to be healthy, a strong bond and honest communication are two of the most important elements. To encourage that, you need to spend quality time together by either playing with your kids or simply hanging out with them. Taking a keen interest in their daily life, be it staying connected through their school life, helping them with homework, or simply asking them how their day was at the dinner table, is proven to create healthy bonds. Make sure that the communication is always two-way. Include your kids in your life by telling them how your day was. It promotes communication and family time.
As they grow older, you can initiate discussions on various topics, ask them about their school/college life, listen to them and make them feel heard. Most families only grow apart because they lack communication and hesitate to reach out to each other. The key is to form an unbreakable bond with your child to prevent that from happening in the future.
Normalizing gratitude towards each other can play a pivotal role in building a healthy lifestyle. It spreads positive feelings and can make your children feel appreciated and loved. It also raises empathetic children who tend to be kinder and more understanding toward people in their lives. In building a healthy lifestyle for your family, children who show empathy generally form better and more meaningful connections with their partners and raise a healthy future family.
Remember that modeling behavior does wonders! Showing gratitude towards your child for something as minute as completing their work on time can encourage them to show gratitude in return. It does not take a lot for the kids to get on board with ideas if they observe you doing the same for them.
Ensuring a healthy lifestyle for your family can be challenging and does not happen overnight. However, once you start adopting healthy living practices, the job becomes easier. You will gradually see a difference in your children’s behavior and their mental and physical health. The process does require patience and effort. If you successfully go through the process, you will see the positive changes in your life.