This post was contributed by Emily from Mighty Moms! Please be sure to check out her website!
Most parents want to ensure that their kids will have the right tools to make healthy choices as they grow up. Luckily, by using the right strategies, this can be fairly simple. You can lay a strong foundation by serving as a role model, teaching them critical skills, and having honest conversations. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are some tips courtesy of Our Chaotic Mess.
Make Healthy Living a Priority in Your Home
When it comes to living a healthy life, children need an example. By making healthy living a priority in your home – one that everyone follows – you can instill good habits that will serve your child well when they reach adulthood.
Start by having your child participate in cooking activities. There are many age-appropriate approaches that help you teach your kid how to create healthy meals at home, giving them skills that can help them maintain proper nutrition once they’re on their own.
Additionally, make exercise a family affair. This can include having everyone participate in active play or allowing your children to join you during your workouts, ensuring they see that you value physical activity and that they should, too.
Have Honest Discussions About Online Activities
Younger generations are increasingly digital. They don’t just use the internet to get information. A connection is also a critical part of communicating with their peers and interacting with the world at large.
As a parent, you want to make sure your children know how to act appropriately online. Additionally, you need to ensure that they’re aware of any risks.
Overall, 66 percent of teenagers prefer communicating digitally instead of in person, so barring devices isn’t usually a great move. Instead, you want to make sure that they’re aware of the mental health of social media. Additionally, talk about bullying, including what actions qualify and what to do if they’re targeted.
Discussing the addictive nature of some apps is also wise. Screen time has been linked to insomnia in teens, partially because some apps are addictive. The blue light from devices can also play a role, as well as the fear of missing out. You can help your child develop a healthier routine by being forward about these points, ensuring they don’t fall into certain trappings.
Finally, talk about the people they may encounter online. Your child may interact with strangers while playing MMOs, using someone else’s Discord, and while viewing Twitch streams. Make sure they understand that sharing personal information online with people they don’t know is risky. Be open about the fact that predators, bullies, and inappropriate content are out there and what to do if they encounter any problems.
Model Desirable Behavior
As your children grow up, they commonly look to you to determine what behavior is or isn’t appropriate. If you want them to head in the right direction, you need to serve as a good role model, giving them an example of how they should act as an adult.
For example, if you want them to prioritize their education, start by having open conversations about their hopes for the future. Then, talk about your dreams and what you’re doing to achieve them.
If you’ve been putting off getting your degree, signing up for an online program is wise. You’ll be able to set a good example for your child while pursuing your education in a way that’s flexible, allowing you to manage your other responsibilities.
By getting a BSED, you also open up other doors. Along with being able to help your own child, you’ll be in a position to work with other preschoolers and elementary-aged kids, laying the foundation for a strong career.
Again, thank you so much for reading this article on helping your children make healthy choices.