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Coaching Kids to Healthy Habits

Updated on May 21, 2012

Healthy Kids Habits 101.

Most hopeful parents are constantly doing everything in their power, making sure their kids are growing up healthy, happy and strong. Correct? I do believe so! Yet, it seems that the rising number of parents concerns and fears are getting worse and worse by todays fast pace, media driven, unsafe and even treacherous lifestyles. If you are doubtful about this statement, all you need to do, is being at any of the parents favorite chatting places; school’s pick-up time, churches, libraries or parks; agreeing with the long list of worries, where lots of them are pretty common.

From Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, to autism, to colds to eating disorders, the world of parenting is growing more and more complex and this could be pretty frightening!

Parents are finding themselves flooding on boundless information gateways about children’s health, some sources can be reliable and accurate and some may embody even more perplexity, making things worse than they really are. This is one of the many reasons why “knowledge, becomes power in life”, combined with parent’s instinct and diligence becomes a vital factor in creating healthy habits in children.

Why do we must create healthy habits in children? Simple! As stated by the Lance Armstrong Foundation, good parenting “it is very important, because they will be able to avoid obesity, once active they’ll stay active, they will prevent disease and will become role models by avoiding drugs, cigarette smoking and alcohol abuse”.

We must always remember that more than just providing materialistic possessions, parents should become the most important teachers in our children's lives. We are far from being perfect! But our children learn from example and most of their moral values come from imitating us. These lessons should be given along with love and care, as well as requiring consistency and discipline.

Here are 9 ways to raising healthy habits in children.

1. By developing minds – setting time aside electronics and spending quality time with our kids, establishing dialogue with them often, asking them how they feel, how their day was at school, doing handcrafts together, playing board games, doing gardening together, reading books out loud to them and asking for their opinion of something in particular, will help stimulate their creative thinking and undertaking their true potential in life.

2. By developing longevity and fit bodies – letting our kids get fresh air, playing outdoors with them, encouraging physical activities and sportsmanship through team playing sports, will help encouraging them to staying mentally calmer, build stamina and be physically active as a way of life. Martial arts, soccer, cycling, jogging, basketball, baseball, softball, lacrosse, swimming, gymnastics, tennis, skating, yoga and so on; is for sure way better than any type of screen time.

3. By practicing good hygiene – oral, body and especially washing hands periodically can make a big difference keeping them in good physical health.

4. By teaching good manners and morals – nothing better and more beautiful than a child referring to grown-ups as Mrs., Mr., Ma’am, Sir, saying good mornings, thank you, etc. Using kindness, confidence, gratefulness and respectful language will provide a positive interaction with others, building a great foundation for spreading happiness and success in their adult life.

5. By encouraging smiles – smiling is contagious and by setting the example and smiling throughout life, even in the most stressful situations will turn outlooks into a more positive and optimistic character.

6. By helping create healthy eating habits – parents don't need to be a nutritionist or a chef, just by practicing what we already know on healthy eating, home cooking with clean, organic, wholesome foods, seating at a family dinner table, making water their beverage of choice will help them keeping a healthy weight throughout their lives.

7. By teaching sharing and loving one another – this should be taught in both ways, good and bad, they need to know the difference, for example, when is good to share toys but not tooth brushes, when is good to touch by giving hugs but not to hurting others. The world is in desperate need of love and compassion, and encouraging our children caring for others, will bring more peaceful and harmonious communities.

8. By helping develop good sleeping habits – as our lifestyle is changing we find ourselves catching less and less sleep than our parents used to have, our kids are also getting less sleep than what we got as kids. It is not a good trend, as children need proper amount of sleep for their development and growth. Consistently setting up a daily night routine, like taking warm baths and reading, can set the mood for them to easily go to sleep.

9. Last but not least, by providing guidance in sexual behavior – as we know it, sexual knowledge is already out there in the content of most popular songs that are played on the radio. Talking to children about sex and sexuality may be awkward at first, but it is so important to them. Parents make a difference when talking to children at an early age, about their developing bodies; what to expect in relationships and sexual safety, this type of approach will help set their biggest influence in making wiser decisions about relationships and sexual behavior.

Non-stop parenting can be so powerful in guiding and outlining our children’s future! One of the numerous causes of today’s violence is the lack of good parenting. Nearly eight in 10 respondents said lack of respect and courtesy is a serious national problem; 61% agreed that there was more rude behavior than in the past; people blamed parents for not instilling courtesy in their children, and popular culture for encouraging rude behavior (April 3, 2002, Public Agenda Research Group, reported on ABCNEWS.com)

Parenting is the power to mold children into decent and loving individuals. Good parenting will ensure a better society at large! There is no science to it, teaching your children good morals and values will for sure make our world a better place.

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    • profile image

      Enid Alvarado 5 years ago

      Very helpful tips... It is definitely a great feeling to know we as parents are the key to our children's better health.

    • MsLofton profile image

      MsLofton 5 years ago from IL

      These are some very helpful tips for parents!