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Coaching Kids To Be In Sync With Their Mind, Body and Spirit.

Updated on April 17, 2012

“Creativity, flexibility, tolerance and love are natural states of mind and our purpose is to nurture them to full blossom” ~ Ronit Baras

Oh yes, I'm guilty!! Sometimes, I do use “Sesame Street” as a free-sitter while doing house chores; and every so often, I race through bedtime rituals so that I can enjoy my own evening rituals of a hot bath or finish reading my books.

Without a doubt, learning the importance of taking care of ourselves is no easy task, considering that we are nurturers and we know that Healthy Moms equal Healthy Babies.

They even teach you this principle on airplanes! As for who’s first on putting on the oxygen mask in case of an emergency. In fact, I often find myself preaching facts about “life”, picked up from experience and my health practitioners’ friends: “The healthiest minded adults are those who grew up watching their parents celebrate and nurture their own lives, rather than giving all of themselves to their children.” But, as is usually the case in life, achieving balance is the only road to a successful-self. I believe that the key is to have some sort of a spiritual practice, while also parenting with spirit. And to understand that since I have a mini-me and two boys as an extension of myself, my human trinity (mind, body, and soul) needs to be always in check to be able to stay focused.

How can we be spiritual and stay positive, if the live that surrounds us isn’t getting any easier or in better health? By staying grounded! Don’t live the life you wish to have; you need to live your own life. Indeed, this can take quite some time, understanding and realizing our grounds, on learning how to live with gratefulness and humility; not easy, but doable. To know these things, a path of meditation and inner exploration is invaluable.

Our kid’s mind, body and spirit correlation; unfortunately, is weakening in today’s challenges at work and home. We often wonder the outcome of our kid’s future; not just by having the right nourishments in their bodies, but also by the right amount and quality of social interrelations, as well as self-motivated physical activities.

Is it possible to provide the resources necessary for every child to have a healthy diet and the opportunity to grow in Mind, Body, and Spirit?

Yes! Kids are all born into a life of innocence and dependency. Their surroundings determine their perception of the world and it's developed from the mother's womb. Coaching our kids about healthy living should be done with patience, progressively, with perseverance and consistency, but most importantly leading by example. They will mirror our behavior in every possible way, especially on what we eat, drink, interact and how active we are.

“We have shifted our culture from one that is engaged in a healthy, interactive, imaginative way to one that is inwardly facing, sedentary and expecting things to be fed to us.” Says Dr. Michael Rich, Director of the Center of Media and Child Health, Children’s Hospital Boston, Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School and School of Public Health.

Living could be stressful, especially in today’s economy crisis and it is unrealistic to expect today's children to live in a stress-free world. Children will not always have someone around to help them through stressful situations, so it is critical to teach them a very strong mind/body connection from the very beginning so that they can cope with stress in a positive way in their future.

People who have good emotional health are aware of their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. They have learned healthy ways to cope with the stress and problems that are a normal part of life. They feel good about themselves and have healthy relationships.

We are now dealing with an increased variety of stressors in our lives affecting our kids tremendously on the way they behave and ultimately the way to make the right decisions when it comes to healthy living. One way some parent opt to keep life stress free and keep kids quietly entertained is sadly electronics, not only affecting their brain but the ability to interact and

Some may not like these statistics, but our children today are being socialized in a way that is vastly different from their parents, Social Media for Children!?, Is this right!? or I'm I getting old too quickly!?.

The numbers are overwhelming: over 10,000 hours playing videogames, over 200,000 emails and instant messages; over 10,000 hours talking on digital cell phones; over 20,000 hours watching TV, and maybe, at the very most, 5,000 hours of book reading. These are todays Digital Native‖students. Source: ―Interactive Videogames, Mediascope - Approx. avg. numbers.

"What you have is a generation that has to make an effort to be physically active. Unless they think about it, they can go an entire day without being physically active", explains Dr. Robert Keith, Extension nutritionist, on the childhood obesity epidemic. "I often think about how different things were about 20 years ago when kids were outside playing street sports and burning the calories, instead of sitting inside playing video games on the computer," he says.

It is a serious public health issue that all Americans need to care about. In the last 20 years, childhood obesity rates have more than doubled; states, CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion ~ Division of Adolescent and School Health, Childhood Obesity. 20 Oct. 2008. United States has become the largest consumer of ADHD medications in the world, based on Sax, Leonard, “Ritalin - Better Living through Chemistry?” The World and I. Nov. 1, 2000; and the use of antidepressants in pediatric patients have risen sharply.

Creating mind/body awareness in our kids today is critical to ensure they have a healthy tomorrow. Think positively and progressively! Teach your children how to build their self-esteem. If they believe in themselves, they will react to healthier choices. Start by being the role model, simplifying your kitchen with nourishing healthy foods, coaching them to make better choices when dining out and staying active through balanced physical activities such as martial arts, gymnastics, dance or simple dynamic outdoor activities.

What if we could each make a difference, getting kids back outside where they belong and helping them lead happier, healthier, longer lives? What if we worked together—parents, teachers, healthcare providers, and local, state and national leaders—to make it happen? And what if, in only one generation, we could all wake up to a new day for America’s kids? Let’s all be out there, and see!

Parents can do the following, suggested by the National Wildlife Federation,

  • Take the pledge to be out there and get the kids in their life into the great outdoors
  • Be a role model for kids: show them how to un-plug from media and plug into nature.
  • Where safe, encourage kids to walk or bike to school.
  • Don’t forget that gardening can be a fun way to get kids outside while they experience the thrill of helping things grow.
  • Enlist friends and neighbors to create outdoor playgroups.
  • Join kids for outdoor fun in the backyard, garden, park or nature trail.
  • Create and play in a “Green Hour” – time for unstructured play and interaction with the natural world. In 2007, the National Wildlife Federation launched, an online resource providing parents the inspiration and tools to make the outdoors a part of daily life. NWF recommends that parents give their kids a "Green Hour" every day. This can take place in a garden, a backyard, the park down the street, or any place that provides safe and accessible green spaces where children can learn and play. Scientific research shows kids are happier and healthier when outdoor time is in better balance with indoor time.
  • Get them involve in community events, such as charity or educational enlightenment, there is always something they can be part of so they learn awareness and responsibility.

Our kids rely on our abilities and desire to have a happier and healthier life, it’s never too late and all it takes is aspiration, inspiration and new hope to “Coach Our Kids to Healthy Living”. It’s possible!


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