Discussing healthy habits with your children

Teaching Your Child Healthy Habits

Posted on September 27, 2018 : Posted in Legacy Academy, Parenting Tips

Discussing healthy habits with your children

We all want our children to be healthy, resilient, and capable. However, we aren’t always sure how to get there. Our own struggles and the busyness of life get in the way of our intention to teach our children healthy habits. With this in mind, here are five simple but meaningful ways to help your child develop a healthy view of himself and the world.

Give Grace

When we make a mistake, it’s easy to beat ourselves up about it. Sometimes we even do this aloud. It’s also tempting to do this about others when their poor choices or missteps cause us discomfort or inconvenience. Try taking a deep breath and giving grace to whoever made an error. You can say, “I wish I hadn’t left my bag at home today, but everything will be okay. I’ll remember it tomorrow.” Modeling this sort of positive self-talk and extension of forgiveness will teach your child to do the same to herself and others. Moreover, you’re reminding yourself to be kinder in the process.

Talk About What Bodies Can Do

As adults, we often focus on the health and size of our bodies. Many of us wish we were a different size, and we diet and workout to get there. For the good of our children, it is important that we talk about our bodies kindly and with respect. While you may be trying to lose weight, your body is still amazing and capable of incredible things.

Instead of talking about how you wish your body were better, you should share with your child the things your body has accomplished. Talk to them about how you can lift heavy things, fight off illness, or carry and deliver babies. Speaking of bodies as amazing, beautiful things give your child a positive association with their own body. In the same way, instead of only complimenting your child’s body on looks, work to see the things it can accomplish. Tell them they are fast, strong, and capable.

Discuss Food Choices

No one is going to eat the best food all the time. There are times for special treats or convenience foods, and that is part of life. For your child to have a healthy relationship with food, it is more important to discuss food choices than to get them right every time. As you discuss food with your child, try not to label foods as “good” or “bad.” Instead, explain what each food does in the body and whether that helps them. Divide foods into categories like “growing foods,” “sometimes foods,” and “just for fun foods.” These labels keep judgment and shame out of the conversation while still allowing children to see the role each food should play in a healthy diet.

Get Moving

You don’t need to be on a strenuous exercise regime to have an active lifestyle. When you choose to walk instead of drive or to spend time outdoors, your child sees your choice and learns about the value of movement. When everyone in your home is grouchy, or nothing seems to be going right, take a trip to the park or even to the front porch. Some sunshine and fresh air could help. Best of all, your child sees the connection.

The beauty of these tips is this: you don’t have to teach your child these habits each day. By caring for yourself and speaking positively about yourself and the world, you are setting an example that your child will want to follow. Additionally, while these small changes might be difficult at first, every step you take to help your child will improve your health as well. Being a parent is a tough and exhausting job. In many ways, the best way to parent your children is to be kind to yourself. If you are looking for a childcare facility that will partner with you to teach your child healthy habits, consider Legacy Academy Suwanee Dam. Our entire curriculum is focused on assisting your child in becoming the best version of themselves. Call today for more information.