Growing healthy children not only includes providing shelter, nutritious food, and ample time for exercise, but also involves forming healthy habits and boundaries. Some tips for growing healthy children include modeling healthy behaviors yourself, establishing proper expectations, and carefully praising your children.
We all want the best for our children, right? We want them to have what we never did, experience what we couldn’t, and enjoy the things that just weren’t available to us. I feel the exact same way when it comes to my children. But there are things that we as parents can become immune to or in other words, blind to see.
Sometimes when we think we are doing great things, we could be crippling our children from becoming their greatest version of themselves. When we think it’s helping, we are blinded to see we are disabling them from growing.
Here are a few things that hopefully will open your eyes and your mind so that you may help your children to grow into amazing individuals they were meant to be.
Make Sure You Practice What You Preach
First is one pretty obvious one that we parents tend to overlook a lot. I remember my parents telling me when I was a young girl, “do as I say, not as I do!”
Building healthy habits are also observed, and then also practiced in some ways by children. So if you curse, it’s likely your children will pick up your bad speech habits. Or if you stay up late at night, that might also not really support an early bedtime routine.
We have to think about how our actions can affect our children. Consider asking yourself if you are making healthy choices to set a good example for your children. Are you participating in any positive habit formation? Are you taking part in proper physical activity or healthy nutrition? This will help set a good precedence for your children.
Check Yourself That You Aren’t Mistaking Intelligence for Maturity
We like to think with some random intelligent acts, certain talents or gifts, and behavior that was an influence, that our children are mature enough for the world.
We’d like to believe our children are responsible enough and sometimes it’s just not the case. Gage this step by observing other children in the same age group and see where they compare. You may be delaying your child’s independence, or providing too much.
When you are liberal with your Childs technology time schedule for example, they may get into the habit of staying on their device for too long. Like some adults, children need direction even when they appear mature enough to take care of themselves.
Be Open And Honest About Past Mistakes
As your child gets older, especially in their teens, you want to be honest and open about your past mistakes. It might sound like a horrible idea, I know, but it’s a great way for your up-and-coming adults to hear the harsh reality of some things their parents had to go through.
They will ultimately make their own decision but just having the memory of the sincere talk they got from their mother or father could be just enough to steer them away from making some regretful decisions.
Do Not Let Guilt Steer The Wheel
It happens all the time. Your child gets into trouble and here come the consequences. They cry, sob, and beg for forgiveness. The look on their face almost makes you melt and wanna take them out for ice cream to make it all better…STOP right there. Do not let your guilt deter you from setting a good example. Make them take their consequences like responsible children. Be strong!
Let’s Not Be Quick to Praise
This is so common in society it is looked upon as normalcy. Facts have shown through when we take the “everyone is a winner,” mentality to our children, not actively picking out the negatives, our children ultimately become stunted in their growth.
Because we disregard poor behavior children have had more of a tendency to lie and cheat to deal with situations where they aren’t being treated “special.” All because the parents haven’t conditioned the children to face such a thing as being negative.
Should They Trip And Fall, Let Them Dust Themselves Off And Get Up On Their Own
Comparing our young to generations before us is definitely different. Children nowadays can’t do things on their own and a lot of times think we will bulldoze any obstacle out of their way. This is from parents being too eager to help and too eager to rescue.
When they are young, they fall down, you pick them up, and when they got older they needed help with something, you helped out again. As parents there needs to be a line drawn as to what is helpful, and what’s doing too much. The best thing to do is to let the child go through it, figure it out, problem-solve, and they will be better the next time it happens.
This life skill would also tie into your children learning to problem solve, instead of relying on outside help – they can attempt to resolve the obstacles they face on their own. Learning independence is an essential aspect of child development.
Risk Can Be A Good Thing
I have a tendency to shelter my child from certain things. I am trying to keep away the negative and unhealthy things from her knowledge. Little did I know, I was enabling arrogance and on other occasions, low self-esteem.
Facts show a child that is indoors too often (like in the home) and never really gets to play outside, experiences the risks, and goes through them often, will grow up with constant phobias and even anxieties.
We should also take note that during the recent health crisis of 2020, a lot of children and adults had experienced all kinds of negative side effects. Getting out and having new experiences help positively mold the brain and foster resiliency.
Healthy risk-taking in our kids is great! Let them have it. A scratch on the elbow is good for them to go through and experience.
Growing Healthy Children into Great Adults
Be honest and open about goals, life, and situations. Be aware of yourself and your actions, even when you think your children aren’t watching. Think of yourself more as a coach and trainer, then just treating them to things and cuddling.
Keeping these things in mind will hopefully create more leaders that this world so desperately needs.