Family health is a topic that has been discussed plenty. Many experts have taken a stab at resolving issues found in most households.
What can parents do? What is the children’s responsibility? How can generational bad habits be broken?
Answers to these questions are never easy. Yet, there are things we can do. Let us take a look at three of them.
The Right Environment
If you have ever spoken to an interior design expert, you understand the importance of balance and finding harmony in spaces. Whether you are building the house of your dreams or the office where your career as an entrepreneur will flourish, these are crucial elements. A house needs vibrancy and color to make it warm and comfortable. An office needs sophistication and class to make it respectable and trustworthy.
The same goes for your health. If you and your family are trying to lose a few pounds, start a new workout program, or move a bit more, your house should become an environment that assists you in this process. A fridge filled with ice cream, coke, and frozen snacks will make it difficult for you and your kids to resist the temptation of eating them. If your cupboards are bristling with salt, sugar, ultra-processed vegetable oil, and other condiments, chances are you will be using them when you cook your meals.
On the other hand, if your daughter is hungry and sees a banana or an apple on the table, she will probably eat it as well, without even asking you for permission.
So set yourself up for success. Create an environment at home that is in alignment with your health goals. It will make an enormous difference.
Leading by Example
“You should do as I say, not as I do.” It is one of the most common pieces of advice parents give to their children. “Don’t make the same mistakes I did. Look at me and where they have led me to. You can be better.”
No one will argue that parents in this situation mean well. They have the best intentions in their hearts and minds and wish nothing but success in their kids’ lives.
But good intentions are not enough. Nobody ever achieved anything through only good intentions. If you smoke, don’t ask your children not to do it. It sounds both hypocritical and absurd. You might be trying to do the right thing, but this is not what your kids see. In their minds, they are probably thinking, “if smoking were bad, my father would have already stopped doing it, wouldn’t he?”
You have to lead by example. Your words have to be complemented by action. When your children see you doing push-ups, sit-ups, and squats in the morning, they will soon follow. When you go out for lunch and choose a glass of juice instead of a can of soda, your kids will do the same.
No hero is greater for a small child than his father. Nobody will have a bigger influence in the formative years of his life.
Make them count by showing him the way, not just telling him to take it.
There are many reasons why kids lie. Among others, they want to get something or prevent something else from happening. If your daughter wants a new doll she saw on television, she could lie about having done her homework and deserving a reward. If she broke something in the house, she would lie to avoid punishment.
The saddest part of children not communicating with their parents honestly is when they do so thinking the parents don’t care. When this happens, they start trusting others, be it friends, relatives, or classmates. Even though in some cases this might be useful, in many others, the kids are lead on the wrong path.
A healthy family is not only a family that looks pretty on the outside, eats well, and practices a wide variety of sports. It also involves mental health and emotional stability. Children often want to tell you how they feel. It is true whether the feelings themselves are good or bad. They want you to be excited by their accomplishments and compassionate with their failures. They want you to listen.
Making emotional health a priority in your household is one of the best decisions you can ever make. And this is only achieved through open, honest communication.
All families want to be happy and healthy. To achieve this, you need to be in the right environment, do the things you expect from your kids, and communicate openly and often. Everyone living under your roof will benefit from it.