Being a parent is an incredibly awesome responsibility. What you say and what you do directly affects another human being’s entire development. Chances are, if you’re already a parent you have experienced the pressure of making sure the lessons you pass down to your children are the right ones.
The reality is, we’re all just trying to do our best as we go. As a parent, you try to set a good example and give the best advice. You make sure your kids are active in school and provide them with as much as you are able. But when it comes to your child’s overall, holistic wellness, could you be doing more?
Many of us don’t put enough effort into our own health, so working in an integrative wellness plan for your children also slips through the cracks. However, it’s imperative that you begin instilling these lessons as soon as possible. Healthy habits now mean healthy habits as an adult. You can help prevent health issues — both physical and mental — by teaching your children how best to care for themselves now.
An Integrative Wellness Plan for Children
When planning an integrative wellness plan for children, the most important thing to realize is that everything you tell them they should do, you have to do as well. Children learn from parents and imitate their behavior. If they see you being proactive in caring for your physical and emotional health, they will want to take care of themselves as well.
Here are some things to keep in mind.
Physical Health for Children
When we think of “health,” physical is the first type that typically comes to mind. This is especially true for children because when something is off physically, it’s much more noticeable. Here are some tips to keep the body in tip-top shape:
- Instill a healthy diet in your household. Cook kid-friendly meals using wholesome ingredients including lean protein, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables, while limiting sugary and fatty treats for special occasions. Include your children in meal preparation to promote a healthy relationship with food.
- Teach healthy stress management through exercise.
- Make sleep a priority for optimal development.
- Schedule regular check ups with their pediatrician, dentist, and optometrist. Teach your children the worth of maintenance and prevention when it comes to their physical well-being.
- Teach your children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol addiction, especially prescription abuse.
Mental Health for Children
We enter this world with a clean mental slate, but as we age, our experiences take their toll. Teaching your children good mental health habits now will ensure they’re able to handle what life throws their way as they grow.
- Show your kids unconditional love and support. You’re the only part of their world that can provide this, so failing to do so will teach them early that the world is a scary and aggressive place.
- Be encouraging with their studies. Reward them when they do well and provide support in areas where they need help. Don’t teach them to equate their worth with good grades. Rather, teach them that everyone has their areas where they’re strongest, while others we have to work extra hard to succeed.
- Encourage play dates and other activities to encourage healthy social skills.
- Allow your children to express their feelings and teach them healthy ways to deal with difficult emotions like anger, sadness and anxiety.
- Make time for play, creativity and self-expression. Having fun is an incredibly important component in promoting a child’s healthy development.
- If your child shows signs of mental health issues, seek professional help.
Parents work hard to do their best raising kids, but sometimes we let things fall through the cracks. When it comes to promoting physical and mental health, the best thing a parent can do is lead by example. Show you children how to lead a healthy life by eating well, exercising, and making time for check-ups. It’s not just physical health — it’s important to teach your children about the importance of mental health, as well. Be supportive and teach your children healthy ways to deal with emotions and they will have an easier time growing into the successful adults they are meant to be.
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