If you are a parent you have agonized over this in one way of another.
Some of you struggle because your kids are gaining weight or they are lazy and don't want to do anything or they just don't seem to care about their health.
Sometimes our kids are great but we see their friends struggle with obesity and making bad choices. Either way, do you want to know how to raise healthy kids?
Today's blog is going to give you 10 tips that I believe will help you to empower you children to be their best and to be healthy and grow up to be be healthy.
TIP #1: Model what you want them to do. I am sorry but if you are overweight and never workout then how do you expect your kids to develop good habits? If you smoke, eat fast food, and drink soda then why is the blue hell do you think that your kids are going to be healthy.
This is BY FAR the most important thing. Have you ever seen those shows on TV where the kids are "out of control" and some expert comes in to "fix the kids"? That's right. They fix the parents first.
If you have an expectation that your kids are going to live a healthy lifestyle then you need to live a healthy lifestyle. You need to workout everyday and eat good foods. You need to have a positive attitude and have gratitude. You need to do what you expect your kids to do. Period.
TIP #2: Do activities that involve some sort of movement. Though a ball around. Play football. Bouncy gyms are cool. Rock climbing. Hiking. Biking. Long walks. There are a lot of different things that you can do as a family that involve you moving your butts. If you have a weekend activities of going to the movie theater or going our for pizza then how are you teaching your kids to be active? Thank about it.
My wife always says about our dog, "A tired dog is a happy dog." Kids are the same way. If you are not doing things to make your kids tired then you are not raising healthy kids. I know. I just compared kids to dogs. If the shoe fits....
TIP #3: ENCOURAGE them to play sports. Notice the wording there. ENCOURAGE. I didn't use the work MAKE or FORCE or sign them up. If you make a kids do something that he or she doesn't want to do it is going to teach them to hate sports. TRUST ME.
I do think that there are better ways to make your kids do sports. I think the best way to to tell them this, "You are at the age now that you should do a sport. Which would you rather do: soccer, baseball or flag football?" Kids love to make decisions. Let them.
TIP #4: Participate in heir activities WITH them. If they play baseball then throw with them. If they play soccer get them a net and kick a ball with them. Whatever they choose for an activity then YOU need to help them to improve and do their best.
PLEASE UNDERSTAND ME. Do not EVER try to out coach the coach or undermine the coach. We see that in little league all the time. You know what I mean. The parent that is telling the kid what to do during the game or teaching them different things then the coach does. Drives me nuts. Don't be that parent.
TIP #5: Always encourage them to do their best and find the good in everything they do. You can do this in so many ways. If you are rock climbing point out their great first move if they don;t make it to the top. If they play little league tell them that their positioning in the field was perfect even if they make an error. You need to teach your children that sports and activities are a positive experience.
Don't try to re-live your youth through them. Don't make it about being the best. Make it about then being better and being the best they can be.
My step-sons Justin and Dallas both play little league. To be frank, they aren't very good. Each game we go to we cheer for them as they come to the plate, congratulate and encourage them no matter the outcome of the at bat and tell them they did great on the way home. That is how you teach your kids to enjoy sports.
TIP #6: Limit TV and video game time. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Some parents will say that you can have a certain amount of time. Let's say 1 hour of each during the week and 2 hours of each on the weekend. You can empower them to choose the times! You can also have "no TV or video game" blocks of time. It's up to you but it is a good idea to not give kids unlimited time in front of the boob tube.
TIP #7: Pay your kids to workout. I know. Totally and completely crazy. I know a guy that paid his daughter to do a sport in COLLEGE. That's a little extreme. Let me explain what I mean.
You pay your kids to do choirs? Why not pay them to exercise? If a lap around the neighborhood is a mile then tell that you will give them 50 cents to do a lap. Do you want that new video game or not? You can also trade exercise for TV time. Don't get excessive with this but it can help to teach your kids that exercise has VALUE.
Caveat. Don't ever use exercise as punishment. I've seen people do this and I don't think it is a good idea. It teaches kids to dislike exercise and fitness.
TIP #8: Feed your kids properly. We have rule in our house. No soda comes through out front door. If we don't put crap into their bodies then they won't feel like a crap. We also will NOT enter a fast food restaurant. Remember tip #1, model good behavior? They will do what we do.
How do you eat? Are you drinking beer and eating chips all day on a Sunday telling your kids, "Get outside, get some exercise!" That is not good parenting. It's called being a hypocrite.
Empower your kids to make a healthy choices. "Do you want grapes or a banana for your snack? ....But mom...I want chips! ....Have fun being hungry Johnny!"
TIP #9: Do not ever belittle or make fun of your fat kids. This is especially true if you have more than one kid and one of them is healthy and one or more is not so much.
Have you ever seen a parent talk about their kids and say, "He's still got his baby fat..... look at his little gut, how cute.... I hope he grow get's taller...."
This is dis-empowering and cruel. Accept your kids for what they are but you must want more for them. When you try to shame your kids into losing weight you simply push them into depression and guilt. Kids don't know what to do.
By the way, saying things like, "Yeah...she's heavy just like her mom." or "He has his dad's belly" is narcissistic and cruel. You need to accept that your child is a reflection of you and you need to take responsibility for their health. Stop making excuses for them and take responsibility.
TIP #10: Talk to your kids about the importance of health. Be real with them. Show them examples of healthy people and how it feels to be healthy. Hopefully you are already very healthy and you can show them what that is like. Are you vibrant and energetic? They may scowl at you but they notice. Does your neighbor go running everyday and look healthy. Point that out to them.
You want to help your kids create an abundance mindset. In other words you want them to understand that we can all be healthy and feel good. We want kids to know what they can choose which path to go. We want them to know that we have faith in them and that they can be healthy and vibrant. Focus on what they can be and not what they shouldn't be.
Always encourage them to be more and don't encourage them to "not be less".
The last thing I will say really isn't a "tip". It's more like a mulligan.
Not all kids are going to respond positively to all this. It's a sad fact of life but it is true. In the end all we can do is our best and as our kids grow they will get more and more independent and they will be able to make their own choices; we can't make them do anything. We have to accept this and try anyway.
Not all kids are going to want to be athletic and fit and that's OK.
Don't beat yourself up. If you model the correct behaviors and you create for them an environment to succeed then you have done your job. In the end that is what matters.
The question to ask yourself is this: Are you the person that you want your kids to become? I certainly hope so because they will become you. I hope, for your sake, you want them to be just like you.
Are you looking for a place to workout? Are you local to Central Florida? If you are then how about giving ASM Fitness in Eustis a try. If your child is 13 or older they can workout with you!
If you want to check it out just come by one of our classes. Here is out schedule:
Monday - Friday 6am and 6pm
Monday, Wednesday, Friday noon
Monday - Thursday 5:30pm
Tuesday and Thursday 10am.
We have time for everybody. Most workouts are 30-60 minutes and are different all the time. No heavy weights and no machines. It's all functional fitness! Call or email me with questions!
Today is the last day to sign up for our 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge. If you are ready to register then CLICK HERE.
To your success!
Rick Copley, Your Best Fitness Coach