6 Ways Parents Can Help Their Kids Make Good Choices
Author: Amanda Henderson
Parenting is one of the most difficult — yet worthwhile — challenges you could ever undertake. One of the hurdles parents face is helping their children navigate healthy lifestyle choices without imparting a sense of guilt or shame.
Revolution Modern Martial Arts strives to coach kids towards physical fitness and mental excellence. Through their program, kids can develop self-confidence and discipline needed to be successful in other aspects of their lives, from home to school and later in their careers. Call 919-359-1776 to learn more about this well-rounded, professional program.
Here are six ways you can help your kids make good choices.
1. Lead by Example
If you’re old enough, you might remember the iconic public service announcement line, “I learned it by watching you.” There is some truth to this cliché. Children often model their behavior after their parents. While demonstrating the behavior you want your child to engage in is no guarantee they will follow your lead, it’s a good place to start.
For example, if you want to encourage your children to follow their dreams, follow your own. If you’ve always wanted to be a business owner, consider pursuing an online business degree to learn business management, accounting, business and marketing. If you have a passion for video games, you could earn a degree in video game programming. Whatever your children are passionate about, it’s not too early to start talking about how to achieve their dreams.
2. Help Them Find Healthy Hobbies That They Enjoy
Children are more likely to stick with healthy habits that they enjoy. People who want their children to learn discipline, get more exercise and maintain a healthy weight should consider matching their child with a sports program they like. For example, martial arts can improve heart health, build muscle, promote weight loss and maintenance, improve reflexes, improve mental health and more. And by encouraging them to engage in something they enjoy, they will be more inclined to stick with it and develop good habits for the long haul.
3. Modify Your Home Environment
You and your kids are more likely to choose healthy behaviors if you set up your home environment in a way that promotes them. For example, if you want your kids to eat healthier, Eat This, Not That suggests throwing out all the junk food in the pantry and keeping healthy snacks on hand instead. If you want them to get more exercise, set up some fun activities in the yard that they can easily access whenever they want to.
4. Make Your Child Part of the Process
Your kids will be more motivated to make healthy changes if you make them a part of the process instead of just telling them what to do. Next time you go to the grocery store, let them pick a new healthy food they have never tried before. Teach them to read food labels. Let them help you choose and cook healthy meals.
5. Don’t Smoke
Children of parents who smoke are more likely to have allergies, asthma, ear infections, pneumonia and bronchitis. They are also more likely to start smoking, which Partnership to End Addiction asserts can make them more likely to try other drugs. If you are unable to quit, don’t smoke around your child.
6. Employ Positive Reinforcement
Rewarding your child for choosing healthy behaviors is more effective than punishment for making bad choices. Instead of scolding your child for playing video games, praise your child for doing something active and offer to join in. Instead of assigning “good” and “bad” labels to food, keep your child’s favorite healthy foods on hand.
No parent or child is perfect. Bad choices will be made. The key is to focus on making better choices consistently instead of dwelling on mistakes. Start with yourself, make the good choices the easy choices, and you should see the results you’re hoping for.