Parents as Role Models
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It is frightening but unfortunately true – Parents sincerely believe that their children are not observing how the Parents behave – in every aspect from minor almost insignificant habits to the more serious habits that will have a negative or positive influence of their lifestyle, health and future.
The most powerful way to influence and educate your kids in to a healthy lifestyle is to live by example. Act in a positive way and offer them a life that cannot be bought – a life of happiness, health and respect.
Kids learn by your behavior, actions and words. They are more than likely to imitate your actions and lifestyle.
A CRITICAL DUTY OF EVERY PARENT MUST SURELY BE TO “SET AN EXAMPLE.”
Let’s list a few habits that could possibly Influence the behavior of your children
Habit # 1: How you look
If you are going to be critical about how you look – this refers especially to Mother’s – then do so discretely to yourself. You don’t want to pass on open self-criticism, particularly to your daughters.
So in order to pass on the right image, take care of your body and mind to the best of your ability – but be aware that they are watching and listening.
Habit # 2: Emotional Eating
There is only one correct way to eat and that is by taking small mouthfuls and chewing every morsel well before swallowing. Be relaxed and enjoy the company and the food. Don’t take any emotional lows to the table. If you do, you will no doubt break all the rules related to the first important stage of the digestive system – not the message you want to pass on to the family.
Habit # 3: Too Much Texting, Emailing, Talking
It would be surprising if you had to allow these activities at the table. So you certainly want to discipline yourself to avoid them. Your actions send a stronger message than words. There has to be one set of rules for everyone.
Kids who spend too much time in front of screens often have problems with sleepiness, school performance, and over – or underweight issues. But kids who eat dinner with the family in a quiet relaxed mood have a lower risk of obesity.
Habit # 4: Emphasizing the Superficial and Material
Most little girls enjoy playing “dress-up”. But experts recommend care in not having these natural growing-up activities become more important to the exclusion of the healthy sporting and outdoor activities so essential to growing in to a strong healthy teen. This is the child you should wish to prepare and educate for their future lives. After all, what can be better than playing a sport with the child? This will leave an indelible stamp on their lives forever. Encourage them and be genuine in your praise.
Habit # 5: Drinking to Perk Up or Feel Better
If you come home after a bad day at work and say, "I need a drink," you show your child that alcohol is a good way to relieve stress and feel better about yourself. The same goes for relying on tons of coffee for energy.
Instead, find healthier ways to get stress relief or get energized. Try exercise, meditation, or a relaxing hobby and get the whole family involved. Those are all good ways to relax or recharge.
Habit # 6: Making Everything a Competition
Pointing out to your child that other kids (neighbors, classmates, siblings) are more athletic is rarely a good motivator.
Instead, try positive reinforcement. Praise him for doing his best. Offer to help find an activity he's passionate about and practice with them whenever and wherever possible. Talk about how you need to move every day and how it makes you feel good. Help him focus on the fun of being outside or competing against himself and others without the “must win” attitude, and enjoy the positives.
Habit # 7: Always Bickering, Arguing
If you and your spouse constantly snipe at each other, your kids are learning that it's OK to act that way. Stress is often a trigger for arguments.
Handling your stress well? If not, try researching some stress management techniques. Arguing may make you feel better at first but worse later. Plus, stress from arguments has a negative effect on kids. Bad stress has been shown to increase the risk of obesity.
Habit # 8: Gossiping
Criticizing the way someone looks or acts can be a sign of poor self-esteem. About to blab unnecessarily? Stop. Ask yourself if there's good reason for it. Chances are it's out of habit, so opt not to.
The same goes for indulging in a lot of Hollywood gossip TV shows and magazines for a pick-me-up. Instead, turn off the TV, put down the mags, and show your kids how to unwind and re-energize in healthy ways. Get everyone outside for a bike ride or game of hopscotch.
If you find yourself behaving in a negative way around your kids, don't ignore it and hope they didn't notice. Point out your mistake. Use it as a positive educational moment.
Get the kids involved by asking them to help you stop. They'll probably be more than happy to point it out if you do it again and that will help you become more aware. Studies suggest that families are more likely to find success if they support each other in their healthy choices.