How Kids Learn: 8 Tips for Setting Healthy Examples
Most parents have one thing in common: we all want to raise healthy, happy kids. It’s built into our parental goals.
The question is: how?
Kids are sponges, so the best way to raise a happy child is to model the kinds of behavior you want your child to emulate. If you want your kid to eat a well-balanced diet, then it’s time to set the bar and eat properly most of the time—the occasional birthday cake is completely understandable. If you want them to be active, then it’s time to stop telling your kids to get off the TV and go outside from the vantage of your couch. Get up and go outside too. If you want them to prioritize learning, then you should show a commitment to your own continued education, whether it be personally or professionally.
This advice is all well and good, but also, vague. Let’s dive a little further into how to set healthy examples for your children.
Setting Healthy Examples
The key to parenting—no matter your style—is modeling positive behavior. Here are some areas you want to set healthy examples for your mini-me’s:
Children have a lot to say, some things could be fantastical, but often they just want to be included in the conversation, so let them have a say. Even if what they have to say is nonsensical, like they just came inside after riding their pet unicorn. Why not ask questions about their adventure instead and let your kids take the lead? This teaches them that their voices are important and that they deserve to be heard.
This is perhaps one of the hardest teachables for parents, especially if you’re prone to anxiety; as it’s hard to teach something you struggle with yourself. If you want your child to truly be happy, they need to learn how to co-exist with their passing feelings and emotions, as it’s all a part of the human experience.
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Hot tip: Spend every meal you can at the table (cue Sunday dinners, every night) free from technology, because studies find this leads to better grades and good mental health.
Hot tip: Do your BodyRockPlus workouts in front of them, so they come to believe exercise is a normal part of everyone’s day!
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It may be tempting to encourage your children to eat their meal or get good grades and as a reward, they get a cookie for their efforts—but, take our advice, don’t. Give them a sticker, a toy, or some kind of experience, just not food. What you’re doing is skewing your kids’ perception of healthy food; junk food is sacred while healthy food is readily available (therefore, boring). You can’t on one hand educate them about the pitfalls of sugar and then reward their good grades with ice cream, kinda contradictory, right?
Setting Healthy Example for Kids
Many of us dream of having kids and we envision a bright future for them, but what we soon come to realize after having kids is just how damn hard it is. They watch everything you do, they’re learning from our words, our actions and how we respond to situations (the good and the bad) so it can be a real headsplitter when you realize just how easy it is to teach the wrong things.
Instead of getting caught up in a sinkhole of worry, always remember to do your best and that it’s human to err; and most importantly, it’s about being a present and positive role model in your little human(s) life. Sign up for BodyRock+ if you haven’t already. Score a free trial, and try some classes with the kiddies. Our beginner challenges, like our Beginner Bootcamp, Beginner Strength series and Beginner Yoga.