In modern-day America, children are becoming more and more susceptible to health and behavioral issues. As a parent, this can be alarming to hear since the well-being of your children is your responsibility.
However, following the seven ways listed below, you can ensure that your little ones abide by what’s good for them.
- Discourage Addictions
Drug abuse is a common issue in many households, particularly those with teenagers. Growing up, kids are prone to forming addictions due to peer pressure or needing an escape. To prevent your children from falling into this trap, set clear boundaries regarding using substances like alcohol or tobacco.
If they overstep these boundaries, put punishments in place. You must also educate and create awareness in your children of the harmful effects of substance use and abuse and why they should stay away from such or quit. When it comes to peer pressure, you must teach your kids how to hold their values close to themselves, despite what others around them are doing.
Where escapism is concerned, children dealing with issues look for an escape outlet to help them cope and find such in using drugs. Make sure your child does not engage in escapism, make them feel comfortable enough to share their feelings with you, and provide them with healthy solutions for their problems.
Addictions can be a painful challenge for families to recover from, but with the right help and resources, you can restore your healthy family unit.
Unfortunately, if your child has already reached the point of addiction, check out www.delphihealthgroup.com to get them the help they need. With multiple rehabilitation centers in the United States, you can choose the one closest to you and get the possible treatment for your child.
- Promote a Healthy Diet
A majority of the issues concerning children are health problems arising from poor dietary intake. Factors contributing to a poor diet are greater consumption of processed and junk foods compared to organic and healthy ones, eating untimely, and over-eating or under-eating.
The first step to mitigate these factors is to make healthy foods taste as good as unhealthy ones. The biggest reason why children prefer junk food over healthy food is that it is packed with flavor.
As a parent, creating healthy yet delicious recipes, such as homemade pasta for lunch or chopped vegetables with dips as a mid-day snack, shall make your kids enjoy them as much as a bag of chips.
Furthermore, promote eating together at the dinner table so that a time is set for each meal. That shall also help you monitor your child’s food intake as they eat right before you. You can add to or subtract from their meals as needed.
- Incorporate Exercise into their Routine
One of the best ways to stay healthy and fit physically and mentally is through exercise. Particularly for children of growing age, exercise is of grave importance.
A report by the US Department of Health and Human Services stated that regular physical activity could help children improve cardio-respiratory fitness, build strong bones, reduce weight (excess), and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Moreover, The Journal of School Health concluded that physically active students have better grades, school attendance, cognitive performance, and classroom behaviors. That shows the positive impact of exercise on the body and mind of a child.
Hence, incorporating the recommended 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous intensity daily exercise into your children’s routine shall yield highly favorable results on their well-being. These exercises can range between a plethora of types, from team sports like football and basketball, which build strength and healthy competition, to activities like Zumba or ballet classes that are entertaining and skillful.
- Set a Bedtime
Getting ample rest is necessary for individuals of all ages due to the several internal processes in the body. Your body repairs cells, restores energy, and releases hormones and proteins essential for growth and development while you’re asleep.
Because they are in the process of growing, children need greater amounts of sleep than adults, including naps, to fully develop and mature healthily. Healthy sleeping patterns can even help reduce the risk of obesity and other harmful physical health issues. As a parent, you must set a bedtime for your kids that ensures they get their recommended10-13 hours of sleep for preschoolers, 9-12 hours for school-age kids, and 8-10 hours for teenagers.
To make your kids stick to their bedtime better, pack their day with enough physical and mental stimulation that they’re guaranteed to be tired and sleepy by day end.
- Give Them Outdoor Exposure
The digital age we find ourselves in has led to children becoming stuck indoors with screens in front of them. This over-exposure to technology renders children physically and mentally unfit since they are not spending time outdoors interacting and playing around with kids their age.
Getting children out of the house and on their feet is necessary to overcome this issue. The best way to do so is to plan outdoor family activities, such as picnics, biking, or hiking, to familiarize your kids with the outdoors and initiate friendships between them and other kids.
Once they are comfortable enough, set an outdoor play time for them in the evenings and take them to their nearby park to play around with their friends. Keep an eye on them as you sit on the bench or walk with fellow parents at the park.
Doing so can also help you get to know other parents better and ensure your child is in good company.
- Monitor Their Screen Time
The greatest challenge to parents today is keeping their kids away from screens. Due to the constant stimulation they provide, children get hooked to screens early on and refuse to give them up.
A national survey has concluded that the average American child spends 4 to 7 minutes in unstructured play outdoors and over 7 hours daily in front of a screen. These alarming numbers speak for themselves as the issue of over-exposure to technology grows bigger and bigger. So how should you, as a parent, curb this issue?
The best approach to adopt is to closely monitor screen time and usage instead of banning it. Children do not take restrictions well, as their naturally curious minds encourage them to do what they shouldn’t. Hence, limiting their screen time to no more than 2 hours a day and encouraging them to watch educational yet entertaining content instead of playing video games is a great way to make their use of technology beneficial for them.
- Lead by Example
Last but not least is remembering that kids follow that which they observe. That makes leading by example the ultimate method for making your kids abide by what’s good for them. If children watch you do that which you prohibit them from, it makes them feel like rules do not apply equally and hence are not worth following.
Therefore, if you want your kids to follow a particular lifestyle that contains a healthy diet, exercise, limited screen exposure, outdoor activities, and saying no to addictions, you must do the same. Furthermore, setting any limitation on your child means you must apply the same to yourself so that they acknowledge your fairness.
The pressure of raising children in a healthy environment for their optimal growth and development is shared by all parents equally. While it can be daunting to ensure that your kids adopt a healthy lifestyle, you can use the abovementioned ways to help you out in doing so.
Always remember that your little ones look up to you, so having a positive mindset and supporting them throughout all that life has to offer is the best thing you can do for them as their unconditionally loving caretakers.