written by: Amanda Henderson
There are so many different things we are always trying to teach our children, from academics to manners. One of the best things they can learn to carry with them their entire life is how to be healthy. When your child is younger, it’s easier to ensure they are making healthy choices since most of those choices are made directly by you. As your child gets older and enters the teenage years, you have less direct control and have to be savvier in your parenting approach.
Little Lambs Home Daycare Agency knows the parenting journey is challenging. Let’s discuss a few areas of your teen's health where you can impact and impart wisdom.
Show 'Em How It's Done
One challenge as a parent is managing shifting priorities to stay on top of the needs of young loved ones. If there just isn't enough time in a day, then fitness goals, education pursuits, career choices, even getting enough sleep may get put on the back burner. But some of our most powerful lessons in life come from the example set by our parents, so if you really want to help your kids get off on the right foot in life, that typically means showing them the value of education. This can start with yourself, such as through books, podcasts, finishing your diploma or earning an advanced degree.
You Are What You Eat
Healthy eating can be one of the greatest challenges of a teenager’s life. With busy schedules and the freedom to drive, there are countless fast food drive-thru restaurants calling their name. Despite the often-hectic schedule, this is an important time for you to continue to provide healthy home cooked meals.
Educate your child on the importance of nutrition and caring for your body, and Martha Stewart points out you can even teach them how to cook for themselves. Instead of just asserting your authority to demand they eat their dinner, teach them what foods are important and why. Also, be sure to exercise portion control by serving meals and snacks on smaller plates, and by drinking plenty of filtered water. These measures will help you and your family avoid overeating. Armed with knowledge and cooking skills, your teen can develop healthy eating habits to carry into adulthood.
Fit as a Fiddle
Meal Prep on Fleek explains exercise helps prevent diseases, relieves stress, increases strength, and improves mood. If your child is on the high school soccer team or plays club baseball, they likely already get plenty of exercise. If your child prefers to sit in front of the television playing video games all day, then they need to learn how to incorporate more exercise into their daily life. In addition to teaching them the importance of moving your body, you can show them there are many different ways to exercise and help them find an activity they love—or even one you can do together, like tennis or golf.
Hit the Road
In addition to keeping your teen healthy through diet and exercise, you also need to instill safe driving habits. The joy of their newfound freedom may cause them to overlook the weight of responsibility and throw caution to the wind. Unfortunately, teenagers are at a higher risk of crash and injury behind the wheel.
You can teach your child safe driving by setting the example of what a safe driver looks like and by continuing to emphasize the importance of focusing on the road and removing distractions. It is also a good idea to explain auto insurance laws and what insurance covers, helping them understand different coverages and the consequences of an accident. And, for your peace of mind, you can even get an app that helps you stay on top of what’s going on when your kid hits the road.
Parenting is hard and comes with many challenges. Equipping your teen with the knowledge and skill set to prioritize their health and take good care of themselves is one of the greatest successes they can achieve. Teach your teenage child healthy habits, and they will carry them into adulthood for the rest of their life.
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Early Years at Home
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