Between convenience foods, texting, video games and social media, helping kids to make healthy choices can be a challenge. There are a couple of fail-safe strategies, though. One trick is making the experience desirable. The other is to model the behavior you want to see.
You might think neither of those are fully attainable, but they are far simpler than they first appear. And everyone in the fam will be happier and healthier as a result.
Odds are good that your children love to create art. Sign them up for classes or summer camp at The Giggling Pig, where they can dive into projects like wood, ceramics and canvases. You can even take a class, too, which gives you the opportunity to bond with your child over art.
You’ll both come away from the experience with more confidence and increased self-esteem, it’s a chance to build family bonds, and you’ll be setting a great example for your kids. As Verywell Family explains, your kids are looking to you for an example of how to live their lives, so positive role modeling is a must.
You might be surprised to learn that more than half of all children want to spend more time with their parents. Plan outings that let them be with you as you both work up a sweat. Go hiking, kayaking or rock climbing. Spend time playing tag in the pool or go for a fun run together. Instead of driving, start walking and biking with children to school and extracurricular activities. You’ll not only ensure your family gets more exercise, it’s a chance to reduce the carbon footprint you’re leaving. Plus, you’ll find the time together is memorable and important to each one of you.
Make sure you avoid the drive-through lanes when you’re on your outings, though. Fast food tends to be light on nutrition and heavy on unhealthy fats, salt and sugar — a combination that is damaging to children and adults alike. Instead, pack a healthy picnic. You can even get your kids involved in menu planning, take them grocery shopping with you, and have them help prepare the meals. By engaging them in the process, they will take a stronger interest in eating right and be more inclined to try new flavors.
Lifelong learning is critical to well-being, providing purpose and passion throughout your life, and is linked with things like improved senior health, empathy and better social awareness. Those are all things you want for your kids, so it’s vital to instill a love of learning in children from an early age.
Learning should extend beyond the classroom, and as such can come in a variety of forms. There are personal and self-directed options, like hobbies and reading for pleasure, and there are formal options, such as through tutors, private lessons and school. And just like with other healthy pursuits, modeling this behavior is a must.
Parents are sometimes stumped when it comes to finding ways to model lifelong learning, but it’s the same for adults as it is for kids. Choose a topic you’re interested in and dive in! Read books or watch videos to study up on a subject that you enjoy. You can even take it a step further and take classes in whatever excites you. It could be anything from art to cooking techniques to computers. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, consider enrolling in a master’s program. There are programs that are flexible enough for working parents, plus you have the bonus incentive of a higher income level when you’re done. You’ll find lifelong learning is a winning strategy, all the way around.
Encourage your child to get creative by stopping by our art studio The Giggling Pig! We offer memberships, events, parties, camps, and walk-in classes! Visit our website for more info or give us a call at (203) 919-1153.