A lot goes into raising children. It can be very overwhelming! Sometimes, it’s enough just to get through the day, but if you want your child to experience happiness, success, and good health as an adult, you have to start planting those seeds early.
Here are just a few ways you can support your child’s long-term mental and physical health with things you can do today.
How to Support Your Child’s Long-Term Physical Health
Here are examples of certain things you can do to help support your child’s long-term physical health:
Model Eating and Serve Healthy Food
Being a kid is hard, and the hardships they face now can have a huge impact on their lives in the long run. According to a recent study, childhood bullying can lead to weight problems later in life. Not to mention, habits your child builds now can have a huge impact on the habits they maintain as an adult.
Serving healthy food from a young age, and eating those foods yourself, can help normalize fruit and vegetables.
If your child grows up thinking that’s just what you’re supposed to eat, they will be more likely to continue eating those foods later in life. That can reduce the chances of them experiencing dissatisfaction with their weight, even if they were bullied, and it can boost their chances of living a longer life.
Model and Encourage Regular Exercise
Not only is it important to eat healthy foods, it’s important to encourage your child to engage in regular exercise.
That might mean taking your older child to the gym or a yoga class with you, but modeling active behavior doesn’t mean you have to pay to take classes or buy a gym membership! Staying active with your child from an early age is all it takes.
A few ways to be active in your everyday life include:
- Getting outside, even if it’s cold or rainy
- Limiting screen time for kids and adults
- Getting the kids involved with chores, like raking and vacuuming
- Finding something you like to do together, like going for walks
By making exercise something more than lifting weights at the gym, you can help your child have a better relationship with exercise as an adult.
Running, in articular, is an excellent exercise for children. Running is a healthy sport for people of all ages. Also, it doesn’t cost a lot to get started. Generally, it is easy and affordable to find clothes and shoes that support the body and protects the feet. Just For Kix is a good place to find a wide selection and at a good price. Here are a few specific ways running can teach your child life lessons:
You Only Get Back as Much as You Give – Patience
Children often focus on the end of the game. They want the trophy, the ribbon, and the status of completing the run. But, they are kids. When they have to push a little, they quickly become disillusioned.
Teach them patience as you practice waiting and working.
This part of their training is often the first hurdle you must jump. The younger the child, the harder it is explaining what it means to take their body to a new level of health. They should be encouraged and praised for pushing on after they want to quit.
This is a teachable moment. This is where you teach them to challenge themselves. You may want to teach them to pace themselves. They cannot mature their game like an experienced adult.
It is Okay to Mess Up
Nobody is perfect. Children are little humans, separated only by age and knowledge. Making a mistake just means you are trying. Teach your child to shake it off. Teach them how to let it go. If you do not address this, your child will internalize their mistakes, which can damage their self-esteem. This is a very important part of their training.
Teach them to look at the mistake and learn from it. Then let it go. Learning how to forgive themselves will benefit them for their entire life.
Learn to Control Your Emotions
Learning to control your emotions is a skill many adults never learn. Make your child the exception. It is normal to get angry, sad, and frustrated. But, we do not have to act on those feelings. You will teach them how to express their feelings in a healthy way.
How to Win or Lose With Class
Everyone wants to be a winner. But, if a child is not taught the proper way of winning, few people will be there to pat them on the back. Your child should learn to let others brag on them.
If your child throws a tantrum because they did not win, it is up to you to correct their behavior. After everything is calm, address the problem and teach them not to be a sore loser.
Related Information: Positive Effects of Sports on Academic Performance
Things Will Always Get Better
Children sometimes take a small issue and turn it into a major problem. This is when you can teach them to just watch for it because it will get better. It will not rain forever and the sun won’t always be so bright.
As you and your child progress, you can teach them how different foods affect them. Help them to experiment with foods and chart how good they make them feel.
They will learn how sugary snacks can fail them. This is all part of helping your child be the best they can be.
Monitor Their Physical Health Closely
One of the main and most underrated keys to maintaining long-term physical health is closely monitoring their physical health. Health problems such as vertigo (otherwise known as Chakkar Aana) can be difficult to notice. For example, causes of vertigo include Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BBPV), which is an issue with the ear canal, and can have symptoms including ear pain, ear ringing, hearing loss, or ear stuffiness.
So, you might believe that your child’s ear pain is nothing serious, but if left untreated or un-examined, it could lead to something serious.
The same goes for all other areas of their physical health. If something seems wrong, never hesitate to have it examined further.
How to Support Your Child’s Long-Term Mental Health
Here are a few tips that can help you support your child’s long-term mental health:
Model and Encourage Healthy Friendships
The role of friendships in our lives is extremely important. Friends can boost happiness, decrease stress, improve your confidence, provide encouragement, and help you cope with life challenges.
It’s important to encourage your child’s friendships by asking them about their friends, allowing them to invite them over, and fostering ways for your child to make new friends.
It means modeling healthy adult friendships too! Don’t be afraid to take off for an evening out with the girls or invite a few friends over for dinner. When your child sees you make time to nurture your friendships, they will be more likely to take the time to nurture their friendships as an adult too.
Read in Front of and to Your Children
You probably already understand the importance of reading to your child. Kids whose parents read aloud to them hear over a million more words than children whose parents don’t read to them. That can be a huge advantage when it comes to reading and writing in school.
However, providing your child with lifelong reading habits means more than reading their favorite book with them before bed every night.
Parents who read for fun in front of their kids are more likely to have kids that grow up to read too, so sit down on the couch and try reading for fun yourself!
Encourage Their Interests
Every child has natural talents. Unfortunately, if they think those talents are dumb, or if they think they aren’t very good at whatever it is they’re interested in, they may drop it for good. This can cause your child to develop low self-esteem, not to mention it sets them up to have a less fulfilling adulthood.
Help your child develop their true talents, no matter what they may be. It is important to note that you should support them in their interests, but that doesn’t mean you should try and make them interested in something just because you want them to be.
If they don’t enjoy what they’re doing, they aren’t going to give it their all, and they’re likely to drop it as soon as they become an adult.
Practicing arts and crafts has a wide variety of mental health benefits for children. Sewing, for example, can improve their motor skills while also increasing their creativity and imagination.
As you can imagine,many kids want to be more creative and smart, but it is not as easy as you think. Doing art and craft related activities with your children is a great way to encourage their interested and can can improve their creativity and other skills.
Here is a nice infographic which describes other heath benefits of sewing:
Concluding Thoughts – Supporting Your Child’s Long-Term Mental and Physical Health
It’s important to care for your child’s mental and physical health right now, but it’s also important to think about your child’s mental and physical health in the future.
The tips on this list will help you set them up for a lifetime of personal success.