Whether we like it or not, kids see their parents as their best role models. No matter what good habits we try to instill in their little minds, they can still pick up unhealthy practices that we, ourselves, are guilty of committing. We may try so hard to only educate them with good habits. But there are things we are unconsciously teaching them which can ultimately impact their health.
We may tell them about our experiences, struggles, failures, and past successes to give them an idea of what they need to avoid. But then, kids are way smarter and more sensitive than we give them credit for. We need to be careful or else, we can end up passing the following unhealthy habits.
More often than not, parents send mixed signals to their children. They tell kids to eat healthier food items, exercise regularly, sleep early, limit gadget use, start everything they finish on time, and even maintain good oral hygiene. But they, themselves, are the ones who don’t commit to what they preach.
Since kids notice everything, we can’t blame them if they choose not to commit to everything we say to them. For one, they are slowly learning how to make independent choices. If they find their parents being inconsistent, then chances are, they too will think they will turn out okay with inconsistency.
We need to show kids how to commit to being consistent to make it easier for them to see the results. For instance, we need to explain how important it is for kids to see their dentist regularly and how to take good care of their oral health. We can’t do this if we don’t take them to their dental appointments on time and if we show them how we do proper oral hygiene ourselves.
Many kids find their parents always eating fast and not enjoying their meals. Parents could be running late for a meeting, trying to catch up with their due tasks, or need to finish their household chores. But this eating habit can lead to several health issues, not just indigestion.
Eating too fast can lead to diabetes, obesity, stroke, and even heart disease. This is since when we eat too fast, we tend to overeat. Our bodies will find it harder to break down the food that we eat.
Take time to sit down with the whole family and actually enjoy your meals together. Mealtime is an important bonding time for the family, so be sure to be present. Chew your food properly and eat a healthy diet to entice your kids to do the same.
When we choose to put off tasks for a later date or time, we are unconsciously teaching our kids that it is okay to procrastinate. You may think of this as a way of helping yourself relax after being overwhelmed with your chores. But this is already helping kids realize that they too can do the same with their chores and their school work.
Remember that procrastinating stresses you out in the long run. You will still do your tasks but is likely to rush things out, which can cause you stress and anxiety. Since you now have a limited time to work on your tasks, your other chores will be put off, and the cycle never ends.
It is not enough that we tell our kids not to do the same or else they will suffer the consequences. We also need to show them how to do this by avoiding procrastination as much as possible. This will help teach kids responsibility so they won’t feel overwhelmed with what could have been simple tasks to accomplish.
Do your kids often see you lashing out because you feel angry, frustrated, and stressed out? According to a study, kids of often-angry parents turn up with disruptive behaviors. If your kids always see you fail to control your anger, they can end up being non-compliant, less emphatic, and are more aggressive.
They will also have a hard time realizing the benefits of keeping a cool head and will turn to violence if they don’t get what they want. Some kids end up with low self-esteem especially if their parents always shout at them for everything. There will be a never-ending cycle of poor anger management which can affect their social and mental health in the long run.
The last thing you want is your kids absorbing your uncontrolled temper. Find ways to handle your stress without shouting, lashing out, or saying things you never meant. If needed, take anger management classes to get the support you need.
There are tons of other unhealthy habits that many parents are unknowingly passing on to their kids. But know that is never too late to start changing for the better. Embrace a better and healthier lifestyle and show kids why there is a need for a healthy lifestyle change. Remember that your actions are many times louder than your words. Choose to be the kind of role model your kids deserve and you too will start enjoying the perks of a healthier lifestyle.