Photo via Pixabay by StockSnap
Healthy choices make up a big part of our life decisions when we want to stay happy and in good shape, but it’s not always easy to teach those choices. For young people, the ability to pick the right foods, make a schedule that allows for lots of exercise, and learn how to avoid negative influences is crucial, even when they’re still in elementary school. And by learning sooner how to care for their bodies and minds, they can stay on a healthy path well into adulthood.
So how do you get started? One of the easiest things you can do to help your child make good decisions is to make them for yourself. When young people see their parents doing the right thing, they are much more likely to follow suit, whether it’s eating vegetables or staying active. And by keeping the lines of communication open, you can also help your child learn to come to you about whatever is going on in their life, good or bad.
Eating the right foods is essential for kids of all ages, and the earlier you can start them on a variety of fruits and vegetables, the better. It’s also important to steer your child away from caffeine and to stay hydrated, so keep handy a selection of water, decaffeinated tea, and juices for them to choose from. Offering these options at home lays the foundation for your children to make better eating choices when they’re away from home and you’re not there to guide them.
Prepare them for the road
Teaching your teenager to drive and preparing them for the dangers of driving are two different things, and both can be scary. Ideally, you’ve acquainted your teen with the rules of the road as early as possible. This helps when it’s time to take the driver’s test and ingrains the importance of driver safety. Make a point to talk to your child about refraining from texting or talking on the phone while driving, and consider riding along with them on a regular basis. If possible, don’t allow your new driver to have teenage passengers for several months to avoid potential distractions. If you haven’t yet researched auto insurance for your teen, do so ahead of time so that you are prepared financially and logistically for this critical step. Know that the average annual premium for a teen driver who meets specific criteria is $160.
Talk about peer pressure
Peer pressure can affect kids at just about any age, so it’s important to talk to them about how to stay strong in the face of negativity. When it comes to making their own decisions and learning how to forge their own path in life, knowing they have your support and guidance will help immensely when the time comes to stand their ground on difficult issues like experimenting with drugs and alcohol or skipping classes.
Help them avoid temptation
Teens are often faced with a lot of temptation when it comes to engaging in unhealthy behaviors, but if you can help them stay busy and find activities that rely on their continued good health -- such as playing a sport or taking up dance or a musical instrument -- they will have a much better chance of making good decisions when faced with a potentially harmful choice. Talk to your child about staying active and looking for ways they can engage in healthy activities both in and out of school.
Healthy choices aren’t always the easiest ones to make, so it’s imperative that you talk to your child about how to stay strong when faced with the most difficult ones. Being able to consider the future is important where good decisions are involved, and young people can’t always do that without a little guidance.