A Comprehensive 5-Step Guide for Raising Healthy Children

To a parent, happiness has only one possible meaning – seeing their children happy. Although eager to keep our kids fortunate and safe throughout their lives, most parents lose track of their little ones’ health along the way. For the first couple of years, even when puberty hits, we are always at the edge of our seats, immensely engaged and worried about their well-being. But, once they spread their wings and leave the nest, keeping them healthy is no longer up to us. What their lifestyle choices come to then is the care, patience and habits we’ve taught them to adopt from an early age.

Raising healthy children is therefore a continual process that takes place while they’re young, but leaves long-term consequences on their adult lives. Here are some thoughts on how to excel in raising a healthy person, rather than nursing a physically fit child.

1. It All Begins With a Parent

 

It rarely occurs that a child raised in an unhealthy environment grows up to be a health-savvy adult. Even those kids who have had their fair share of physical exercise and balanced nutrition can easily get faltered in their lifestyle choices whilst coming of age. Because children are extremely sensitive to their environment and tend to respond to different influences with utmost acceptance, a parent’s’ obligation is to make the best possible role-models of themselves. This includes a change in their behavior, habits and attitudes concerning healthiness.  

In order to help children adopt a positive standpoint towards health, parents should avoid empty lessons and superficial lectures, but teach children the importance of living a healthy life by presenting them with their own example instead. And, this process starts even before conceiving – healthy lifestyle habits that imply good nutrition, regular workouts and avoidance of harmful substances like alcohol and tobacco should begin prior to the pregnancy, continue during this blessed state and come as firmly established choices once the baby is born.  

2. The Importance of Continual Learning

 

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Even though new parents are usually informed about all potential difficulties that the first few years of child development might be inflicted by, learning about what to expect over the course of this time shouldn’t stop here. Child development is an endlessly intricate process that can take many different directions. You can anticipate a new change every few months, which is why getting familiar with the unique nature and characteristics of individual phases is crucial for preparing ahead.

Apart from continual physical progress that starts with the first teeth and ends with aggressive changes during adolescence, these phases of development are vital psychological changes that are just as important for a person’s well-being. Just as an adult, or even more so, a healthy child is one with a perfect balance between body and mind.

3. Prevent and Know How to Treat

 

Apart from leading a healthy lifestyle yourself, making your environment perfectly safe for raising children is another one of your concerns. Even those seemingly negligible details like putting a pair of extra seat belts in the back of your car or choosing a competent babysitter are actually crucial steps toward keeping your kid safe and healthy. Prevention can, therefore, take many different shapes, and should be made the number one priority in parenthood.

Apart from making routine check-ups and vaccinations a part of your family schedule, this includes protecting your child from potential maltreatment and abuse by staying involved in their social life in a friendly and unobtrusive manner. Treatment is required only when prevention falls short, but knowing exactly when, where and how to treat and medicate a sick child is also a part of planning ahead and preventing injuries.

4. Demonstrate and Explain

 

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Teaching your kids to stay healthy without giving them any cautionary tales or practical examples is the same as teaching math by making them learn complex formulas by heart instead of allowing them to understand what those formulas really stand for. Little can be learned without a method of demonstration and a gradual development of critical thinking.

Providing healthy meals and snacks and keeping your kids active and living a smoke-free life can be insufficient if not explained in terms that you children can understand. This is important because they will meet people outside of their family who will try to convince them differently – even if you are not smokers yourself, your kids will still be offered a smoke by their friends, which is why they need to comprehend why they should definitely refuse.

There’s a number of cautionary tales that can help you demonstrate the noxiousness and consequences of bad choices in a way that your kid will be able to grasp the significance and develop a firm standpoint of their own.

5. Introduce Positive Influences

 

It seems that the world continues to become a more dangerous and kid-unfriendly place with each new year. Spurred by the media from where they infiltrate whole communities, schools and families, bad influences are nowhere near hard to find, but keeping your child under a glass bell is not a solution either. Here’s where everything comes down to in-house education one more time.

Instead of having to always keep a watchful eye on your kids and monitor their social lives, it’s much better to introduce alternate influences that will interest and intrigue them and that will follow them throughout their lives, all the while encouraging positive behavior and healthy thoughts.

Instead of forbidding TVs and computers, consider some of the brilliant movies for children that cinematography is full of and educational games that can develop your children’s logical thinking and keep them entertained at the same time. Fighting bad influences is like tilting at windmills with a wooden sword – rather, teach your children how to dismantle them.
Raising a healthy child is never solely about teeth brushing and regular physicals. More importantly, it is a continual process aimed towards a child’s education and carried out by demonstrating a personal example. As long as the mind is healthy, the body will follow.

Jelena Cekic
zvezdanodrvo@gmail.com

Jelena Cekic is a creative writer and blogger at MyCity Web with a Master’s degree in Serbian Language and Literature from the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad. She is passionate about topics like lifestyle, art, child development, travel and gastronomy. Her latest writing attempts include works of fiction. Apart from being a movie aficionado, Jelena enjoys magic realism, black tea, red currant berries, cats, and declares herself as a Whovian.

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