Health usually isn’t too big of an issue with young children because most children are fairly healthy. On top of that, children are always running around each day and they usually eat as if their stomachs are bottomless pits. Still, it’s a good idea for parents to teach their children a few things about health, including proper diet and exercise. Your child obviously doesn’t need to follow some super strict diet or anything, but they should have some idea about the subject. Luckily, all it takes is a conversation or two with your child about health, exercise, and more. First of all, your child has to be interested in their health in order to care about it. So let’s get your child interested in their health!
Talking To Your Child
Some parents have some trouble talking to their young child, yet it isn’t difficult at all. From the beginning, you will need to let your child know how serious the conversations you are having with them are. Your child’s health is something that will affect them tremendously in the future, even if they aren’t aware of it. Point out the basics of health, diet, and exercise to your child. Therefore, start with some of these key points:
– Your child needs to be in good health or they will have tons of issues in the future.
– He or she needs to exercise regularly in order to remain healthy and avoid obesity.
– Proper diet involves limiting sugar – no matter how much your child loves it.
– Healthy living will make your child much happier and more successful down the road.
Of course, the first step toward teaching your child about their health and why they should care about it is to start the conversation. It’s a difficult conversation for some parents because they aren’t comfortable with speaking to their child on a serious adult-to-child level. Nothing is impossible though, and the issue isn’t a dire one, so you – as a parent – can wait a little bit to engage your child about his or her health. Therefore, just get that first conversation started, and you can get the ball rolling.
It shouldn’t be that difficult to get your child to care about their health. Obviously, you’ll have to use a lot of evidence to convince your child because they won’t care about what you’re saying at first. A great idea is to liken unhealthiness to feeling sick. In reality, no child enjoys being sick – some hate it. Your child is going to want to be healthy if they think it’ll lessen their likelihood of being sick – and it will. So then, feel free to use other true and easy to understand examples. Kids start to understand things pretty quickly when it directly affects them.
You’ll need to tell your child that they can’t do things that are unhealthy for them, especially things that are dangerous to a person’s health. For instance, tell your child the consequences of smoking and drinking alcohol. Most young children never smoke or drink regularly, but it can happen – you can prevent it though. Also, warn your child about the dangers involved with eating too much of anything and how it can affect their body. A lot of children won’t care now if they’re overweight, but it will affect them throughout their adulthood. Other things to mention to your child involve some guidelines on what they should eat, some ideas about how they can stay healthy, and plenty more information on general health.
However, you can’t be too overbearing on your child or they’ll do the exact opposite of what you’re saying. In the end, your purpose in life isn’t to bear down on a son or daughter to make them listen to your every word. Your job is to simply give them the education and knowledge they need to stay healthy throughout the rest of their life. To that end, don’t push the subject harder if your child doesn’t really pay attention to what you’re saying. Intervention might be needed if your child throws their health away, but the overwhelming majority of children don’t get to that point, so don’t worry.
Some topics to remember and touch up upon:
– General healthy living information
– Effects of drugs, alcohol, and smoking
– Obesity and how dangerous it is
– Eating healthy (To some degree because children are just children after all)
– Anything else you want to talk about with your child
Fortunately, educating your child about the importance of exercise should be pretty simple. Almost every kid loves to run around and be wild when they are young. That’s just how children are! So then, you’ll need to talk to your child about organized exercise, meaning more than just running around chasing after the family pet. Sooner or later, your child will grow out of their urge to run around all the time and he/she will need to do some form of structured exercise. You should find an outlet for your child’s energy (and a way for them to exercise to stay healthy) at some point in time.
Luckily, there are hundreds of ways in which a young child can exercise. There are team sports, karate or kickboxing classes, local gyms, and more. You shouldn’t have to worry too much about finding something that your child will enjoy. In the end, you’re trying to get them to exercise and stay healthy. Talk to your son or daughter about the importance of exercise. Get the idea into your child’s head that they can be even healthier and stronger if they play a sport or work out on a regular basis. Obviously, a child can’t work out at the level a teenager or adult can, but they can still exercise nonetheless.
Anyways, getting your child interested in a sport is a trial-and-error process. Just play some sports every once in awhile with your child to get an idea of what they enjoy doing. From there, you can talk to them about playing a sport for a team. Many children will be intrigued by the idea, which is a great thing. On the other hand, different children will prefer to stick by themselves or not exercise at all. You should get your child a small home gym set so that they can exercise every day. You can even join them in the weight lifting or cardiovascular work. Of course, joining your child will make them much more interested in exercising.
The benefits associated with regular exercise and starting it at a young age are undeniable. Therefore, all parents should push their child to exercise regularly in some way. Some children will play team sports, others will do karate, and some will stay at home with a weight set. Either way, you want your child to be healthy, so you should let them do whatever they enjoy most.
Convincing Your Child To Care
Finally, you must convince your child to care about their health. This is no easy task, especially if your child is stubborn and likes to sit around doing nothing. Any child can be taught to care about their own health with a little work though. Anyways, giving your child a reason to care will give them a reason to stay healthy for the rest of their life. Let’s see how you can get your child interested in their health!
In the beginning, you’ll just be talking to your child about health and fitness, but you should be throwing in small bits about why your child should mind your words. You need to tell them AND show them all of the effects of unhealthy living. Show your child what a drug addict, alcoholic, constant gambler, morbidly obese person, or a generally unhealthy person looks like. Right away, your child should be both disgusted and worried about their future. You should remember to tell them that they are not currently on the path to being like those people. It’s almost a guarantee that your child will start to be interested in their health.
Next, you should show your child examples of healthy and successful adults in the world. Start with athletes (that don’t use PEDs) and other figures that your child is a fan of. Heck, you can show your child that Justin Bieber is healthy overall and wildly successful at the age of 16. Make sure that you use figures your child will recognize or else you’ll just be giving them random pictures that mean little to nothing to them.
Getting these thoughts into your child’s head is fairly simple, but making the images stick is a bit more difficult. However, your child will start to work toward being healthy and fit as soon as they realize how important it is. The last thing you want is for your child to end up realizing the importance of a healthy lifestyle when they are in their 30s with tons of health problems. Most children aren’t stupid though, so you should be able to get through to your child with a little bit of work.
Information on Child Health
Exercise and Young Children