Raising Kids with Healthy Habits

Life Balance

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Raising Kids with Healthy Habits

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Raising Kids with Healthy HabitsWant to adopt healthy habits for yourself? Spread the love! Helping your kids to eat better, stay active, and practice good financial habits is a winner for everyone.

For starters, it's simply good parenting to model the behaviors you want your children to adopt. More than that, involving the whole family can create a virtuous cycle of positive reinforcement. Adopting a new habit can be hard, but it would be even harder to do it all by yourself. Changing your habits alongside people who love you makes it so much easier.

Show Commitment

A great place to start with this is to pick one habit, then take small actions that reinforce it and show your commitment to doing it better. For instance, if you want to eat healthier, stop buying the junk food that you've been putting in your pantry and refrigerator. If there are no chips and sodas in the house, every member of the household is likely to eat just a little bit better, day in and day out.

Similarly, you can make exercise a regular part of your household routine. One easy way to do this is to get a big dog and bring one of the kids with you when you take it for a walk. You get fresh air and some quality time with your child, and the youngster thinks of it as "getting outside with Fido" (fun!) rather than "exercising with Mom" (boring!).

One other way to show commitment is to deliberately keep things positive. Energy is infectious -- spread yours around!

Learn by Doing, Learn by Teaching

As you encourage new habits in yourself and your family, make a point to emphasize learning new things rather than getting everything "correct" on the first try. When you give people permission to try things, screw up, and try again, they're much likelier to grow in a good direction.

For your kids, the best thing you can do is to teach them to learn by getting their hands dirty. Some examples:

  • Want to eat healthier? Get in the kitchen and start making a mess -- eventually it will be a healthy, delicious mess.
  • Want to learn about computers? Start programming. (Code Year is a great place to start.)
  • Want to get better at handling money? Set up a bank account and a spreadsheet today and start tracking and budgeting.
  • Want to get fitter? Skip the elaborate workout plan for now and start with some pushups.
  • Want to make your own cool projects? Head over to Make magazine, then hit the hardware store.

For you, the best way to learn something is to teach it. So, for instance, if you want to know more about good nutrition, educate yourself enough that you can give simple, straightforward answers to your kids about why you're making the healthy choices you are with the food that you all eat.

Persistent Progress

As you go along, remember to focus on one small thing at a time . . . and then repeat that process endlessly. It's the right way to build good new habits for yourself, but it also sets the right tone for your kids. Rome wasn't built in a day, and the fact that something is a big project shouldn't make it a BIG SCARY PROJECT. It just means that you need to slice it into smaller parts, then start immediately to take care of those parts.

Taking these steps means that you'll have allies in your household who are pursuing the same goals that you are and who encourage you in your efforts. Cultivate those allies!

What are YOU doing to raise a family with healthy habits?

PREVIOUS ARTICLES:

Take Charge: Tackle Childhood and Family Obesity

Use the New School Year to Reboot Your Family's Habits

9 Ways to Keep Your Kids Active through the Summer

Tim Walker, Life Balance and Personal Finance Blogger for Leading Provider of Debt Relief, CareOne Services, Inc. Tim Walker

Tim is a writer, marketer, and social media pro living in Austin, Texas. He joined CareOne's blogging team as a contributing writer in 2009. As a blogger who has personally overcome debt challenges, he draws from his own experience to provide tips on living a balanced life and keeping fit. You can read more of his thoughts (on fitness and everything else) at his personal blog, What I've Learned So Far. You can read Tim's CareOne blogs in A Straight Talk on Debt. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

To connect with Tim on Google+ click the following link: <"href="https://plus.google.com/107398706366779880914?rel=author">Tim Walker</a>

<a rel="author" target="_blank" href="https://plus.google.com/107398706366779880914?rel=author">Travis Pizel</a>

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  • When I saw this article, I needed to laugh.....another item attempting to capitalize on the achievement of the first (7 Habits of Highly Effective People). Then again, actually I LOVE the first. So I got it, anticipating that average stories yet an open door should talk about the  habits with my youngsters.

  • Parents play a major role in helping youngsters grow up with solid habits. Teaching your kids to enjoy healthy eating and physical activity at a youthful age shows them the way to healthy living forever.

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