Although I had a wonderful upbringing, I now see that many things were made more challenging for me as an adult due to customs we held in our family. That’s why I’ve decided to take a nontraditional approach to bring up my son and instill healthy family lifestyle habits. The best part about becoming a parent is that you get a clean slate on which to build a brand new set of habits for your family, and I know that if I want my loved ones to have a longer lifespan, I must prioritize their health.
We wanted things to be different for our son, but it was challenging to change bad family habits, such as not making exercise and healthy eating a top priority. We realized the importance of getting a head started on his education and taught him immediately. Then we were taken aback by how quickly we became overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of information we wanted to impart to him. We emphasize developing and maintaining wholesome routines such as politeness, cleanliness, and fiscal responsibility. Even though we take things one day at a time, we do our best to maintain the following routines at home.
1. Exercising together as a family is the number one healthy habit.
In my experience, food has always been a part of any significant celebration. We gorged ourselves on ice cream, milkshakes, pizza, and just about anything else. While that’s fine in moderation, we prefer to get in the habit of doing something special to mark significant occasions.
Parents, set an active example and get moving!
We understand the importance of setting a good example as parents. My husband and I recognize that we must set a good example for our son by living healthy, active lives ourselves. This is the best option for our family and our son. One of the best things we can do for our health and to help prevent future health problems is to lead an active lifestyle. And we realize that if our son is exposed to these practices from an early age, he will be more likely to adopt them as his own as he matures.
Though we recognize the value of exercise, we also recognize the challenges that come with it. Even if you don’t feel like working out on a given day, forcing yourself to go for a walk around the block is still preferable to veg out on the couch. All of these decisions will be on display for your children to observe and learn from. I can’t stress enough the importance of encouraging your kids to find joy in physical activity to relieve stress, increase energy, and maintain positive mental and physical health. Now that we’ve started going on family bike rides, we have yet another enjoyable way to maintain our fitness and bond as a unit.
2. Adopting a Healthy Diet
Home cooking is great for us because it allows us to control the quality and quantity of ingredients. Due to their high sugar content and lack of nutritional value, processed foods such as cookies, chips, and sodas are avoided. What a change in diet can make. Since we switched to healthier eating habits, we’ve all noticed an improvement in our quality of life overall, including our ability to sleep through the night and our level of fatigue throughout the day.
Just how critical is it that we eat a variety of foods, including vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats? We know that by instilling in our son a set of healthy behaviors, we will be able to reduce his risk of developing chronic diseases and obesity. Additionally, a healthy diet improves our concentration and focus.
Due to the high sodium and preservative content of fast food and processed foods, we try to keep those out of the house as much as possible. Instead of fried chicken nuggets, our son would rather eat a tortilla with beans. Our scorecard says that’s a success! Our son, like most kids his age, is crazy about french fries, but we only allow ourselves to eat them occasionally.
One of our favorite family traditions is including our son in the preparation of our Saturday morning breakfast. We go over each component, and he finds out why it’s important to our health.
3. Positive Family Finance Habit
I grew up believing that my family was financially secure, but as I got older, I realized that my parents hadn’t been putting money aside for big expenses like my college education, and neither had I. I realized I needed more instruction in fiscal responsibility. Sometime later, I got a job because I decided to break that cycle and begin putting money away for the future.
Both my husband and I have worked steadily since we turned 18. Our family’s struggles with money taught us the importance of saving and planning ahead. Read on to learn about the lessons we’re giving our son about financial responsibility, such as the value of thrift, the necessity of a spending plan, and the significance of putting money away.
Use Games as a Teaching Tool
Financial literacy is a skill that can be taught to young people. Here’s an example of how my wife and I are using creative play to teach our son about budgeting.
- We got him a bunch of plastic products from the toy store and empty boxes of his favorite foods (macaroni, cheese, spaghetti) to set up in a makeshift supermarket. We head out to the store with our Monopoly money and reusable bags.
- We used the opportunity to work on his math skills by guiding him through the steps of making a shopping list, selecting items, and making a payment.
- We help him learn that it’s not wise to make a purchase if it costs more than he can afford. This teaches him the value of a dollar while shopping.
Chores are a great way to teach older children about budgeting and saving money. It’s a great idea to make a list of tasks to be done each week and pay kids a small amount to complete them. They learn through this list that hard work can result in financial rewards. It also allows them to put aside funds for a future, more substantial acquisition.
4. Family Hygiene
My husband and I are very particular about maintaining our cleanliness, and even my four-year-old son has his own routine. One of the best parts of our routine is that we get to do it together every morning and every night. When the alarm goes off in the morning, we all get up and take turns showering, brushing our teeth, and eating breakfast together. Practicing meticulous pre-workout oral hygiene, pre-outfit showering, and pre-school/workout priming are all components of a balanced family routine.
As a family, we have overcome a significant obstacle because my son is not afraid of the dentist as I was. I bought my son his first toothbrush when he was six months old, and he’s always loved brushing his teeth and going to the dentist. As he got older, I made him imitate me brushing my teeth to ensure that he would always have a cavity-free smile.
5. Dividing Up The Cooking
I am so pleased with how equally we divide up tasks in the kitchen and around the house. My husband and I will serve as the prototypes for this. Both my husband and I pitch in with the household chores, including meal preparation, trash removal, and dishwasher emptying. Sharing the burdens of parenting with my son as he grows up will help him become a more responsible adult son and, one day, husband. On our first date, my husband prepared a meal, which was one of the many things that immediately endeared him to me. Switching places with someone else was a refreshing change of pace. How do you begin doing this on your own?
Involve your children in the cooking process. Get them involved in making the pancake batter or cracking the egg. Get them involved in the decision-making process for their meals. This is very popular with the young ones.
Walk them through the steps of making their go-to dish. Whether they make a sandwich or scrambled eggs depends on their age, but either way, they gain confidence in their cooking abilities and develop an interest in trying new recipes.
Put the dishes in the sink and the trash in the can after every meal as an example of how important it is to clean up after one’s self.
The Reason Why These Matter
The most rewarding aspect of parenting for me is shaping my children’s character in ways that promote their physical and mental well-being. As a parent, one of my greatest hopes is that my child will eventually become happy and successful. That’s the dream we should all have for our offspring. I’m crossing my fingers that you can use at least some of these suggestions to encourage healthy routines at home with your own family. And keep in mind that you can do it! The foundations of happy, healthy family lives are laid in the little things.