Children predominantly learn by example. Certainly, that’s not always 100% the case (I grew up in dysfunction and did not perpetuate it), however being a good example to your kids goes a long way in assisting them in making better choices. I have found with my older kids, they have the knowledge when they begin their own lives, then they go through the steps to implementing that knowledge. My goal as a parent is to first be an example and second to teach them. I want my kiddos to know that it’s important to clean the lint trap in the dryer, how to use comet, how to make healthy food choices and actually be able to cook, what the washing machine should be set at, how to stay fit regardless of income or lifestyle.
One way I do this is the chore wheel. Every week, we rotate the wheel and the kids have a different chore. Some they don’t mind, some they detest but in the end, they know HOW to do them all.
Healthy eating is something my kids have grown up with. Sure, we have pizza and soda nights (how else are you supposed to have a family burping contest??), we get donuts on occasion. It’s not about eliminating and more about limiting and teaching healthy boundaries. They’ve also been taught that exercise should just be part of your life – an extension of who you are.
If my kids don’t end up being runners or doing triathlons like myself or semi-pro basketball players like Chris, that’s OK. I want them to stay healthy and active in whatever capacity they learn to love. We bring them with us to teach them how to be active, to give them options, to encourage them. We want fitness to feel familiar and comfortable. We want them to be unafraid to try new things. To grow up healthy and strong with as few body image issues as possible. To know they are strong, capable, fit, healthy.