The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree. Like mother like daughter, like father like son. A chip off the old block. While those are clichéd, trite phrases, there is much truth to them. Comedians joke that if you want to see what your wife will look like in forty years, look at her mother.
Children learn what they live and as parents we are their role models. Our kids tend to emulate what we do, how we live, good habits as well as bad. That is why as a mother or father we need to realize this. My New Years resolution is to be more cognizant of the life I live and the examples I set for my two boys.
Whether it is intentional or not, generational traits are passed down from parents to their children. If mom and dad live a fairly healthy lifestyle, odds are much greater that the children will follow suit. On the other hand, if the head of the household believes being on a diet means skipping the super size fries and adding extra lettuce to the fast food burger, we can surmise the outlook that the children will hold.
There is no time like the present to turn the sinking ship around. New Years is the perfect time to make a family resolution – agree to set healthier habits. Even if you did not set a New Years resolution yet it is never too late! One can't do it without the support of others, so the entire family might as well jump on board.
The easiest change a family can start with is in food consumption. Obviously you'll need to incorporate exercise into the habits; however starting with food is a small step with measurable results. Simply do not bring junk food into the house. If you have chips, sodas and ice cream available, would you really be able to just have some grapes? More than anything you will need a change of mindset.
Sit down at the table as a family and get input from everyone. Talk about the health risks, talk about wanting to be around for the children for years to come. Make an agreement that there will be no closet eating. Agree to look for creative recipes so that it doesn't seem like you're eating rabbit food.
Forcing or demanding healthier habits is formula for failure. If you can make other family members feel that they are part of the decision and truly understand the importance of it, positive results will be easier to achieve.
Hold each other accountable. Give son permission to question mom why she's eating a donut. Agree to support, not ridicule. Accept digressions as temporary set backs, not failures. Agree that failure is not an option. Keep on keeping on.
So what is your family resolution this year? Its never too late. On behalf of More4kids and from my family to yours, I wish your family and safe and awesome 2014.