If you are a parent and you understand individual wellness, you can easily see how your family can be positively influenced by your choices and attitudes. You are your children’s best model for approriate behaviors about wellness and everything else. If you want them to live up to their potentials, then show them how to behave and what works best to keep a person healthy, happy and wise!
We take our “family wellness” ideas from Don Ardell who writes in teaching children about wellness:
- Demonstrate the importance of fitness by making time to exercise every day, no matter how busy you are, what the weather is like or what other inconvenience might exist (during vacation, for example.) There are SOME exceptions, such as illness or an occasional rest day, but not many. Resolve to make no excuses and you won’t be tempted to look for any.
- Choose a varied and balanced diet, have lots of good food around for snacks (fruit, for example) and eat well yourself, even if the kids are demanding the popular sugary, fat-laden choices. Don’t do battle over individual meals -- how you dine most of the time will make the biggest impressions.
- Master effective self management. Respond to events and circumstances like Mr. Cool Dad, or Serenity Mom. Focus on seeking the best outcomes for situations and not overreacting to such potential stressors as bad behavior by others, excessive time demands or money worries. Remember -- you are onstage and your kids are in the front row, orchestra each time during the day something difficult comes about. After a bit of practice, you might come to enjoy your ability to deal with tough situations with panache, quiet calm and, best of all when possible, humor. All of these responses save energy and lead to better decisions and healthier children.
It is more likely than not that your children will have a body shape, health profile, and attitudes similar to yours when they reach the age you are now. Is that what you want for your kids? If so, congratulations – you are setting a good example. If not, it’s never too late to get started. Even the process that you will go through to choose better foods, get more exercise and slowly develop better attitudes will impress your kids. They will not forget that their role model was able to make small or large changes for the better – what a great lesson to give your kids.
Some of the wellness behaviors that families can adopt are:
- Dining together several times a week and taking time to develop relationships.
- Exercising together at a fitness center or in the back yard.
- Talking about food choices and planning meals and grocery lists together. This doesn’t have to be complicated. Eating more fruits and veggies, and less fast food is a simple place to start.
- Discussing current events with the kids and helping them to develop a “wellness” perspective on them.
- Deciding on some family goals and working on a plan to see them happen.
To help you get started, we’ve decided to organize some of our content and products into five levels or spheres of wellness – individual, family, worksite, community and global – to help people pursue wellness at any level or sphere. If you decide to learn about or work on wellness projects, you’ll be able to search on “community wellness” or “worksite wellness”, for example, and pull up a list of articles and products that might be useful.
In the past, SeekWellness.com has not done enough to encourage a family approach to wellness. As we move ahead, we plan to add more articles about family activities that can lead to better health and lives for each member. Look for our family icon on our website and in our store.
Please let us know how you feel about our mission and what kinds of information or products you would find useful in your efforts.
Here are some resources to help you get started:
- Gender Differences and Other Obstacles to Effective Communication
- teaching children about wellness
- The Effects Of Obesity on Future Lifespans: Wellness Insights For Stemming A National Crisis And Reversing A Decline in Longevity
- Sol Gordon On Sex Education - For Parents
- Let's Wiretap the Twinkies People!
- A Few Words For Kindness: A Much Neglected But Powerful Wellness Quality
- Cell Phones For Soldiers keeps soldiers in touch with their families. Donate your old cell phones.
- NH Carbon Challenge (reduce your family's carbon emissions & save money). Available to any family.
- Green Seal is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to safeguarding the environment and transforing the marketplace by promoting the manufacture, purchase, and use of environmentally responsible products and services.
- Fruit and Veggies Matter provides information from the CDC on the on the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables.
- SDA Ingredient Central is a website that provides information to consumers about the ingredients in products in four major categories: air care, automotive care, cleaning, and polishes and floor maintenance products.