Collaborative Post¦ Your children need to know about the world around them, and how they fit into it. And one of the main things they need to know about how life works is that they may run into health problems one day – they may need to see a doctor, or experience some worrying symptoms, and they need to know what to do about these.
Even as young children, they need to be encouraged to set some healthy and happy habits to keep potential health problems at bay, and as their parent, it’s up to you to set the example!
So, if you’re wondering how you’re going to broach the subject around their health, we’ve collected together some points below that should be able to help you. It’s important to give kids everything they need to lead a long and happy life, and those efforts start right here!
Vegetables are good for you, there’s no doubt about that. But getting kids to eat them on a regular basis? Next to impossible! Because veggies can have very distinct tastes to them, or even no taste at all, and that can be hard for a child’s palette.
You might need to change how you cook vegetables, or how you integrate them into meals. Vegetables that are colourful, and look ‘fun’, are going to go down better than a simple pile of broccoli on the edge of a plate!
Everyone relies on their sense, and when you’re a kid, your senses are far more sensitive than most! It’s one of the main reasons that kids go in for checkups more often than adults; the senses are still developing, and they’re still spongy, and an eye needs to be kept on them. And being able to teach this fact to your children can be a bit hard – for example, they might hate having to go to the opticians, or the dentist, and it can be hard to even get them in the car ready to go.
The first thing to do is to assure your child there’s nothing to worry about; the doctor is there to help, and you’ll be with them every step of the way. Don’t lie to your kids, of course, because as soon as something does get a bit worrying (or go wrong) during a medical appointment, they’re not going to trust you anymore.
Let’s say your child needs glasses; they’re having difficulty reading in class or seeing the whiteboard in front of them, and the time has come to pick out a pair they like. How do you explain to your child how and when to wear the glasses? How do you explain just how important glasses are for them?
You can use a handy consumer guide to help you pick the right words, and to help your child understand (at the very least!) that glasses can be expensive, so they have to promise not to lose them! This will help to ensure they keep them with them at all times, but the work doesn’t stop there.
Letting your child pick their own frames will help them to feel more involved, and informing relevant adults (like teachers) can help to encourage them to use them. Of course, your child will see the benefits as soon as the glasses go on, but make sure you bring up just how much clearer the TV screen is when they’re wearing their pair!
You can very well introduce kids to being active via your own activities, as long as you keep up with them on a regular basis. So, if you’re someone who likes to exercise, make sure your kids see you doing so! Make sure they know about the effects of going out for a run or spending a half hour down at the gym, because once they do, they’re going to think of it as a totally normal part of life, and will want to pick up on it themselves.
It’s important that kids get to know the benefits of regular, lengthy exercise. Tell them how happy it can make them feel; endorphins may be a little too heavy for your kids to learn about right now, but you can certainly highlight just how fun a game of football in the garden is! Ask them how they feel after they’ve played, and tell them it’s good to be a bit out of breath and sweating – normalise what exercise can do to the body in the moment, to ensure they go on in their life to experience the benefits of what it does for them afterwards.
And it’s not just about their physical health – it’s important to teach your children about their mental health too, because they very much go hand in hand. Teach them that when they’re upset, or they’re feeling a bit scared, they can come to you and tell you all about it, without fear of judgement from you.
Of course, some things our kids can say can make us feel a bit angry or a bit worried in return, but it’s important to ensure your kids aren’t on the receiving end of these feelings. They’ll find it very hard to open up again, if they feel they’ll only get a negative response from you.
Indeed, some mental health problems can get very serious. If a child comes to you and says they’re being bullied and it’s making them feel worthless, you’re going to want to do all sorts of things to help them out. But first and foremost, make sure you sit them down and teach them how to dispel what the bullies are saying; disputing our negative thoughts is a skill all adults are going to need in life, and the skill for it should start young.
Kids are going to have health problems one day; teach them how to look after themselves now.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.
Welcome to my blog! I'm Laura, a 28 year old first time mum. I live in Kent with my high school sweetheart husband Dave, and our daughter Autumn. When she came into the world in September 2016, we knew that life would never be the same again!
I write about my experiences of parenting, as well as my plethora of interests including fashion, beauty, cars, weddings and the home.
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