Have you ever heard of ‘monkey see, monkey do’? While you may not have monkeys in your house, you might have some children watching and hearing everything you do and say. Children tend to mimic their role models in many different ways so it is essential that we as adults, and role models, display behaviors that we wish to see in our children.
Watch What You Eat
Even the youngest of children know that a cookie tastes better than whatever is for dinner. But as role models, it is vital that we eat healthy alongside our children. It isn’t fair when children are told to eat fruits and veggies and we are snacking on chips and candy.
Plan meals and learn about new foods as a family, but don’t ban the sweets. This only increases the appeal for them for the entire family. Always remember that moderation is key. Make eating healthy fun and the norm in your home.
Stay Physically Active
Children are naturally wiggle worms. Most of the time they can’t sit still for long. It is important to burn off that extra energy in children so they sleep better at night and wake up well-rested.
Do things together to stay physically active. We shouldn’t just sit on the couch, watch television, or get hypnotized by an iPad---nor should our children. Now is a great time to make a New Year’s resolution to be a better play partner for our kids. Play games outside, go to the playground, set up an obstacle course in the house or just jump around like any young child does, but together! Your children will love that you are being silly with them and you will get everyone’s hearts pumping! Listen to a sample of this fun tune from Choosy Kids, Do What I Do, and make up your own moves together to the song. Get creative!
Brush Two Times a Day Together
Brushing teeth is something that is learned, especially from others doing it. Make it a point to brush your teeth together, for two minutes, two times a day. Most children younger than 8 will need help properly brushing their teeth, so make it a fun game so you can reach those molars and tight spaces in small mouths.
Get into a habit with children that after using the bathroom and washing hands, brushing their teeth should be next on their to-do list. Get creative when teaching children about brushing. You can listen to music while you brush to make it more fun. Choosy Kids has plenty of songs about brushing that are two minutes or more in length. There are also fun toothbrushes available that light up, play songs or have a favorite character on them so children like using it.
Model New Skills to Show that Learning is Fun
Children are always up for learning something new. Show children that learning is fun and you can never stop learning new things, even as an adult.
If you want to learn something new together, try learning about a different country or try making a recipe with a food new to your family. You can also explore new places as a family and learn about history while you do so. By doing things together, you can also get into more in-depth conversations since everyone is experiencing it together. You never know what you may learn from a child as well! Everyone thinks differently, but especially children as they have wide open minds.
So, let’s remember that children are always watching and listening. Let’s try to be healthy role models because they love to play “do what I do” all day long.