- Suzanne Rightley
Building Healthy Habits From Birth
During the first five to seven years of life, a child’s brain is like a computer. It accepts ‘downloads’ without conscious effort. Simplistic statement, but nonetheless... true.
However, it's not so simplistic in the grande scheme of things. To gain some perspective, consider your own ‘default’ mechanisms for a moment. Under difficult or stressful situations do you... run to the fridge, give others the 'silent' treatment, throw something at the nearest wall, or dig in and get it handled?
Whether we realize it or not, much of how we respond to any given situation, is kind of automatic, unless we've decided to 'work on it' and change our natural tendencies. And... many of us do just that. Call it self-improvement or coping mechanisms, or what have you... the idea is that at some point we decide we don't 'like' our natural inclinations. Running to that fridge habit comes to mind... that just has to go!
Consider the above information, and then apply it to parenting, which is the objective of this blog...
A Parent's Influence ...
Responsibilty – Parents are like managers, who want only the best for their children. They want them to find their place in this world and to be content, happy, well-adjusted in life... their careers, and personal relationships. Striving to provide positive influences rather than negative ones is a constant concern...and that's a good thing.
Opportunity – Parents know the importance of the formative years. This is where a knowledgable parent takes advantage, and seizes the moments to build ‘character traits’ within the subconscious of their offspring, nurturing their individuality, personality, and intellect. A parent who responds to conflicts with patience and kindness is a far better example than the one who shouts and becomes verbally abusive.
Duty – Parents are expected to ‘rear’ their children into productive members of society. Is there a nation on earth that welcomes deviant behaviour in its citizens? Obviously not. To the contrary, a country can only benefit from a responsible, law-abiding population.
Metabolically Healthy Choices
A Parent's Role…
They can educate their children on merits of real food over processed.
They can provide them with nutritious meals, controlled snacks, intervals of fasting between meals for metabolic health.
Establish patterns of activity, exercise, sports, and so forth as a way of life; sitting around in front of TV screen/computer/mobile devices is not the best way to ‘pass time’ away.
Ultimately… parents are the primary programmers of their child’s developing brain. The old adage of ‘do as I say, not as I do’ should give every parent of moment of reflection. Children are far more likely to ‘download’ your responses, your means of dealing with pressure, your choices, and etc. by what they witness you doing.
So, when it comes to making healthy food choices, help your growing child establish healthy patterns by first establishing your own. You might be able to give an impressive lecture on nutrition and the dangers of ‘added sugar’, but if your go-to response in times of stress is a bag of Oreos or a pint of Haagen-Dazs…
Then don’t be surprised if your child doesn’t make healthy food choices when hanging out with his or her friends.
Thanks for the visit.
Suzanne Rightley is a children’s author. She writes for independent readers between the ages of 7-15. Her genres include: mystery (7-9) detective (12+) sports-themed (12+) and health awareness (10-14).
For parents and teachers who look to educate kids in matters of health – Suzanne’s Granola Brea Series addresses issues of obesity, diabetes, dementia, and other metabolic diseases associated with poor lifestyles, including nutrition.
Children learn about importance of making healthy choices as they laugh along with a 12-year-old health-nut… one hilarious incident after another.
After all… eating healthy isn’t always an easy thing to do… in our junk-food, overly processed world!
Visit Granola Brea’s Page on Suzanne Rightley.com
Granola Brea Books are available on Amazon.