This is a guest post by Amanda Henderson, a child safety writer at safechildren.info.
How to Help Your Children Make Healthy Choices
Healthy choices are not always just about food or nutrition, although those are important too. Teaching kids to make the best possible choices is part of good parenting, but it is sometimes hard to know what and how to teach them. Here are a few things that you can do to show your kids how to make the right choice, brought to you by Health World.
Open Lines of Communication
According to US News, not only does communication help with understanding each other, but it can also show your children how important good communication skills are. The simple act of talking to your children creates a safe environment for them to express themselves. It is never too early to talk to children about their future.
When you are talking to your children, remember to never disparage their ideas. Every idea is important. Encourage your children whenever possible.
Watch Your Language
No, this doesn't mean swear words. Make sure your language is positive and encouraging. You might want to scream and yell, but part of healthy behavior is managing anger and other feelings. Try to never say anything you don't mean because it will teach them to do the same. Remember that words can be forgiven, but they can never be taken back.
Make sure that there are times for family activities and times for being alone or doing what you or they want. By separating these times, it helps your children develop patience and discipline.
Limit the Electronics
There is a place for computers, televisions, and cell phones. That place is not the dinner table or during family time. This has to mean you as well. Try to avoid using your cell phone or other electronics while you are interacting with your children. If you do it, your children will do it too.
Here is another area where you doing it can help your kids do it too. This does not mean you need to avoid sugar or chocolate altogether. It is as important to indulge responsibly as it is to make healthy choices. Moderation is key when it comes to healthy snacking and eating.
Give Them Options
Learning to make choices is one of the hallmarks of growing up. By giving them options and consequences, you help them make better choices. You cannot expect them to make the correct choices if, while growing up, they've never had any choice at all.
Take a Break
One of the most important things that you can do is teach your children to make healthy choices that they can carry with them for years to come. A lot of it is being a good role model and making sure they have what they need to succeed in life.