The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree. Like mother like daughter. A chip off the old block. Children learn what they live. While these are cliché, trite phrases, there is a great deal of truth to them. Comedians joke that if you want to see what your wife will look like in forty years, look at her mother. Pair this with the stats that say obesity is now a bigger global killer than hunger and it’s time to start setting a better example for our kids.
Whether intentional or not, generational traits are passed down from parents to children. If mom and dad live a fairly healthy lifestyle, odds are much greater that the children will follow suit. Conversely, if the head of the household believes being on a diet means skipping the super size fries and adding extra lettuce to the fast food burger, we can guess that the kids will believe the same.
There is no time like the present to turn the ship around. New Years is the perfect time to make a family resolution – agree to set healthier habits. It’s much easier to do it with the support of others, so the entire family might as well jump on board.
The easiest change a family can start with is in food consumption. Obviously you’ll need to incorporate exercise into the habits; however starting with food is a small step with measurable results. Simply do not bring junk food into the house. If you have chips, sodas and ice cream available, would you really be able to just have some grapes? More than anything you will need a change of mindset and of groceries.
Sit down at the table as a family and get input from everyone. Talk about the health risks. Talk about wanting to be around for the children for years to come. Make an agreement that there will be no closet eating. Agree to look for creative recipes so that it doesn’t seem like you’re eating rabbit food.
Forcing or demanding healthier habits is formula for failure. If you can make other family members feel that they are part of the decision and truly understand the importance of it, positive results will be easier to achieve.
Hold each other accountable. Give your kids permission to ask Mom why she is scarfing down a donut. Agree to support, not ridicule. Accept digressions as temporary set backs, not failures. Agree that failure is not an option. Keep on keeping on.
For our part, Learning World of Oville has a nutrition game in Mumbee’s House and soon, Duke will have a physical education learning centre at the Aerocack Academy…plus we’re going to impose a mandatory exercise break for all employees every day. No, just kidding. Though we do want everyone on our team to be as happy and healthy as possible.