Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Things We Need to Teach Our Kids

Parents are leaders, and I’d love to see parents take a stronger leadership role in teaching their children to be well.  If I ruled the world, here are some of the things I’d have parents teach their kids:

-          There is nothing good about smoking.  When my daughters were young, we’d play a little game where I’d ask them, “What’s good about smoking?”  They’d shout back, “Nothing!”  I’d repeat, “What’s good?” and again they’d tell me nothing is.  (Yes, they were very young then - but that’s the time to start the message!)
-          Exercise is like brushing teeth: it’s to be done daily.  Most kids know to brush their teeth at least once a day, but exercise is presented as optional. It’s not.  Being physically active is the one of the two things anyone can do to lower their likelihood of contracting a major disease.  (Not smoking is the other thing; see bullet #1. J)
-          Always wear a helmet when riding a bike.  Here, parents have to lead by example.  It distressing to see so many parents out riding bikes with their children and only the kids have helmets on.   It’s ironic - the kids have a shorter distance to fall and are probably better at landing safely than the adults.  Everyone needs to wear a bike helmet - period.
-          Cookies, chips, regular soda, and candy are treats, not snacks.  Parents, you don’t have to buy that stuff just because you have kids in the house.  They can snack on raisins, carrot sticks, apple slices with peanut butter, cheese sticks, yogurt cups, graham crackers with skim milk, and the like, just as you do.

Grandparents, this goes for you, too!  (Okay, I’ve gotten that out of my system!)

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