If you have teenagers or college age kids, then you likely know how much they LOVE to sleep in. Recently my daughter Ashton was visiting from college and somehow – some way – I convinced her to get up before the sun and join me at my Bootcamp workout. It was early – super early – 4:45 a.m. when we walked out the door. She did it and we got in a great workout and had fun. I think one reason I was able to get her to do this is that our family has always placed an importance on good habits when it comes to physical fitness.
Ashton played tennis throughout high school. She practiced, trained and competed. It taught her discipline and good healthy habits. That is what came to mind when I saw this month’s topic on building healthy habits for your children. One thing I believe that is key - consistency. Whether it is good eating habits, exercise or a love of reading. Some experts say it takes 21 days to form a habit. Others say it is closer to 9 weeks. However long, the best way to build healthy habits is one day at a time.
For some tips and tricks for helping kids, I reached out to some of the moms I work with at Just Between Friends Franchise Systems, Inc. – North America’s children’s and maternity consignment event. The common thread seems to be; Involve the kids in creating new habits and make it fun!
Kelly Robie –Mom to Ella, age 7, Luke, age 5, Evan, age 2 and Adam, 11 months
“We are encouraging our oldest to drink more water instead of other drink options. To encourage this she got her own special glass cup with straw that she can refill all day long to make it more fun. We also let our kids hang out with us when we exercise which then sometimes prompts them to join us.”
“The other habit we are working on forming is the love of reading. We read with them every day…. hoping to instill that love of reading and imagination.”
Sarah Garot –Mom to Audrey, age 5, (shown in photo) Kate, age 3 and Lucy, age 1
“Our new healthy habit we are pushing is hand washing! We constantly remind our five year-old and three year-old about washing and/or sanitizing their hands. After the bathroom, before they eat, after play dates, etc.”
Mandy Kimmel – JBF of Katy, Texas, Mom of Annaleise, age 8 and Knox, 8 weeks
“To form a new healthy habit, we are making a game of trying to eat foods from all the colors of the rainbow.”
Roberta Nelson, Mom to three grown daughters and Abby, age 10
“We teach and encourage my youngest daughter (Abby) the joy and love of reading. We make sure there are lots of books available to her, look for good quality books everywhere we go. We homeschool with a literature based curriculum. She reads everything at the age of 10, and pretty much has her own personal library in her room”
So, as you strive to teach your kids healthy habits that stick, remember: creativity, consistency and fun!