One of the many things I want my children to have when they grow up is a high value of health and fitness. I want my kids to enjoy being active and live a long healthy life. The best way to make sure that happens is to model that for them myself. When I chose to spend my free time active, instead of in front of the television, and when I chose healthy food instead of junk food they will begin to want the same thing for themselves.
I need to be the one who initiates going outside to play catch. I need to sign them up for sports and camps. It is my responsibility to come up with things to do that keep my family active and healthy. When I establish the pattern, they are much more likely to repeat it on their own. If I don’t initiate those things for them they are not likely to do it for themselves.
The same is true for nutrition. Kids can’t drive to the store and buy their own food. They can’t cook meals and they don’t order for themselves. I am the one responsible for what food they eat. If there aren’t any crackers in the house, they won’t ask for them. I don’t have to say no to bad food if I never buy it in the first place. How are they going to learn how good food can taste when it is healthy when I make a separate meal for them while I eat the clean food? If the healthy food is important for me isn’t it important for my kids too.
Of course kids like sweets and junk food more. All kids do. And sure they would like to sit in front of the television all summer long, wouldn’t you? But as their parent, and the one responsible for how they turn out, it is my job to show them better and healthier options. I need to be the adult in the relationship. Stop buying bad food. Don’t let them be sedentary while you spend 5+ hours a week working out. Stop making excuses for why it is okay for them to be unhealthy because “they are just kids”. If I really value health and fitness, shouldn’t I make sure my most treasured loved ones learn that priority too?