What I’m wearing: Puff Sleeve Floral Dress (wearing a small), Steve Madden Rezza Sneakers (true to size), Clare V Bateau Tote
When I first initiated the idea of wellness month so many of you asked how we go about introducing/teaching wellness to our kids. It’s such a good question and made me think about my own experience and knowledge of wellness which I guess I got from my own parents. I think there are two big factors in teaching your kids that wellness is an important part of living. Here is my two cents…
LEAD BY EXAMPLE
I think the greatest thing we can do as parents is lead by example. My parents were always setting great examples that exercise was/is an important part of your routine. They each carved out time in their days to have that alone time to focus on themselves. Aside from exercise, they always made it a point to spend time together. They had a standing weekly date night and my mom had a sitter once a week so she could play tennis and grab lunch with girlfriends. I think teaching wellness can be very broad but if you focus on a few aspects of it – exercise, healthy eating, mental health (in terms of self care), different levels of happiness (outside of how society defines “success”), etc. it doesn’t have to be a big “how to.” Leading by example is the easiest way silently teach your kids the importance of respecting yourself, treating your body well and focusing on your own individual wellbeing.
GET THEM INVOLVED
I feel like this is something that Dave and I have really focused on in the past year. We love to get our kids outside for a run in the stroller, we take them to the gym and make it a point to show them which machines we did that day, we take them grocery shopping and plan out our meals together, we include them in cooking, we talk about feelings and explain that it’s okay to express certain emotions. Our kids are sponges and the more they absorb, the better! Charlie can ask a million questions and it reminds me how much he learns just by listening and being involved. The more they are included the more likely they are to understand the importance of what you’re teaching them and carry it into their own lives (no matter their age!).
I have found this easier to do now that Charlie is a little older. Now we do it with Jack too but he still doesn’t always understand. Expressing ourselves or WHY we made certain choices has been huge for not only the communication in our family but for explaining why we feel the need to do certain things/make certain choices. Whether it’s why I’m going to the gym solo or why we eat broccoli or why Charlie’s feelings are hurt or why mommy got mad at daddy. I think it helps our kids understand that whatever it is, it’s okay to have a reason or a why you feel the need to do that or why it’s a good thing to do. The more we explain to them the more they understand!