Over the past few months, a few different people have approached me about working with kids. I absolutely LOVE working with kids! :) Teaching healthy lifestyle habits to children is the best time to help them create lifelong healthy habits. :) Often the conversation begins something like this, "How do you get kids to enjoy nature?" "How do you get kids to eat fruits and vegetables?"
I encourage you to ask yourself, "Do you know how children best learn behaviors?"
If you guessed by mimicking adult behavior, then you guessed correctly. Think about it. When you see little children play, their actions and play are usually learned from those around them. You know what is going on in their life, by watching them play. So why would it be any different when it comes to teaching them healthy lifestyles? Playing outside? Eating healthy? Drinking water?
The fact is, there is no difference. If you want to teach a child how to enjoy nature, then, they need to experience nature. If you want a child to learn how to love fruits and vegetables, then they need to experience eating fruits and vegetables. And, to make these habits last, they need a positive role model in their life, who is enjoying nature and eating fruits and vegetables....and I'd even go as far as saying, that positive role model needs to present the "new, fun, exciting" activity in an excited fashion, and the kids will pick up on that too! And yes, I truly believe that it can help that activity to stick in their memory more positively.
When people approach me with questions about healthy eating and lifestyles for children, my answer is usually similar, depending upon the spin of the questions...Children need to experience a variety of activities in nature, with a positive role model, who presents it in an exciting and adventurous way. And in regards to eating fruits and vegetables - help them plant a garden. If they grow it, they typically will eat it. That is not always the case, but plant a variety, and they will find the fruits and vegetables that they like.
The sum of this entire discussion boils down to - positive role modeling. The science is out there - kids who eat fruits and vegetables, and kids who play outside have many health advantages that will live with them a life-time. E3 has a Pinterest board with articles about parenting, and helping kids to flourish. Please feel free to check it out, and follow it, if you are on Pinterest. And if you would like help with the kids in your life, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org), I'd be super excited to help you and your family/group/school/organization.
So now I ask you, Do you know how children best learn behaviors? By now you should know, that it typically takes a positive role model in their life. And although I don't want you to get discouraged by this next question, because sometimes the best role models, model positive change, I do encourage you to look within, and ask yourself, Am I a positive role model for the kids in my life? If so, yay! If not, this is a great time to begin making small positive changes, and talk to the kids in your life about the changes you are making and why. :)
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E3 Twin Ports, LLC
Energy and Empowerment through Exercise (education and meditation outdoors)
Owner, Jodi L. Tervo Roberts, MS, CSCS, WFR, Yoga Instructor
|Jodi L. Tervo Roberts, Owner|
E3 Twin Ports, LLC
LIVE HAPPY, DREAM BIG, SMILE, and PLAY OUTSIDE!