How to Support Your Children and Look After Their Health and Wellbeing
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Part of a parent’s role is to look after their children. However, another key part is encouraging and supporting your children to look after themselves as they grow up.
While this is a natural instinct, it can sometimes be challenging to remember everything or decide on the best way forward. We’ll consider some of the things that many other parents have found helpful while raising their children. Although they may not work for everyone, they may trigger some further inspiration and other ideas that might work better for you individually.
Don’t Set Too Many Rules
Setting too many rules for your children to follow when it comes to their health and wellbeing can cause them to think about it negatively in the future. While it might work in the short-term to make them act on something quickly, the longer-term repercussions can make many parents think twice about this tactic.
When it comes to health and wellbeing, you should aim to create a narrative which is positive and supportive. When wellbeing is associated with negative things, such as negative remarks at doctors’ appointments or being told off for failing to do something, children can quickly shy away from any desire to invest time and energy in looking after their health. Put the focus on a positive attitude and mindset towards wellbeing.
Set a Good Example
Instead of setting rules, set a good example instead. Let your children see that you are doing the same things you’re encouraging them to do, such as brushing their teeth or drinking water throughout the day. Many children will learn most effectively through copying what others are doing.
Pay attention to your mood when you’re carrying out these activities in front of your children too. Try to avoid making negative comments or making it seem like a chore or an undesirable experience. Children will quickly pick up on this and will remember in future that you don’t enjoy it – potentially influencing their thoughts towards it too.
Be mindful of negative narratives that your children may be hearing at school or around their friends and other family members. Where appropriate, tell people about the example you are trying to set for your child when it comes to health and wellbeing.
Understand Concerns About Feeling Self-Conscious
As children grow up and become teenagers and young adults, they may become self-conscious about aspects of their appearance, such as their teeth, skin, hair, or other parts of their bodies. It’s important not to downplay these concerns and to help validate your child’s worries while helping them to find a positive way through it.
One of the most common things teenagers can feel self-conscious about is the appearance of their teeth. It’s not uncommon for teenagers to need braces and other dental treatment. You can support your teens with invisible braces and other clear braces to help align their teeth, under medical guidance, and encourage them to do their own research beforehand too. Companies like ALIGNERCO offer various dental options, and you can read this guide about your teeth straightening options before deciding on the best way to proceed.
Include Vitamins and Supplements
Taking the time to teach your children about the importance of vitamins and supplements could help them to build healthier habits for life. Vitamins A, C, and D are recommended for most people including young children, although you should consult a medical professional if you are unsure.
Many common complaints, including fatigue, dizziness, muscle weakness, and pale skin can be caused by deficiencies in key vitamins and nutrients. By finding out where any possible areas of deficiencies are in your children, you can also make them aware of this as they grow older so that they can be mindful of any related issues arising.
Be Open About Mental Wellbeing
Some parents report that they don’t always find it easy to bring up the subject of mental health with their children. Furthermore, not all parents know how to respond if their children raise it with them.
It’s important not to overcomplicate things when talking about mental health, and focus on how you can help your child in the best way if they are struggling. Be open and straightforward, and avoid discussing anything that they don’t feel comfortable with.
Making the topic of mental health something which is discussed regularly at home can also help to reduce any stigma around it. In turn, this may help to combat any negativity your children may be hearing outside of the home which they may not be communicating to you.
Explaining the importance of good mental health can encourage your children to think about social media, school work, friendships, and sleep in a different way.
Encouraging your children to look after their wellbeing is essential to help them grow into happy and healthy adults. Take the steps you believe are best for your children, teach them about good physical and mental health, and be open and supportive when they need your time.
*This article is based on personal suggestions and/or experiences and is for informational purposes only. This should not be used as professional advice. Please consult a professional where applicable.