Before crawling in bed to read my daughter a story, I wolfed down a piece of chocolate. Thinking she wouldn’t notice, I got into the sheets and found my daughter sniffing the air. “It smells like chocolate,” she announces. “Hmph,” I replied. “Let me smell your breath mommy.” She doesn’t miss a beat.
Children are watching and listening to every move we make. Even when we think they aren’t noticing, they are. Parents who tell their kids they have eyes in the back of their head got nothing on all the children who have hearing like an owl, a sense of smell like a bloodhound, and sight like an eagle.
Why do I bring this up? Because it is important information on how we should conduct ourselves in the presence of children and teens. We need to be the role models on how to make good decisions, on how to spend our time, and how to value what is really important in this life.
Many parents complain at how much time their children spend on media but fail to look at how much of their own time they are playing Farmville, Angry Birds, or any other social media game.
Show your children what to do when there is no phone, computer, tv, or other technology. Be the role model. I know many parents who engage in a healthy lifestyle and feel upset when their teen doesn’t want to go lift weights with them in the garage or go to the coast. It is discouraging but keep trying and looking for ways to engage them.
I have seen countless children use the hold out method. They think if they don’t speak and make it sour for everyone, they will get their way. I encourage parents to combat this with their own holdout method of following through with their plans and keeping their cool. A child will come around, maybe not the first time, but eventually. Also, include them in planning what might be fun that doesn’t include technology.
I know this a challenge for many parents, and I count myself among the many. We are all a work in progress.
I am a work in progress and can help shape healthy habits for my family.