Set an example and walk the “talk”
I recently spoke to a colleague who I connected with on Twitter who specializes in fitness for kids. Personally, needing someone to specialize in something that should come so natural seems outrageous. However, seeing as this is supposed to be the first generation whereby parents are going to out-live their kids due to childhood obesity, clearly it’s an area that needs a lot of help.
During our conversation, we obviously shared many opinions, insights and frustrations when it came to exercise in general. But the one thing we couldn’t wrap our head around was why don’t parents “walk the talk” when it comes to regular activity for their children?? Fathers with big beer bellies yelling at their sons to go “faster, better, stronger” than the competition. Moms obsessed with taking their kids to dance, gymnastics and soccer while they sit on the sidelines complaining to other moms that they “can’t seem to lose that baby weight”.
Although good intentions are at the forefront of all the activities that parents have their kids involved in, you also can’t expect miracles or to be blunt, be a hypocrite when it comes to exercise in general.
Just like ANYTHING else, kids learn what they see and no matter how much you expose, talk, preach etc., you will have a much better chance of creating healthy lifestyle habits when they are surrounded by it 24-7. Kids are creatures of habit so if you actually do what you say and support their active lifestyle by being active yourself, you have a way better chance of instilling long term behaviours.
In the end, we all want better for our children. This is partly why we do so much for them and why we insist that they be “exposed” to so much that we never had a chance to try when we were young. However, if you don’t want them ending up with the same hang ups, or weight issues that you may now be struggling with, be a leader and “walk the talk”.