As your children get older, they become more capable of making their own decisions. They will begin to choose their own clothes, friends, and hobbies.
Teenagers are exposed to various people and different environments which could influence their lifestyles. Teens are rather impressionable, and there might be adverse effects on their mental, physical, and sexual health if you don’t teach them how to make healthy choices.
The best way to do this is to model a healthy lifestyle yourself. Let’s talk about some of the ways in which you can show your kids how to make good choices so they can enjoy a happy, healthy life.
Keep Healthy Foods and Snacks Available
Let your teen help you as you shop for food and cook meals. Let them have a few “treat” foods, but also make healthy foods fun – such as letting them help you choose lettuce, dressing, vegetables, beans, lean meats, cheese, and breads. Having a firsthand look at how food is processed, and having input into what foods are bought for the family, will show them how to make healthy choices and how to formulate a healthy eating lifestyle.
Go to Bed on Time
A healthy foundation also includes getting enough sleep. One of the most important things a teenage body needs is sleep, so be sure that you’re going to bed when you want your teenager to go to bed; otherwise, they will resent you if they’re being forced to go to bed while you stay up later. Encourage them to turn off their phone notifications, including social media apps, at night so they will not be awakened.
Don’t Smoke or Drink
This is going to be the hardest thing for adults who do smoke and/or drink. If you smoke, talk to your health professional about a smoking-cessation program that would work for you – because otherwise, your child will simply copy you, and you may not even realize they’re smoking for quite a while.
If you drink, don’t drink in front of your children, or keep it to a strict minimum if you do. Explain to them the hazards of drinking too much, and tell them true stories of what has happened to people you have known who have been hurt or killed due to these bad choices.
Likewise, if you have tried drugs when you were younger, don’t tell them about it. Children quickly assume that anything their parent has done is fine for them to do, too. If the child finds out about something you did in the past, calmly explain that it was a very bad and immature decision you made, and that you don’t want them to repeat your bad mistakes.
One good way to motivate your teen to keep their bodies strong and healthy is with a sport or hobby. You can join them for exercise, such as skating, especially on the weekends. If the teenager likes to dance, make sure there’s a room or area in the home where they can dance.
If they like basketball, get a hoop for the driveway, and keep the ball inflated with proper air pressure so it bounces properly. Same with a soccer ball. Show your teen how to maintain and store the ball so it lasts.
Keep Your Communication Open
As challenging or awkward as it may sound, sometimes the best way to teach them how to make healthy choices is by talking to them. Make sure you maintain a healthy relationship with each other. This way, they will be comfortable discussing their concerns with you.
Family Healthcare in Kent, Washington
Teaching teens to make healthy choices is not an easy feat. Here at FamilyCare of Kent, our nurse practitioners can help you and your family stay happy and healthy.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today by calling us at (253) 859-CARE (859-2273), or request an appointment now via our online form. We look forward to being your whole family’s healthcare partner.