When it comes to a family’s overall health, one would often think that it has to do with how you take care of your family’s physical health. You know, eating healthily, exercising regularly, not missing any doctor’s appointments, and visits to the dentist for the occasional prophylaxis or wisdom teeth removal, among others.
A healthy family is the product of a healthy family environment. However, there’s more to a healthy family environment than just the home and its physical surroundings.
It also has to do with how you interact with each other, how healthy (or unhealthy) your lifestyle is, and how you take care of your family’s mental health.
Here are a few ways to build a healthy environment for your family to grow and thrive in:
Health and Wellness
1. Eat nutritious foods and minimize junk foods
We’re all aware of how the road to good health starts in the kitchen. No matter how much or how hard you exercise, if you’re not mindful about what you put in your body, then it will all be for naught. Do your best to provide your family with healthy food and get rid of all the junk in your fridge and pantry. The occasional junk food is okay but it shouldn’t be an everyday thing.
2. Drink more water instead of flavored drinks
Similarly, what you drink can also affect your body. Opt to drink more water instead of flavored drinks like juice, sodas, and even milk. Drinks that say they are 100% juice still isn’t as healthy as a glass of clean drinking water.
3. Have healthier snack alternatives
In line with eating healthily, instead of snacking on the usual chips, pastries, and other similar snack items, have alternative snacks such as fruits and veggies on hand always. Fruits such as apples and bananas are high in vitamins and minerals that are good for your growing children. The next time your kids ask for a snack, offer them healthy fruits instead.
4. Practice what you preach
You can’t expect your children to start eating healthily if they don’t see you doing the same thing. Keep in mind that kids will follow what their parents do more than what they say. So you need to be a good role model and walk your talk.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
5. Do your best to always use positive criticism and reinforcement
If you’re going to correct something in your children, your correction will be received well if it doesn’t come across as a put-down. No child likes to hear negative criticism but they respond well to constructive criticism and positive reinforcement such as the Sandwich Method. Communication is not enough. Communicating well should be your goal. And part of it entails correcting lovingly.
6. Be generous with the compliments and encouragements
Everybody likes to be complimented. There is not one person in the world that does not appreciate a sincere compliment. Be generous with your compliments when it comes to your family. Always be on the lookout for things that are praiseworthy and communicate them immediately. When a member of your family is in need of encouragement, don’t scrimp and give it generously.
7. Focus on teaching kids good manners and right conduct
A lot of people nowadays are all about fighting for their rights, forgetting how these rights also come with responsibilities. Too many people forget to teach children how to be selfless and compassionate. One of the best things any parent can do for their child is to help them develop the right character and values they will need to be responsible and upright citizens and not grow up entitled and self-centered.
8. Always make time for the family
In all the hustle and bustle of our daily grind, most parents find it hard to balance their time at work and at home. Keep in mind that the reason why you’re working hard is your family. They should take precedence over other aspects of your life so never compromise your time with them. Set aside a regular time to hang out with them and enjoy each other’s company. If your children see that you prioritize them over everything else, they will grow up secure and sure of themselves.
9. Set boundaries and establish routines
Boundaries are good. They’re not meant to restrict but to protect. Think of the fence around your property. It restricts strangers and other potentially dangerous people from getting easy access to your home. Similarly, boundaries in life function the same way. They protect you and keep you from failing and falling. Children thrive where there are boundaries. Do them a favor and come up with a set of rules and routines that can help them grow to be responsible adults.
10. Maintain a good balance of seriousness and fun
We all know that too much of one thing isn’t good. If you’re all business at home and no play, your children will end up looking for fun and companionship outside your home. This could lead them to the wrong crowd. However, if you’re all fun and games and never take anything seriously, your kids might end up with no ambition or goal in life and just wander aimlessly. There should be a healthy balance between work and play.
Children’s lives revolve around their families. This is where they learn how to become responsible individuals and citizens and learn how to fit into and function in society. For our children to succeed in life, we need to provide them with a healthy and nurturing environment that will allow them to grow up to be the best men and women that they can possibly be.