Lifestyle, Parenting, Personal Development

What Kids Need PIII

The Outdoors. Today everything revolved around social media, technology, but is that healthy? No, of course not. There are some great programs for kids growing up to learn about various subjects, which is great. However, learning about nature and interacting with nature are not the same. Touching a leaf off a tree, or seeing, touching flowers, dipping your hand in a lake is not the same as just reading or hearing about it. Kids, even teens should be encouraged to get out and about, take walks, have human interaction. I will admit the pandemic messed up a lot of that. Even for me, with long term after Covid fatigue and stuff I have not yet fully gotten back to a social life. I am working on it. It matters, being outdoors. If you have a balcony when it’s nice weather plan something, grill stuff and eat on the balcony for example. Don’t let you and/or the kids get stuck behind a screen all day.

Healthy Diet. Getting kids to eat healthy and even teens can be like pulling teeth. Let’s say you want them to eat celery sticks, well couple that with organic peanut butter or try different types of hummus, even avacado dip. Sometimes you have to get creative. I have started to eat healthier, but once in a while I will go out and get an ice cream cone, rocky road, or order an eclair and iced coffee on grubhub. I am working on eating healthier, but also finding ways I can make healthy tasty. If they are given healthy, yet tasty foods early on, like probiotic yogurt drinks for a snack, they will get used to it. Get them started young on eating healthy yummy stuff.

Trust Me. Yes trust is earned and there is a way to have them earn trust, show they can make good choices. Start when they are young with simple things by giving them two or three healthy choices. If you are shopping for clothes with them, pick out three outfits that are going to make them look good and make a positive impression, ask them to choose one they like best. You can do that for food also, asking them which flavor they would like to try this time, give them three flavors and ask they choose one they would like to try this time. As they get older you can do that with other stuff. This way they learn to have judgement and trust themselves and you can also see that they are developing discernment. Remember though part of their learning about ability to trust and making trustworthy decisions comes from observing you, and that’s important to keep in mind.

Encourage Me. Your kid comes home and you were expecting all As or all Bs at least, but yikes three Cs on that report card. Sometimes the natural initial reaction is to get angry, scream about the Cs. There will be times when kids do stuff that is disappointing, but if all we do is tear them down for that, not going to end well for anyone, not even society. Not to say you should artificially puff them up all the time and try to protect them from every disappointment, that creates a different set of problems. However, if instead of yelling about the Cs for example, praise the As, Bs and ask them, try to find out why those Cs, what help might they need. For example math and science were tough for me, but essay, song or poetry writing, impromptu public speaking no problem. I was in Catholic school up until high school and they really did not have the resources etc…to help identify what the issue was. My mom speak some English, but Italian was the main language spoken at home, even with her friends, so she couldn’t help and my dad left when I was a kid. I really was not getting help to find out the core of the problem. When there are negative events etc…important to take a step back and encourage the positive while still addressing the negative. Address the half full, as well as half empty glass, not just the half empty.

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