Updated: Oct 4, 2019
As a parent you are responsible for your child’s 8 dimensions of wellness not just your own.
Mental health among youth is becoming a major issue, I feel I’m always hearing about suicide of young children. This needs to stop. I can go on and on about this…. I will get to the point.
Just remember your children are CHILDREN. The brain is not fully developed until the age of 25.
These are just some things we are doing in our HOME with our 4 year old. Trying to raise a well-rounded, happy, respectful and hard worker. Set responsibilities and expectations so he doesn't become entitled or depressed, etc.
1. Emotional/Mental: Being readily available for your child in emotional distress. Children watch their parents/guardians more than you realize. They see how YOU deal with issues, stress, sadness, happiness, etc. We talk about our feelings will our son. I stop what I'm doing and get on my knees so I'm eye to eye with him, so he can express himself. I give him hugs and kisses and I tell him "I love him".
2. Physical: Children need a minimum of 1 hour a day outside. Getting adequate sleep/rest. We have been slacking on this department because our daughter was colicky and screaming for hours at night for the last 10 months. A balanced diet is also very important for your child. Giving your child all food groups. My son is a picky eat… this will be a different blog at a later date. We spend about 3 hours a day trying to get him to eat, he pockets his food, we just had him evaluated at Children’s Hospital. He will be going to occupational therapy for about 10 weeks to strengthen his right side of his mouth that his muscle and tough had atrophied to the point of 0 strength. It is a struggle.
3. Social/Family: Have family time. Play games, go for walks, have birthday parties, go to family parties, play monsters, etc. Laugh and play with your kids. Show them they are the center of attention with no distractions for a certain amount of time. (As a mom this is a battle for me, I feel I’m all over the place, it is hard to give them my undivided attention. I’m always needing to clean something or do laundry or homework or text a client, etc. It is something I’m always working on.) Eat ONE meal a day with no TV, no phones. Just be an old school FAMILY.
4. Spiritual: Teach moral and values. Take your kids to church, prey before meals/bed, having your children say “thank you” and “please”. Guess what, they respond better when you say “thank you” and “please” too. You are the PARENT not a friend, yet you still need to show your child respect. Get down to their level and let them talk. Listen to them. If you listen to them, they will come to you more when in distress. Ties into emotional health.
5. Environmental: Teach your children responsibilities around the house. Cleanliness and organization in the home. Having them pick up after themselves. Have you children perform chores, paid and unpaid. Teach them respect, like putting trash in a trash can not on the ground.
6. Occupational: My 4 year old has jobs and loves it.
He asks a lot of questions as most kids do. The way I mother is I’m honest about life... he asks me “why does daddy have to go to work?” I reply with “he works to make money. Money supports our family and so we can buy food and toys.”
When I have a personal training client, “you have a client now? You making money?”
The other day he told me he wanted a truck transformer. His daddy and I asked “do you have any money”
His reply “no”.
“You need money to buy the truck”
He didn’t ask for money. He replied “how can I make money”
We asked him if he want jobs that can make him money.
He agreed... we made a chart.
Now he has a couple chores that make him money. The other chores he does is to help the family. Everyone has a job to do except the baby 🤪
He just had his first pay day $2.50 for his weekly shores he did. If he does more chores on the chart he will get more stars. Each star is worth 25 cents.
7. Financial: Teaching your children Needs vs Wants.
8. Intellectual: Read, color, write, brain teasers, educational games, building, imaginary play… A child’s brain is a sponge… Make learning fun.
No one is perfect, no parent/guardian is perfect… yet you can get to know your children and realize they are looking up to YOU to lead by example.
As you see all the dimensions start to blend together. Because they ALL work together for a balanced, happy, healthy life for you and your family.
Teach your children… LOVE, RESPECT, KINDNESS, RESPONSIBILITY.
I’m sure I’m missing hundreds of thousands of things. Being a parent is a challenging life long task. Being stern enough yet still gentle. Set responsibilities but still have fun. Watching your child fail so they learn. It is up to us parents to lead by example. Be kind to your neighbor, wave, smile, hold a door open.... the next generation is watching us.