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Parenting - How to be a healthy role model to your children
Parenting – How to be a healthy role model to your children

I meet a lot of parents who have fallen into a negative thought pattern and are unable to find their way back to a confident and positive self-image. The changes women experience after having a baby is no small thing. Having a child takes its toll on your body… add in the sleepless nights, the desperation to lose weight, returning to the workforce and you have yourself in a spiralling emotional mess! 

Research shows that parents have an influential impact on their childrens’ mindsets. The language you use, and the actions you take to demonstrate to your children what your personal values and ethics are. Considerations for praise, talking about the human body, accepting mistakes as learning opportunities, and understanding the role of emotions in learning are all practices you can embody to improve your ability to be a positive role model. 

Time, money and sleep are important, and even more so if they’re hard to find. Your whole world revolves around the little people in your life. It’s easy to forget about yourself as you struggle to stay on top of the endless ‘to do’ list both at work and at home, let alone thinking about your own health and fitness. 

Unfortunately, when we feel tired and rundown it’s easy to look in the mirror and not like who you see and how you want to show up in this world. It’s easy to let the little voice start with its negative self-talk. 

Negative self-talk is the biggest enemy we can have within ourselves, it’s the biggest obstacle for someone who wants to feel better in their skin. 

We often try to laugh off our self judgement and criticism, but the reality is our children are always watching our behaviour. Joking about mummy’s wobbly tummy, our jiggly bottom, or how out of breath we are at the park… There is nothing like that jolt to reality when we see our kids start to judge their thighs, how big their tummy is and knowing that their behaviour is a direct reflection on what they have seen from us. 

How can we adjust this? How can we work past our insecurities to demonstrate the role models we want to be to our children? Before we jump into the how, let’s firstly understand what does it mean to be a role model to our children. 

Role models are people we look up to in life – for support, advice or inspiration. Whether you realise it or not, you are a role model to your children and it’s important to reflect on how you want to show up for yourself which in turn is how to show up for them. 

Here are 8 examples of how you can be a positive role model to your children: 

  • Be authentically you – don’t hide behind a versade
  • Create a judgement free zone
  • Practise open communication 
  • Be a good listener – be present in conversations and practise active listening
  • Show affection – nurture your children with physical attention such as holding hands, hugs, kisses, sitting next to them.
  • Show encouragement – express your enthusiasm to try new things and congratulate them for stepping out of their comfort zones 
  • Be mindful of the words you use and the tone you speak in
  • Pause and take a moment to breathe! 

Mindset is number one when it comes to feeling and looking better and this is an important place to get started. Without a good positive mindset, it’s hard to make the changes you need to improve your own wellbeing. 

Whether well-being for you is about having more energy, sleeping better, losing weight, getting rid of brain-fog, bouncing back to the pre-baby body, being better focused at work or being a healthy example for your kids; mindset is number one.

Whether you feel like you are on the right track, or you are convinced you are screwing it all up as a parent – don’t be so hard on yourself,  tomorrow is a new day and a fresh start in working towards getting better at being a positive role model for your children. 

The best way to be a good role model is to show your children, don’t just tell them. Teach through demonstration of how you live your best life, both physically and emotionally. Be the person you want your child to be, respect your child. Show them positive behaviour and attitude and your child will follow in your footsteps. 

It’s the smallest things that can make a positive difference in your household. Stressed out parents are more prone to outbursts and unhealthy displays of behaviour in front of your children. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Taking some time away for ‘me time’ to allow time for your own self care and well being is extremely important. 

Show and talk through the benefits of eating healthy by eating meals together at the dinner table and letting your children get involved in food preparation and cooking activities. Encourage movement by going on family bike rides, walks or even playing in the backyard together. Show your children healthy emotional releases by explaining why you might be feeling frustrated, mad, sad, happy and fulfilled and how you can work through these emotional states. 

Author Simone Lord

Contact Simone Lord

Simone Lord is a keynote speaker, women’s health specialist, lifestyle coach, mentor, and family finance advisor.

Reference Links

Physical Health & Business

Healthy parenting mindset

Growth mindset parenting

Supporting parents & teenagers

10 tips on how to be good parents

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