Being a parent is fun! And why shouldn’t it be? Indeed the responsibilities are endless –  staying up all night to get your child to sleep, cleaning up after them, and doing the dishes (oh the dishes!). How about constantly yelling till you lose your voice and worrying sick when the little ones don’t feel too good – fun, isn’t it? But the love you have for your family makes it all worth the effort. 

Nothing makes a parent happier than seeing a healthy and happy family (except seeing the dishes already done). And the first step to having a healthy and happy life is to adopt healthy lifestyles. If you’re looking for practical ways to keep your family healthy all-year-round, then this article is for you. Set these health goals, and don’t forget to practice them too.

Adopt healthy eating habits

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If you asked your kids to decide what they want to eat for the rest of their lives, they’d probably mention mac n cheese, burgers, ice cream, fries, and everything nice. But you can bet your last penny that none of those options will be healthy. And who can blame them? Junk and unhealthy food have become so attractive and cheap that sometimes eating healthy feels like a chore. But as a loving parent who wants a healthy and happy family, you have a responsibility to serve healthy dishes for your family. Yes, peas and veggies are not the most attractive looking, and you will have to deal with grumpy-looking adorable faces behind the dinner table. But, they’ll thank you in the future when they’re all grown up – hopefully. 

So, set the goal to serve and eat nutritious meals, and create a budget and a meal plan for it. You can also take the extra step to include daily supplements where necessary. Be sure to speak to a health professional if you have any questions about the appropriate ones for children. Focus on supplements that make up for certain nutritional deficiencies and those that improve digestive health. However, it is crucial to first explain to your children the benefits of eating healthy meals before making changes. They’ll probably not agree with you, but it’s worth the try.

Encourage an active family

Exercising goals are one of the easiest to create and most challenging to follow through. But you should do your best to ensure that your family is as active as possible. That doesn’t mean you should line everyone up for intensive SEAL-style gym sessions every day. It only means encouraging them not to be couch potatoes or crouched into their smartphones 24/7.

Fortunately, kids are naturally very active, but modern technology like smartphones and videos can rewrite the script. Ensure that you impose certain limitations on their use and encourage the little ones to engage in physically healthy activities.

The two prominent family members you should probably focus more on are yourself and your partner. Find ways to make sure you exercise together daily and encourage the kids to join in too. You can try going out for family cycling and walks often. Play some music and dance with your family. That is great for both body, mind, and soul. You can also engage in gardening, swimming, jogging, etc., as a family activity. 

Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!

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Time to focus a little on psychological health goals. Believe it or not, poor family communication can negatively affect mental health. You wouldn’t be doing your family any good if they’re physically healthy, eating well, but constantly needing to visit the therapist.  

Communication plays a crucial role in creating the lasting bond and a sense of belongingness that your family needs. Beyond that, it is also critical to silence the ‘demons’ of teenage years. Teenagers, yikes! But many issues that teenagers and students face can be resolved by healthy communication, which should be one of your health goals if you have kids at that age. 

This might come as a shock to you, but teenagers are not monsters. And if you communicate with them more healthily, you will be able to help them navigate their teenage years. How? You can try two things. First, listen to them, give them attention, and speak thoughtfully with them. Secondly, please keep your eyes open for any withdrawal symptoms, and don’t hesitate to talk to them about it. Good luck!

Aim at reducing stress

Another mental health goal you should set for your family is stress reduction. If you’re a parent, you should know by now that avoiding stress is next to impossible, especially if your children sometimes make you wonder if you made a mistake with them. The important thing here is to aim at finding ways to manage stress levels or reduce them significantly.

Encouraging an active and positive lifestyle, healthy communication, and spending quality time with the family effectively reduce stress. The key here is to create a fun and relaxing atmosphere as much as you can. Try playing games together as a family. You can also watch movies, play video games, and spend quality family moments together. 

Additionally, it would help if you also tried to make enough time away from the burdens of work as much as possible. The less-stressed you feel, the more accommodating you will be to your family. Also, find ways to manage your anger as a parent, and teach your little ones to do the same. It’s hard sometimes, and understandably so. Sometimes, kids have a specially-sneaky way of testing your anger limits, as if they’re doing God’s work. But how you react will teach them how to respond.

Happiness and contentment should be a priority

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Is contentment a health goal worth setting? Absolutely! Some studies have found a strong connection between positive mental health and contentment, happiness, gratitude, and positivity. It is essential to teach your kids core values like being content with what they have, being thankful for what they receive, and being generous with the little they may have. Kids naturally want to receive stuff, and you can’t blame them – they don’t have jobs. 

And a child will quickly wish to have something other kids have. If you cannot afford it, learn to teach your child to be happy with what you give them. Similarly, please do not compare your family with other families or wish to have what they want. Be pleased with the lovely faces around you. They might get on your nerves and make you mad, but they’re your family – an extension of you.

What are your family health goals?

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Claire Kirby

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