Is your health and wellbeing important to you? What tools do you use to ensure that your body not only functions correctly, but that are you happy and fulfilled in life? As a parent you can pass these tools down to your children to ensure they mature into well-rounded, happy and fulfilled adults.
Decision-making is a skill that needs to be developed over time. By helping your child make the right choices, you not only help to keep him or her safe, but also develop his or her independence and build good self-esteem. Children also need to learn that poor decisions do have consequences. When parents don’t hold their kids accountable for their actions, a pattern of destructive and difficult behaviour ensues, as the child thinks that mom or dad can be counted on to fix things.
Use the PERMA Model to provide your child with the tools he or she needs to make good life choices. The PERMA Model refers to five elements that are believed to be measurable and contribute to a person’s wellbeing or achievement of a positive and happy life. Every element is important and contributes to one’s wellbeing and happiness.
Elements Of The PERMA Model
- Positive feelings – things that make your feel good and optimistic
- Engagement – activities and the things you enjoy doing
- Relationships – the people you connect with
- Meaning in your life – your purpose for living
- Achievement – a sense of accomplishment; realistic goals
What Can Parents Do?
Decisions are not only related to the ‘big stuff’ that older children and teens may face, like smoking, drugs, alcohol or sex. Your child’s choices also relate to healthy eating habits, getting physical exercise, mental health and emotional intelligence.
Encourage discussion around healthy eating
For many parents, food and healthy eating can be a daily battle. Talk about healthy food options – what these are and when and where treats and snacks can be considered. Keep healthy snack options in the house and buy treats for specific days.
This is dictated by the child’s age and what they are able to understand. Also consider the number of options and the age of the child. Provide fewer options for a younger child and increase these as your child matures.
Make it a priority to talk to your child every day about topics over and above daily routine. Talks can be short and simple or they can be more meaningful discussions. Look for teachable moments to bring across your values and morals.
Set a good example
Children watch and mimic their parents – you may talk the talk, but do your actions follow through?
Chores at home help your child develop a sense of responsibility and teach vital skills towards independence. Set age-appropriate chores for your child.
If your child tries hard to accomplish something, praise him or her for effort. End results aren’t everything and failure is a chance to learn. Teach your child how to find positive elements in every situation – even a difficult loss on the sports field or a failed exam. Praise your child for showing good character by helping a classmate or showing kindness to a fellow human being.
Teach your children the importance of physical activity by finding activities or sports that your can do together. Get involved in physical activity with your child – don’t just cheer from the side lines.
Focus on a healthy mind
Monitor what your children watch on any electronic device. Encourage daily quiet time – the chance to read a book, water flowers in a pot on the patio, or for older children, journaling their thoughts and feelings. A children’s yoga class can not only help to improve your child’s flexibility and muscle tone but can also teach them relaxation techniques, help improve confidence, concentration and awareness.