Kid's don't do what you say. They do what you do!"
I've worked with so many good parents who care so much about their children and still they make the same parenting mistake over and over.
They try too hard to change their kids attitudes and behavior without taking the time to examine their own.
Ouch! It's not a pleasant thing to think about.
We know that kids follow our examples because that's the way they learn. So instead of trying to act like we're perfect, parents can admit to our flaws as human beings and work on some of our habits at the same time as we work on them with our kids.
Here're a few examples to consider:
Are you happy with your kids sleep?
Are you happy with your own sleep?
Here's one thing you can do together that really helps. Parents and kids can exercise together, outdoors in the sun, if possible at around the same time each day. Doing this will improve sleep, mood and energy. Plus it's always good to have a routine that's fun.. I wrote this article with some ideas for you here, but you can always improvise and find unique ways that suit you and your family members.
If you're not happy about the way your kids eat, try eating with them.
Plan ahead to create healthy snacks and meals that adults and kids can enjoy together. Here are some of my ideas. Please remember to eat on time as much as humanly possible. Hunger can create bad food choices and bad moods, too.
Why not make a family habit of asking each other for one thing you learned today at the dinner table. This is a ritual that's almost as healthy as eating dinner together! Plus it's fun.
Make sure you support everyone in your family, including yourself, to take at least an hour of fun time for themselves each and everyday. As humans, we're wired to have fun because fun is a vehicle for learning and learning is everything to us.
Nanci J Bradley is an early childhood and family educator, author, teacher, SELF care for moms facilitator, family aerobics instructor and an all around fun loving person. She believes in the power of sleep, healthy eating, lifelong learning and most of all, PLAY! She studied early childhood ed at Triton College and received her BA in education in 1986 from NIU. She received her MA in human development from Pacific Oaks College. in 2011. She lives and teaches in Madison, WI