Sunday, May 9, 2010

Healthy modeling...

On the night of Mother's Day I have been doing a bit of personal reflection. I remember a sign my mum used to have in her kitchen that read "A mother holds her children's hands for a little while but holds their hearts forever". How true is that?

Our little ones are only little for such a short period of time. Before we know it they are off to parties with friends, have part-time jobs and don't really want to be seen too much with's a bit 'uncool' isn't it?!

However, I know that even when I went through those times, the words of my mum and the things she taught me were (and still are) in my mind but also in my heart. Even now, with mum having been gone for almost 10 years, those early days with her were so crucial to the values that I maintain to this day.

So it brings me to question, what kind of healthy behaviours and values are we instilling in our children? Are we setting them up for a lifetime of fantastic health? Or are we showing them that because life is so busy and so stressful we cannot afford the time to eat well, exercise and invest time in our health?

In times when it is so easy to become overwhelmed with the acute busyness of 'life' it is too easy to take the 'drive through' option, the 'supermarket snack pack' option or the 'pie shop drop'. How many children now accept this is part of their daily routine?

Tell me, how many of you out there think "That's OK, they won't eat like this when they get older. It is just because we are really busy." What makes us think that when the children get older their habits will magically change? If we are continually modeling this kind of behaviour today, all it says to our kids is that this kind of behaviour is OK...for life!

I know that most of us try so hard to do a great job at parenting. We take the kids to activities, parties, schools, playgroup and preschool. We read them stories, play soccer, build cubby houses and give them magic kisses when they are hurt or sad. We sacrifice a lot for our children and rightly so as we made the decision to become parents. However, we don't need to sacrifice our values around our health. It is the values that we model today, tomorrow and next week that will have the greatest impact on the future health of our children.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mum's out there!

emit your life!