Healthy Teens, Relaxed Parents: Five Ways to Promote Healthy Teen Habits
As any parent will admit, getting a teen to exercise or floss can be quite the challenge – as a matter of fact, getting anyone to exercise or floss can be near impossible. It’s one thing to avoid dangerous behaviors; it’s another to actively seek out healthy ones. In the case of teens, often, the two go hand-in-hand – keeping a healthy lifestyle translates to making better choices. And, as a parent, you can have quite a bit of influence on promoting healthy teen habits.
Healthy teen habits encompass a wide range of activities, but the one thing virtually all of them have in common is the ever-presence of the temptation to not do them. Even though exercise can be refreshing and vegetables taste good (yes, even broccoli), given the choice, most people would prefer to eat chips and play videogames. In order to promote healthy teen habits, it is important to focus on the fun side of making healthy choices.
Making Healthy Teen Habits a Part of Everyday Life
The very first step to making healthy teen habits stick, is to have an iron will and abide by similar rules. As difficult as it may be, leading by example is the best way to encourage healthy teen habits. Staying healthy is important at any age, perhaps even more so with adulthood; getting your teen used to the idea of healthy teen habits now will help them keep these behaviors for the rest of their lives.
There are a number of tips that can make promoting healthy teen habits easier. While some positive actions can be hard to start, once your teen gets accustomed to them, they will be well on their way to leading a healthier life.
In order to promote healthy teen habits as a parent, it is important to:
- Communicate. Before engaging in any difficult, character-building activity, it is important to remember to simply talk. Moreover, in their quests to be better parents, many forget to simply bond with their children and listen to what they have to say. By making your child feel safe, they will be more likely to approach you should a problem – or potentially unhealthy issue, such as bullying, peer pressure, or controlled substances – arise.
- Keep a routine. Teens consistently don’t get enough sleep and their eating schedules are all over the place. Healthy bedtimes and diets are vital to overall health.
- Avoid too much electronics. TVs, phones, computers – screens are everywhere. There’s nothing wrong with some electronic time once in a while, but when it interferes with reality, it becomes a problem.
- Emphasize hygiene. For example, brushing your teeth before bed seems like common sense. However, since it’s such a small action, it is extremely easy to simply skip. Aside from a number of health benefits that hygiene carries, much like exercise, it can leave your child feeling fresh.
- Support your child. A healthy body and a healthy mind go together. While exercise will help your child feel better emotionally, your child’s emotional well-being is the key to them being motivated to adopt healthy teen habits.