Most of the parents I know are incredible people. They dote on their children – paying the closest attention to their education, nutrition, activities, emotional well-being and social interactions. There is nothing a loving parent wouldn’t do for their child.
That said, here’s a thought.
Imagine if we all took care of ourselves the way we take care of young children. How healthy would we be? If you’re a parent – and a fairly decent one at that – the answer is clear. We’d be energetic, well-rested, properly nourished people.
But we don’t. We often cut corners, deprive ourselves of sleep, eat things we keep out of reach from our children and sit around talking, worrying and thinking about how we can be healthier and happier. If we only applied the basic laws of health we diligently impress upon our children to our own lives we’d be in a much better place.
Without a doubt, many of us are indeed healthy people – setting great examples for the children in our lives. Of course, children don’t have to stand on the front line dealing with mortgage payments, divorce, layoffs – or any other triggers that might ignite less-than-healthy habits. Triggers, however, don’t twist our arm and make us do things (or NOT do things) that are detrimental to our health and wellbeing – we do that all on our own.
Every day we can do something – anything – to make ourselves healthier, if not for our own sake, then for our children’s. One of the greatest differences between us as adults and children is choice. We have the choice to reach for a bag a chips when a credit card bill is too high. We have the choice to sit in front of the television for an extra hour because we had a bad day and can’t motivate to go for a jog instead. (Hopefully) children don’t. Granted, their dilemmas are scaled to their lives, but we skilfully set their boundaries and keep them on a guided path.
Today set a new boundary – or direction – and make a choice to do something healthy. And don’t say you can’t or you won’t or you already do so much. There is always room for improvement. The bar can always be raised.