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What can you do? - The Parent's Role

Street SignStreet Sign A Guide to Help You Teach Your Children Positive Self-Image through Fitness...The key to ensuring strong self-esteem and a positive body image starts with the parent. If you don't feel positive about your self-image, then how can you expect your children to? While important for both genders, it is especially critical for raising a healthy daughter. Beginning the lessons when a girl is young is imperative, so don't wait – teaching your daughter to feel good about her body needs to start at a very young age.

Establish a "no diet talk" rule. In fact, remove the word "diet" from your vocabulary. When your children are nearby, DON'T talk about dieting or how overweight you feel! This is extremely important. Remember, kids are listening all the time (even when you think that they aren't – especially then). So, even though asking your spouse or friend "do I look fat in this?" may seem innocent, it can have a life-altering effect on your kids when they repeatedly hear it.

Try to prepare healthy meals. And teach the importance of good nutrition. Remove the words "good" and "bad" from describing foods. If a kid thinks that candy is a "bad" food, then naturally they will just want it more. Simply encourage your kids to eat a balanced diet each day and to eat sugary and/or fatty foods in moderation.

Set a good example. If your children never see you engage in fitness or if they hear you complain about working out, then they are going to have a negative image of exercise. Let them know that you workout to stay healthy, to be strong and to have more energy and stamina (so you can keep up with them)! Although the best way for a parent to encourage a child to be physically active is to act as a role model...studies & research have shown and identified three other main factors important in keeping kids physically active:

1. Children have the desire to develop and demonstrate physical competence, such as athletic skills, physical fitness, and physical appearance. Help them be the best they can be.

2. Support & Encouragement - Gaining social acceptance and support from friends and peer groups are all important to your kids. As well, approval, reinforcement and encouragement from significant adults (parents, teachers & coaches) are all keys to initiating & continuing participation in physical activity.

3. Promote the Enjoyment - Fun derived from participation maximizes the positive and minimizes the negative experiences related to physical activity. Help them find a physical activity they'll enjoy.

According to the Guidelines for Physical Activity directed at children aged 5 to 12 years, "the single most important time to increase physical activity and decrease sedentary activities such as television watching and computer time is after school between 3 and 6 p.m. This is a time when children can be active but often are not. Many children are inactive during this time period through no fault of their own. Parents must help their children find safe and enjoyable opportunities to be active during this time period".

Living Active Fitness & Massage
Tel: 1-604-795-0342
Email: info@livingactivefitness.com

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