As a mom, you want the very best for your child in every way. However, even with the best intentions, different factors in life can sometimes get in the way. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or like there’s more you can be doing for your child, I’m here to give you a helping hand.
Whether you are raising your first child or you’re a seasoned mom looking for new ideas, here are a few things you can do to prioritize your kid’s health and well-being. To make it easy, I’ve broken it down into two general categories, physical health, and emotional well-being. Hopefully, these tips bring you peace of mind and make your job as a hard-working mom just a little bit easier.
Your child’s health starts with their physical well-being. Here are a few ways you can make sure their physical health remains a priority:
Encourage Them to Stay Active
Living an active lifestyle is important at any age. While you don’t necessarily need to put your child through boot camp, the value of encouraging them to stay active cannot be understated. There are many ways to help your child make exercise a daily habit. From bike rides through the neighborhood to family workouts or dance parties, there are virtually endless options for how you can stay fit as a family.
Make Healthy Eating Fun
Kids not wanting to eat their veggies is nothing new, but it’s your job as a parent to make sure they get their daily nutrients and learn healthy eating habits. That said, it doesn’t need to be a daily fight at the dinner table. Instead, try making healthy eating fun for them.
You can do this by getting creative with presentation (think funny fruit faces or using cookie cutters for unique shapes), playing with colorful foods (bright colored fruits and vegetables can be more appetizing for kids than a plate full of greens), or allowing them to help you prepare meals.
Keep up With Their Medical & Dental Care
Most kids are very reluctant to go to the doctor’s office and you might be reluctant to shell out the cash for increasingly expensive medical costs (have you seen the average braces cost recently?). However, it’s essential that you make sure their medical and dental care is kept up with. This means showing some tough love and taking them to appointments even when they’re scared or don’t want to go.
It might be hard at first, but keep in mind that it’s in their best interest and will save them a lot of pain and health issues in the future.
Your child’s emotional health is just as important as the physical aspects. However, it can be much harder to address their emotional needs sometimes. Consider these tips for nurturing your child’s mental health:
Create an Open & Supportive Environment
Sometimes children neglect to tell us when they’re going through difficult times because they’re not comfortable talking to us about certain things or they’re not sure if their feelings are valid. One way you can help your child overcome this common hurdle to emotional well-being is by making it clear that you’re providing an open and supportive environment for them. You can do this by normalizing talking about feelings and problems, discouraging keeping secrets (unless they’re happy surprises), and trying your best to take a non-judgmental approach to whatever they decide to tell you.
Journaling has long been recognized for its mental health benefits. Putting thoughts on paper is a good way to find relief from the stress of the day and provides an opportunity for introspection. Obviously, this is a tip for children who are old enough to read and write, but it’s a great practice to implement early on. Plus, you can also do your own alongside them, giving you the opportunity to reap the same benefits of journaling while also bonding with them.
Showing affection comes more naturally to some of us than others, but it’s important to often remind your child just how much you love them. This can be done in several ways, depending on your child’s love language. For example, if your child responds best to words of affirmation, remember to tell them that you love them. Or, if they’re more open to physical touch, give them hugs throughout the day.
You know your child best, so this can be interpreted however you think will provide the most benefit.
While it’s in our nature to put our children first, you can’t let your own health fall off the radar. Remember, being the best you that you can be is essential to being the best mother to your child, so make sure to practice self-care when you can.