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33 Ways to Raise Happy, Healthy Kids

33 WAYS TO RAISE A HEALTHY CHILD A HAPPY As parents, there is a crucial, gratifying goal that unites all of us: We want our children to be as happy and healthy as they can be! As wacky and wild as this journey is, we never feel more blessed than when we're witnessing our children's faces bloom into big smiles. This is a simple guide to providing more of those smiles. That said, every parent-child relationship is precious and unique. Please gather what you can from these ideas, but know that only you can determine if they apply to your children. Get your kids moving! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states 12 11 that youths aged 6-17 years 10 should partake in at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. 2 Keep moving! "Regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence improves strength and endurance, helps build healthy bones and muscles, helps control weight, reduces anxiety and stress, increases self-esteem, and may improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels." - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Create a culture of movement in your family Lead by example. This will help them establish healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Ample physical activity and a healthy diet cuts down the risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and arthritis. Encourage your child to try out sports in a supportive but not overbearing fashion 4 When a child participates in a sport of their choosing, they enjoy countless benefits, such as: • Reduced risk of obesity • Increased cardiovascular health • Stronger bones and muscles • Deep, regular sleep • Stress relief • Socialization and companionship • Cooperation and leadership skills • Enhanced coordination and balance • More confidence • More fun! 5 Cultivate connections Doctors agree that feelings of connectedness, such as being loved, understood, and wanted, are crucial to fight against emotional distress and risky behaviors. Play dates, caring for pets, and family gatherings may be ideal ways to do this. 6 Playtime! Play invites children to discover It builds independence, feeds creativity, themselves and their liberates the imagination, surroundings. and relieves stress. 1 Volunteer for heartfelt causes Volunteering inspires children to believe in themselves and others. It helps them cultivate respect and an open heart, which will guide them toward positive relationships. 8 Talk to your baby Talking to your infant will plant seeds of trust and connection. This will help them relate to others and relish the joy of language. 9 Spend time with your child 10 Focus on your own happiness "Your children need your presence more than your presents." - Victoria Mechler Your self-satisfaction will radiate through all that you do, including parenting. Your job or income has less effect on your child's emotional well-being than your personal happiness does. 11 Go for a bike ride! There's nothing quite like the windswept adventure of a family bike ride. Plus, it saves on gas and promotes sustainability. 12 Don't keep your child in a happiness bubble 13 Welcome the quirks and wonders of their personality It may be tempting to placate your child's every gripe and grant their As they grow, you will witness their every wish, but this will backfire individuality blossom. Seek to ban and drive them to have unrealistic labels from your family's life; expectations. You are not responsible inform them that labels could never for your child's every emotion; capture all of the facets they need to experience negative of a human being. emotions in order to develop resilience. 14 Stand up for recess! As a parent, advocate recess to your child's educators. Breaks for free play benefit your child by building communication skills, enhancing focus during class time, and incorporating more physical activity. 15 Encourage hobbies When a child discovers something they are good at, it will boost their confidence and help them prioritize. Do what you can to provide access to activities and dabble in many different experiences. Say “no" in a constructive manner 16 Happify's study into the science of raising kids shows that when children "feel rejected or unloved by their parents, they're more likely to be hostile, aggressive, and emotionally unstable." 17 Live by example. Strive to embody compassion and gratitude. VOLUNTEER KINDNESS "Whatever you would have your children become, strive to exhibit in your own MAN lives and conversation." BOY - Lydia H. Sigourney 18 Impose less structure and encourage more free play Children enjoy eight less hours of free-choice playtime than they did 20 years ago. Free play helps kids 10 develop independence, emotional fortitude, creativity, and social skills. Let them play! 19 Perform simple acts of kindness Studies show that toddlers enjoy giving gifts even more than receiving them. Inspire your kids to do simple acts of sweetness and generosity by doing so yourself! Some ideas are: Crafting a kind card Offering compliments that are individualized and action-based Reading a book with an elderly family member for a sad friend 20 Not all parenting advice applies to your child Avoid stressing over not mastering a certain technique or doing every single thing that experts and other moms swear by. Your child is an individual, DISCIPLINE so your parenting style should be unique to them. This alleviates anxiety for all involved. 21 Limit screen time More than 4,000 teens were studied for seven years. The results showed that those who watched more TV exhibited depressive symptoms. This rate increased 8% with every additional hour watched. 22 Work your “flawesome" personality By embracing your quirks and graciously accepting your shortcomings, you will inspire your kids to do the same. “There is no such thing as a perfect parent, so just be a real one." - Sue Atkins 23 Praise kids for effort Compliments can have a positive impact. Rather than simply You are working so hard! Your creativity is really saying your child is smart and creative, also offer positive feedback on their efforts to achieve and be kind. shining through. This forms a foundation of success for life. I'm proud of you! 24 Never underestimate the power of love and support A study has shown that children with a nurturing, reassuring mom developed a 10% larger hippocampus by the time they reached grade school. 25 Nip bullying in the bud Approximately 30% of kids experience bullying, and 30% of kids admit to being a bully. It's a complicated matter, but it helps to discuss the dangers of bullying early on with honesty and respect. Parents should: O Learn the warning signs of bullying 2 Understand the causes and effects of cyberbulling 3 Open lines of honest communication 26 Sleep on it! It's up to us to teach our children how to be healthy sleepers. Make a consistent bedtime a priority. Everyone is happier with the fresh perspective that sleep provides. Zzz 27 Let your kids express their emotions We all need to vent. While adults have more coping mechanisms, kids haven't developed those yet. Shushing them and forcing them to internalize negative emotions will sabotage their natural efforts to grow into a healthy mindset. 28 Give your kids freedom to make choices While parents can offer guidance and ask questions, some decisions should be left to the child. This will help them believe in themselves and feel more confident in their choices. 29 Help your kids develop determination and resilience Age-appropriate chores are one way to do this. "Never do for a child what he is capable of doing for himself." - Elizabeth Hainstock 30 Play even more! Cecccececee "Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity." - Kay Redfield Jamison 31 Foster respect for diversity with playtime “Play helps kids feel more connected to their communities. Community playscapes have a positive effect on social cohesion, foster positive attitudes towards racial and cultural diversity, and help reduce feelings of isolation and exclusion." - KABOOM! 32 Be willing to give your kids freedom to become independent “The last step in parental love involves the release of the beloved, the willing cutting of the cord that would otherwise keep the child in a state of emotional dependence." - Lewis Mumford 33 The hierarchy of happiness Happify's study into the science of happy kids ranked what makes our little ones most happy: O Family Friends Playing 10 Participating in sports Toys AAA STATE OF PLAY Sources: http://www.ede.gov/ | http://www.kidshealth.org | http://www.scholastic.com | family I http://www.unitedway.org/take-action/volunteer-as-a- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/raising-happy-kids/ http://www.stopbullying.gov | http://my.happify.com/hd/the-science-of-raising-happy-kids/

33 Ways to Raise Happy, Healthy Kids

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While every parent has a unique approach to raising their kids, there is one main goal unites all of us; we want our children to grow up happy and healthy! This infographic provides 33 simple, proacti...

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