Most parents recognize that their children are not leading healthy lives and have developed poor personal habits, they are unsure of how to begin fixing things.
Here are five key life-balancing pillars which will help your children to feel positive, energetic, enthusiastic, and as a result, be better learners. These are:
- Rest and relaxation and
Let’s see how we can reap long term benefits from implementing simple changes in day-to-day lives.
Today, we see food more as a tool to entertain our taste buds than as a source of nutrition. Their attractive packaging, tongue-tantalizing flavours, celebrity endorsements and marketing gimmicks create a temptation that no child can resist.
Instead of imposing a blanket ban on junk food, make your children understand the drawbacks of food items such as sugar, white flour, deep fried food, additives and cold drinks so that they have genuine reasons to avoid them. Give them healthy food alternatives (nuts, fresh fruits, juices, green vegetables) explaining their benefits. Involve your kids in buying, preparing and serving food and let them feel responsible.
Let your child never skip meals and teach them to eat regularly and at fixed times.
While breathing is critical for survival, there is also such a thing as proper and improper breathing. Improper breathing increases stress and weakens the immune system while proper breathing eases nervousness and provides clarity of thought.
The first step is getting your kids to breathe through their noses and secondly, to make them breathe from their stomachs rather than from their chests.
What happens when you breathe this way is that the stomach expands outwards and makes room for the diaphragm to pull the lungs down to their fullest capacity. As a result, you get the largest breath of air possible. More air in the lungs means more oxygen in the blood stream reaching every body part and ultimately resulting in better brain performance.
Whenever your children are tensed or low on self- confidence, encourage them to take deep breaths from their stomachs.
Have you ever wondered what impact regular exercise can have on your children’s health and academic performance? Did you know that kids who exercise regularly are less prone to allergies and colds and miss fewer school days? They are also less likely to become overweight and develop diseases such as diabetes. The increase in blood flow due to aerobic activity pumps more oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, and especially to the brain. It also eliminates waste and toxins, giving children a fresh, energetic feeling.
Be sure that your children spend at least one hour daily, doing some type of physical activity like skipping, swimming, dancing or running. Doing yoga or simple stretching exercises like stretching the arms up to the sky or clasping the hands behind the back and then looking up will also help reduce stress and add vigour.
Inspire your kids by getting involved in a physical activity along with them and making exercise a part of daily routine.
Sleep and rest are intrinsic to the learning process. It’s important to sleep well during the night to keep the body and mind fresh all day. Make sure children finish eating dinner at least two hours before sleeping. Help them maintain a relaxation routine like reading a book or listening to soothing music just before they hit the bed; if they can’t sleep let them have a glass of warm milk. Allowing them to consume sugar based foods or watching TV just before they sleep is an absolute no-no.
While longer naps of more than one hour are all right for younger children in daytime, older children (above six years) should avoid sleeping during the day.
As a parent, you can remarkably improve your children’s chances of being accepted among their classmates and friends by teaching them some simple habits about personal grooming. As kids are physically more active and sweat a lot, ensure they bathe regularly and change clothes, especially in summer. Encourage them to wash hair properly, keep hands and feet clean and brush their teeth twice a day.
Noone wants to be close to someone who smells bad or looks dirty. Make good hygiene a habit.
Make learning fun for your kids. Innovate ways to teach them little things in an exciting way and see a positive transformation in their personality. I will meet you in the next edition with the second life changing principle. Till then, take good care!