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Setting Examples For Our Kids

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As parents, we all have our perspective on how to raise our kids.  And it varies a lot from family to family.  But I think most people would agree that setting an example of the type of behavior you think is good is pretty important.  If you want your kids to be kind, screaming obscenities at other drivers is probably not a great idea.  If you want your kids to be honest, don’t rip off other people.  And if you want your kids to be healthy, make your health a priority.

I have seen a lot of parents that are horribly out of shape and take very poor care of themselves, yet they encourage their kids to be active in sports.  And now that I’m old enough to see how that has turned out as my friends’ kids grow up, what do you think happened?  As you’d probably guess, in most cases those same kids put their health on a back-burner.  You may think that by putting your kid’s desires ahead of your time to workout and take care of yourself, that you are being selfless and doing them a favor.  But you’re not helping them.  You are telling them, through your behavior, that once they are out of the house, that their health isn’t very important.  You are showing them that adults don’t take care of themselves, and that’s just something that kids do.

I’ve also seen many families with very fit parents.  The kids see their parents making their health a priority and guess what?  Those kids continue to take care of themselves through college, and into their careers.

We all want our kids to be healthy and successful in life.  So we must never forget that we are leading our kids through our actions and attitudes.  Our words mean nothing if they don’t align with the way we live.