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5 Ways to Jump Start Your Kid's Health This Year.

I'm not to candy coat it, my daughter likes to eat, sometimes too much. It's difficult to see her already starting terrible life habits.

Like the day that the kids kids at the church had a pizza party and she decided to eat FOUR slices of pizza when everyone just had two.

Or the time that decided to take all my Hershey kisses for Christmas cookies and hoard them secretly in a drawers for months without telling me.

I knew it was time for a change.

I know that New Year's resolutions are a big thing. But honestly, the reason that I think that no one keeps them past February, is that a habit is not something that you can just decide January 1st to jump into. It's something that you have to have been practicing even before January 1st.

So we started early.

We started running right before Thanksgiving. It was the WORST experience of my life.

I'm not just saying that because I hate running (because I do) I am saying that because it was literally like dragging a stubborn donkey through the neighborhood.

She got so frustrated and complained so much that she just sat on the curb and cried. Why does my life have to be so difficult?

I tried to bribe her, push her, use reverse psychology. I even threatened her by making her clean her room. Nothing. Zero motivation to run.

But then I asked her what she wanted to do for exercise. She said using her cool new smart watch she got for her birthday and doing the exercise games on there. Then we picked out some cool work-out videos on Youtube with Kids dancing to fun songs.

No more fights.

Hmm. I was beginning to see some progress. Not only in the working out department, but in the good-habit forming department.

Then I had a thought, why only create a good habit in working out? Why not create healthy habits around the concept of leading a healthy LIFESTYLE, not just a healthy life.

So then I started noticing other bad habits that were starting to form in our family: replacing relationships with screen time, being lazy and not playing with them and just sitting on the side, showing them bad habits from me and not making the effort to really talk things out day-to-day.

My favorite thing to say when I am working on my desktop is, "Go in the backyard and play." Expecting them to be out there, spending the day away in the yard and away from ME! But to my surprise, 10 mins later, they will come back, begging me to play with them!

I guess that is why I take so many pictures of my kids, it's a way for me to get off my big toosh and get out there in the mud and the dirt with them.

I discovered a long time ago that you can't take great pictures sitting on the sidelines and just pressing the "zoom" button on your camera. So being with them forces me to create amazing photos!

We limit the kid's screen time when they are at home. Sometimes it is difficult. Especially when we do Homeschool using videos from Youtube Red. I personally find it very difficult to put my phone to the side, especially since I work from home and on-the-go! But I always vow that when I do a field trip or a park trip with the kids everyday, then my phone goes away! (Yes, that rhymed and I meant it!)

The last thing I want is for my kids to only have memories of me staring at my phone.

Andrew, my husband, the other day was telling me about an interesting job that someone has. They are a professional child-acting coach. There job is to train child actors in the art of facial expressions. Through their research, because of kids watching screens all the time and in turn watching their zombie parents on a screen, they have not seen great facial and body language!

If you are sneaking nutella in the cabinet and hiding it from your kids (guilty!!) don't expect your 4 year old to be the picture of health.

If you are yelling at your spouse in front of the kids and not working it out in front of them, don't expect them to behave to each other.

They are little sponges and soak up EVERYTHING you do.

I remember hearing about this little girl, who was four (true story, but not my kid-this time). She was getting upset about something to her grandma and said, "F--- you!"

The grandma was so upset that she called the parents. The parents apologized and asked the girl where she heard that word from. "Did you hear it from Billy at school?" They asked.

The little girl looks at Grandma and says, "I heard it from mom."

Ooops.

Ooh, this is a great one.

Parents- it's okay to say NO! It's okay to let them get a scraped knee once-in-a-while. It's okay for you to take away their favorite toys for a "time out." They might CRY, but they won't die! (I'm on fire with these rhymes).

I can tell you SSOO many times that failure and rejection has been the greatest teacher to me as an entrepreneur and as a risk taker.

Did you know that the average parent spends only 10 minutes a day actually talking to their children. I am not talking about small talk like, "How was your day?" I am talking about real conversation like, "What did you when your brother/sister hit you? What should you do about it?"

Or asking them deep questions like, "How should we treat other people that look/act/pray different than us?"

No wonder why so many kids have to get outside therapies and counselors. They don't talk through their issues and concerns on a normal basis!

I know that when the new year comes, I want to be ready, knowing that I am making healthy habits as a parent and as a coach- training my kids for the Olympics of life, not just the flippin' burger kind of life.

Christal

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