Parents have a lot to consider when raising their kids, not the least of which is keeping them healthy. The best way to stay on top of children’s overall wellness while parenting is to map out a plan.
Below are several parenting plan ideas that can help you steer your child on a course toward healthy living and habits.
Partner With a Trusted Pediatrician
You might love your doctor, but your physician may not be the right fit for your kids. Pediatricians are trained to work with youngsters and teens. Consequently, getting in touch with a pediatrician when your child is an infant will help you get the best care for him or her. It shouldn’t be tough to find someone who fits with your needs. America has about 472 million primary care doctors, and pediatricians may be among them.
Pediatricians aren’t just valuable when your child is suffering from some kind of sickness or flu. They can take the guesswork out of parenting by evaluating your child if you’re worried that they might have a condition such as autism or diabetes. Above all else, you’ll make your parenting job simpler if you have a pediatrician as part of your family’s healthcare providers.
Make Sure Your Child Visits the Dentist
Many moms and dads forget that healthcare includes dentistry. Even if you don’t have dental insurance, you should find a dentist in your area who can treat your child. You’ll appreciate being able to put your trust in your dentist, as so many people do. Actually, dentists are thought of as some of the 10 most trustworthy experts by the American public.
As your youngster begins to age, you may want to talk with your dentist about fixing his or her teeth with braces. Correcting overbites, underbites, crowding, gaps, and crossbites through orthodontic treatment doesn’t just fix functional problems, either. Nearly 47% of all teens who chose Invisalign clear braces reported an uptick in their self-esteem.
Think About Your Child’s Mental Health
As a wrap-up to healthcare and parenting, we’d be remiss if we didn’t touch upon mental health. Sometimes, kids go through traumatic experiences or may be inclined toward depressive experiences. In those circumstances, they can be helped by mental health professionals such as counselors, therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists.
Don’t wait until the problem gets very bad to seek treatment if you suspect that your son or daughter is going through a tough time emotionally. The earlier a mental health expert intervenes, the sooner your child can work through some tough times or manage a condition through therapies or even medications.
Give Children of Divorce Your Attention
Parenting has its ups and downs anyway. When you and your child’s other parent decide to divorce, you may feel a tremendous burden. This is especially true if you’re the non-custodial parent. In general, non-custodial moms and dads see their kids just under 90 days annually. For that reason, make every moment you can be with your child count.
While you don’t need to dote on your kids when you have them for the weekend or a summer vacation, make a point to be present in their lives. Listen to what they have to say. Talk to them about their future. Get interested in their hobbies, friends, and dreams. When you’re not able to be physically present with them, prove that you take parenting seriously by texting, videoconferencing, and being available as much as you can.
Teach Children to Eat Nutritional Meals
If given the choice, most kids would be all-too-happy to eat nothing but junk food all day, every day. Resist the temptation to allow your child to snack on bags of potato chips and pretzels, or drink sodas daily. Instead, make a point to introduce more nutritional foods into his or her meals, including plant-based foods like produce, seeds, grains, and nuts.
Feel like you’ve been remiss in this area of your parenting duty? You may have to retrain your taste buds, too. Tell yourself that it’s time to finally take back a fat-filled kitchen loaded with foods that contain empty calories. You’ll not only do your child a favor by illustrating healthy eating, but you could prolong your life, too!
Turn Exercise Into a Priority
When was the last time your parenting included going for a walk with the kids, taking them for a nature hike, or joining them on a bike ride? Children who learn to love exercise tend to continue to take care of themselves when they finally leave the nest. Therefore, the next time you’re all tempted to sit indoors and watch television on a beautiful day, think again.
Even if you aren’t someone who normally exercises or works out, think of things to do that will get everyone in the family moving. It isn’t necessary for you to run a marathon to get fitter. Taking a stroll around the neighborhood every evening after dinner can be enough to keep everyone enjoying nature and warding off creeping pounds.
Encourage Your Child to Adopt Hobbies
Kids should have more to do in their lives than play video games or sit around and draw. Urge your child to nourish his or her mind by taking on some hobbies. You can even help by introducing your son or daughter to cooking, sewing, woodworking, gardening, crocheting, knitting, writing, painting, or any other hobby-related activity.
Why is having a hobby better than not having one? As you probably know from reading parenting books and articles, well-rounded children tend to be more innovative and creative. They find it easier to move from one subject or experience to another, and they bring what they learn with them throughout the years. Don’t worry if your child picks up a hobby and then forgets about it in a few months. It was still a valuable chance for your son or daughter to try something new.
Ready to make sure most of your parenting decisions always have a health-related component? Keep this list handy as a resource and guide.