Raising Happy, Healthy Kids

Indian girl holding an green apple outdoorWhy do parents want their children to be healthy? Is it because they want them to feel energized? To be able to think clearly? To avoid illness? To live long? Yes, it’s all of the above, but why? We want our children to be healthy, because we want them to be happy.

That’s our job as parents, to raise happy children. So, we want them to do well in school, to get good jobs, to marry the right person, to avoid drugs and follow the law. We want them to choose loyal friends, buy a home, and yes, be healthy, because we believe these things will help them attain happiness.

So where does a parent start when it comes to the health of her children? Nutrition? Screen time? Exercise? Education? Yes, all of the above, but I don’t believe that there is one prescribed “right” way to raise healthy children. I mean, three big meals a day or six small meals? Vegetarian, vegan, lactose free, free range chickens? Snacks on the weekend only? Dessert? No sweets? Play outside or join a soccer team? No TV during the week? Computer an hour a day, an hour a week? Do all the homework first thing when they get home? Free time during the week and study hard on the weekend? C average and above? A’s only?

We can debate the above, but what it comes down to is what your family believes is important. You know a bag of Doritos before bedtime isn’t healthy. But are you allowing it? If so, why? If it’s because you as a parent are doing the same, then that’s where change needs to begin.

To raise happy, healthy children, parents need to model the kind of behavior we hope to see in them. If we want our children to read everyday, they need to see us with a book in our hands. If we want them to eat more veggies, we need to buy them and put them on our plates. If we want them to exercise more, they need to see us up and moving. If we expect them to put down the Smart Phone, we need to put ours down first.

To raise happy, healthy children, we need to model healthy behaviors which will bring us to our place of happiness. When our children see that this is a way of life in our homes, they too will claim those same behaviors as their own, and become the happy, healthy children we desire.

Written by: Leon Scott Baxter, Relationship Guru

About the Author

Leon Scott Baxter, America’s Relationship Guru, is the author of three books on relationships. His latest book, due out in 2015, is about raising happy, successful children. Baxter has used his seventeen years in the classroom as an elementary school teacher, interviews with happy, successful children and their parents, as well as his own experience as a father of two to formulate his newest book. Health is a huge component of life in the Baxter home with P90X, Insanity, a home gym, a nutrition app in the works, regular basketball, skim boarding, cheerleading, national gymnastics competitions, and limited sweets.

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