It’s horrible for a parent to see their child struggling, whether it’s school or their peers that seems to be bothering them. You can often feel powerless to help, as children sometimes have a habit of keeping problems to themselves out of embarrassment or a fear that their parents will get involved at school.
Still, helping your child to feel healthier and happier doesn’t always mean marching into school to sort things out; sometimes you can help your child directly to conquer the outside problems which might be bothering them.
Whether it’s their physical or mental state which seems to be suffering, here are some pieces of advice to help you improve your child’s happiness and healthiness.
Make healthy food enticing
I’m not suggesting that you fill your child’s lunch box with chocolate and leave out the good stuff, but the fact is that children often find healthy food unappealing. The best way to change this attitude and encourage your child to eat a much more balanced diet is to give them healthy snacks which are actually interesting. I know that it seems as if such food doesn’t exist, but it’s all about presentation.
For example, weaning your kid off so much chocolate and filling their lunchbox with strawberries or grapes and then even healthier fruits such as bananas is a great way to present a colorful, sweet and delicious alternative that’s actually really good for them.
Again, moderation and balance is key. If you allow your child to still have a little snack, such as one chocolate bar, after their lunch, then that becomes the end reward after they’ve eaten all their healthy food. Fats aren’t as bad as you might think, and the key to physical health is getting a good balance.
Suggest sports or activities they might enjoy outside of school
Perhaps your child doesn’t like conventional sports or exercise. Perhaps they just don’t like getting involved with sports at school. Still, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t an activity tailor-made for them.
They might have slightly more unique interests, but you could suggest that they direct their love for other things, such as animals, into something new, such as horse-riding. If you’re on the fence about that idea, you could check out these amazing facts about the American Quarter Horse to get a real flavor of the history behind some of the most popular racing breeds out there. There are always ways to think outside the box.
Of course, whatever the sport may be that you end up suggesting to your child, you should listen to your child and what they want. You need to gear your activity around their hobbies and interests to show that you’re trying to find an outdoor activity or exercise which suits their mind, but you’ll still want to test the waters first to see if a certain sport’s up your child’s street. Perhaps enlisting them for one lesson just so they can get a feel of what it’s like will give you a real indication of whether this is a sport which will stick or not.
Just let them have fun
As discussed above, healthy options need to be your child’s choice. If you want them to lead a happy, healthy lifestyle, you need to lead by example and show them why it’s so good to live that way rather than forcing them to do so. When a child runs around and has fun without feeling forced to exercise or eats healthy food because they like the taste of it, their mind remains happy as well as their body.