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In raising healthy children, it’s not enough to solely focus on the physical aspect of health. To be truly healthy, a child’s emotional health must be nurtured and strengthened. Also, developing a mental attitude of wellness is essential. When we adopt an attitude of wellness, we take on a belief that being well is a natural and normal state. Our goal is to have outstanding and vibrant health, not just to be free of disease. With a wellness attitude, we know that we have control over our own body and how healthy it will be.
We can teach and help our children to grow up with an attitude of wellness. Children have much more control over their own health than you may think. The mind is a very powerful mechanism with miraculous control over health and healing. The more children learn to use the extraordinary powers of their minds, the healthier and happier they will be. They may also live longer than someone who takes a passive approach to health.
Children can learn that negative, unhealthy lifestyles are choices that contribute to sickness. We all know what a struggle it can be to tell children to avoid junk food and encourage them to eat the foods that we know are essential for optimum health. When our children are very young, we can pretty easily restrict the things we know to be unhealthy for them. However, as they get older, telling them that they cannot have sugar or other unhealthy food is not as productive. They may feel deprived, and may ultimately rebel. Anything that is forbidden will appear even more tempting.
Children need to know they have a choice they can either choose good health and wellness, or opt for poor health and sickness. They need to be taught the facts so they are able to make educated choices. Talk to them about the effects that food has on their body. Children can understand that sugar lowers their immunity, making them more susceptible to sickness, as well as contribute to tooth decay. You can explain to them how eating healthy foods will give them more energy and make them feel better.
Healthy eating can be taught in very simple, fun and creative ways. It may take a while to actually sink in at first. The lure of scrumptious tasting sugar and white flour “treats” that all the other kids are eating may be too much to refuse, but eventually the time and energy you put into health education will pay off. If children are raised with a respectful attitude of wellness, as they get older they will most likely choose to turn down things that they know are not healthy for them. Respectful is the key word, meaning not nagging or shaming them about food.
Talk to your children about healthy lifestyle habits, how strong their bodies are and the extraordinary things their bodies can do. Show them how their bodies can miraculously heal a cut, how their heart works and how they can strengthen their heart through exercise and healthy food, how their immune system fights off germs and other invaders, and how getting enough sleep makes them feel better throughout the day. All these things can be taught in fun and imaginative ways with drawings, stories, etc. Children are fascinated with their bodies and they want to know how they work.
Have fun with your children. Be a little crazy, silly and laugh as much as you can; making sure that you and your children are on the way to becoming more physically and emotionally sound.
Dr. Steve Ronco is a Wellness Doctor & Family Chiropractor located in the Torrey Hills Marketplace in Carmel Valley San Diego. Dr. Ronco is committed to providing a level of care that nurtures and supports the true nature of health. This involves ‘caring’ for each person’s individual needs as well as providing the education necessary to foster an environment of prevention. In addition to working with adults, athletes and typical injuries, he holds a strong belief that taking care of children starting early on in their developmental years, provides the best opportunity to prevent minor issues from contributing to a lifetime of discomfort. Dr. Ronco continues to provide free lectures in his office weekly (Wednesday evenings) and strives to maintain an active level of community involvement: most notably when he and several colleagues created the original Chiropractic Relief Crew (C.R.C.) during the San Diego firestorms of 2003, volunteering their services to hundreds of firefighters on a daily basis.