Updated: Jan 4, 2021
Leading by example.
Children will follow along with whatever you do.
Last night I cooked dinner.
Every single one of my boys (there's three of them) were happy with the baked chicken, sliced apples, broccoli and green beans. They eat most anything, including pizza, burritos, mac 'n cheese and Pb&J sandwiches - but they are also regularly fed fresh veggies, cut up fruit and a variety of lean proteins and whole grains.
During dinner, our daughter came home upset. Traffic had stopped her from getting to swim practice. I proposed hitting the rower together and going hard on some intervals. We did that and then went outside, where we decided to pick it back up with some 200 meter sprints. My twin 5 year olds jumped right in and got after it with us. It was pretty amazing. To them, they weren't working out, they were just having fun, following along and burning the last of their seemingly boundless energy.
I made a shift last week to put in the extra effort, to walk the walk no matter what. I've had my temptations already. Moments of stress come and go. What I already knew, and rediscovered is the effect is has on others - especially my kids. While I don't push them to exercise, they want to. While I don't push them to eat healthy, they do because it's on their plate.
Day 3 was not perfect, but things are certainly getting better!