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How To Advocate for Your Child’s Health and Wellness

As great as it would be for children to take control of their own health and wellness, that responsibility isn’t on them. Their main jobs are to have fun, learn, and grow. It’s on parents to ensure their children are as mentally, physically, and emotionally well as possible.

If you haven’t been as active in your child’s health and wellness journey as you’d like to be, it’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, get involved now by doing the following.

Stay on Top of Your Child’s Physical Healthcare

You must stay on top of your child’s physical health throughout childhood to ensure they grow healthy and strong. Staying on top of their physical healthcare also helps you catch issues quicker and get them treated.

Schedule regular physicals with your child’s doctor. Ensure they attend regular dentist appointments to take care of their oral health. If there are any specialists they need to visit, schedule those appointments as well.

Don’t forget about your child’s eyes too. Schedule routine eye exams, reduce eye infections, and do a few of these other activities to ensure your child’s eye health is intact.

Prioritize Mental Health and Emotional Wellness 

According to youth data compiled by Mental Health America, “10.6% of youth (or over 2.5 million youth) cope with severe major depression.” It’s difficult for adults to navigate depression and other mental health challenges. Imagine a child trying to do it.

Going on the mental health and emotional wellness journey with them is essential. Start with things like limiting their screen time. Or, at least be intentional with screen time to ensure they’re getting something productive from what they’re watching or engaging with, rather than disrupting them emotionally or mentally.

Make sure your child gets ample time to participate in things they are passionate about and help them develop a self-care routine. Also, seek counseling or therapy for your child for an added support layer.

Encourage Healthy Eating and Exercise

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) revealed that from 2017-2020, obesity affected over 14 million children and adolescents aged 2-19. Obesity not only affects your child’s physical health, but it can also harm their mental health.

Your child’s health and wellness are especially dependent on how they eat and the amount of physical activity they get. Make healthy meals to ensure they’re fueling their bodies with good foods. In addition, teach your child about nutrition.

Furthermore, get some physical activity each day with your child. Throw the football or shoot around with them. Take nature walks. Go to a daddy-and-me exercise class. Or set up your backyard to support physical activity.

Encourage your child to eat healthily and exercise daily to ensure their mind and body are in tip-top shape.

Model a Healthy Lifestyle for Your Child

Modeling a healthy lifestyle for your child is a game-changer in their health and wellness. It will help your child become deliberate and mindful in their actions to create a healthier life for themselves.

So, if you want them to nurture their physical health, be sure you’re exercising daily, eating well, and keeping up with your healthcare appointments. If you want them to care about their mental health, make mindfulness, therapy, and self-care a part of your life.

Simply put, children do what you do, not what you say. So, show them what a healthy lifestyle looks like so they can follow in your footsteps.

Support Your Child’s Individualism

Children struggle emotionally when they feel like they can’t be themselves. Whether they’re trying to live up to their parent’s dreams for them, curious about their sexuality, or don’t like their physical appearance, it’s tough figuring out who you are when you’re young. It’s even tougher to love yourself.

Not being comfortable with who you are can lead to emotional and mental health issues that stunt one’s growth. These issues can also lead to an unhealthy relationship with yourself. And that’s the last thing you want for your child.

So, support your child’s individualism. Allow them to be themselves, experiment, and grow into who they are. Don’t discourage them from expressing themselves. Instead, make your home a safe space for expression and show them how to express themselves to the world safely.

Support your child’s individualism, so they grow up confident, fulfilled, and accepting of who they are.

Open the Door for Honest Communication

You can’t advocate for your child’s health and wellness if you don’t talk to them. Therefore, you must open the door for honest communication to genuinely connect with your child about health and wellness and how to maintain it.

Honest communication also makes it easier for your child to come to you when they struggle with their mental, physical, or emotional health. Instead of holding all of that in, they can open up to you, and you all can form a plan for moving forward.

Converse with your child regularly about life. Ensure these conversations are a two-way street, where you’re listening as much, if not more, than talking. Be transparent about your health and wellness struggles; your child will likely follow your lead.

Open, honest communication is critical in supporting a physically healthy and mentally sound child.

Conclusion

There’s a lot involved in maintaining your child’s health and wellness. But navigating all that’s involved is critical for your child’s development. Advocate for your child’s physical, mental, and emotional health by implementing the tips above and leading by example.

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