Fathers As Cornerstones To Their Child’s Healthy Life

Friday, June 16, 2017

Fathers As Cornerstones to Their Child's Healthy Life

We know parents are key role models in their children’s lives. There are many studies that show us the power of the parent in influencing a child’s life, both positively and negatively. When it comes to a child growing up healthy, eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle the behavior a parent exhibits is profound.

Some might think that when it comes to food and eating, it is the mom who is the source and guide. Physical activity from sports to summer fun is often on the mom to organize. Not any more. Roles have shifted and responsibilities are shared between parents. Being a father today is much different than it was just a couple of decades ago. Fathers are often equally engaged in their children’s lives from making meals to hauling kids to and from their extracurricular activities. There are no set rules any more.
My husband and I have shared responsibilities, pretty much equally, our entire marriage. In fact, our youngest when she was little had a name for us “momdad” or “dadmom” that she used indiscriminately. We were equal in her eyes and either of us could be looked to in order to help her with whatever need she had.
I remember when the first movies came out about stay-at-home dads like Mr Mom with Michael Keaton. It was such a big deal. My amazing husband took on that role himself for a few years. The kids learned a lot about how a role isn’t defined by your gender. Instead they see the importance of the responsibilities that need to be met in a family and how we all take on roles that are needed to support the health of the family and make it thrive. 
What is means to be a father today

Living a healthy life is not just about the food served at the table. It is about how you live life every day. Especially in the volatile world we live in today, it is about how you meet personal challenges and face crisis. It is also about how you celebrate life and acknowledge the big moments. The choices we make are how our children learn to react to similar situations themselves. They are learning from us and watching how we behave.
Being present in your child’s life can only be possible if we choose to be present in our own life. In the stress-filled lives we all live it is really hard to do. We often would rather escape into our phones, the TV or mindless eating. The good news is life is a journey. None of us is perfect and we all have plenty to improve on to live the best and healthiest life we can. By being willing to change and including our kids in the process we are doing the best role modeling possible. 
My kids are very lucky. They have seen their dad face multiple personal challenges and as a result of them embrace change, however difficult, to make life better for him and his family. Two big changes their dad has made is first to stop smoking and then to stop drinking alcohol. They have also seen him wholly embrace living a healthy lifestyle from working out every morning at the YMCA to bike riding and kayaking to changing the amounts and types of foods he eats. What an incredible gift he has given his children. He hasn’t told his children how to live a healthy life, he has shown them, one change at a time. He is healthier and happier for it and so is our family.
Dads are so important as role models for their children. In this era of global volatility and escalating obesity, especially in our children, dads are cornerstones to their child’s healthy life. Real dads facing real challenges as part of life’s journey with the willingness to change will help their kids live healthier lives.
Role Modeling a Healthy Lifestyle with your Children as a Father

May we celebrate dads on Father’s Day and everyday. To their health! Live vibrant!


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