As our children get a bit older and start to develop into strong-minded independent teens, we need to rethink the way we police and parent their habits. At this stage, it is much more valuable to help your teen embrace healthy habits and to become involved and interested in maintaining them for themselves, not just to appease you. Here are some handy tips to help encourage your teen to take an active interest in their healthy habits.
Be a Good Role Model
Setting a good example is imperative if you want to instill healthy habits in your teens. How can you expect your teen to listen to your advice if you contradict yourself with unhealthy habits? Get them involved with both the planning and cooking of dinner time. Enabling your teen to be an active participant in planning allows them to feel invested in a healthy habit.
Teach Them to Limit Time on Social Media
We know how spending long periods on social media can have a detrimental effect on our mental health and wellbeing. Some research has indicated that it can lead to increased feelings of loneliness, depression and anxiety. It is often difficult to control which accounts your teen is following and what content they are exposed to. Social media often offers a fake and unrealistic representation of real-life. Ideas of beauty are often skewed by filtered and airbrushed pictures representing an unattainable beauty standard. Social comparison to these fanciful standards can lead to feelings of diminished self-esteem. You can support their self-image by encouraging your teen to take time off from social media. Have an honest conversation about what is real and what is not. The more your teen knows about the distortion on social media, the better.
Get your teen in a routine of regular exercise. Exercising can make you feel happier and has shown to decrease feelings of stress, anxiety and depression. It can help boost energy levels and it can stop you feeling tired all the time – something most teens often are! Exercise might even help your teen with their exam grades. Research has shown that it improves brain function, memory and thinking skills. And finally, regular exercise can help with relaxation and a better quality of sleep. Discuss these benefits with your teen if you’re struggling to motivate them to get active. Getting into the habit of regular exercise early will make exercising in later life a lot easier.
Instill a Good Relationship with Food
It is important to set your teen up with a healthy relationship with food. Before long, they’ll be out living in the big wide world and you want to make sure their diet isn’t going to consist of kebabs, potato waffles and instant noodles. Get them excited about cooking fresh meals and get them involved. The more practice they have cooking and enjoying healthy food, the more likely they are to continue these habits in later life. Make sure they have a good understanding of what they need to keep up a healthy diet. For example, vegans may be eating a healthy and balanced diet but may not be getting enough of certain vitamins that are mainly found in animal products. Future Kind for vegans offers all types of essential vegan multivitamins to support those who are on a plant-based diet.
Teenage years are complicated and confusing, but you can provide your teen with a sanctuary of health and good wellbeing to get them through. So, engage and educate your teens and be the person you hope they will become.