Children emulate the adults around them. Little girls slip into Mommy’s heels and skirts, wiping on grievous amounts of lipstick and blush. Little boys wrap Daddy’s tie around their neck, carting around briefcases and tools. Both repeat curses, mimic actions and absorb opinions, vocalizing them at the most inopportune times. As such, we silence angry retorts and minimize negative behaviors. We recognize that our vices will be noted and aped by the little ones at our feet and adjust. But sometimes, we fail to do the same for our healthy habits, a misstep that should be rectified.
Children who have active parents are more likely to be active. When a mother takes the time to exercise during pregnancy and when either a mother or father regularly exercises during a child’s youth, that child grows up with a slightly greater likelihood of exercising himself. He sees what his parents have been doing and copies it, maybe not exactly but to a degree. He hops on his bike when he goes to a friend’s or opts to play outside rather than spend an hour in front of the TV. He adopts healthy habits, which lead him into an adulthood less likely to be clouded by obesity, diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
The lesson, then, is that you, as the parent, should make sure that you are living a life worth copying. As you limit your curses, maximize your exercise. Get off of the couch and move. I know that the pressures of parenthood, work and life can tire you, making a workout a torturous suggestion but the boons will be far greater than if you spend the evening in front of your computer. You will not only increase your health, but your child’s as well. You will create a well-rounded, active family with a bright, boisterous future.