Monday, August 6, 2012

You are the teacher

Recently I heard a saying that made me stop and think: Children will not take care of themselves the way we take care of them; they will take care of themselves the way they see us, as their parents, take care of ourselves. Ummm...ouch!

This is true, as we all can attest. WE are the teachers of our children. We teach them to eat, to sleep, what to touch, manners, how to talk and so much more. They learn just as much from what we do as they do from what we do NOT do. They are always learning which means we are ALWAYS teaching. We came to a point where we had to look at what we were teaching...

We saw the results of our parenting in the areas of eating/exercise over eight months ago. Our children's eating habits, diet, lack of exercise, unhealthy choices were a DIRECT result of the lessons we had taught them. We were at fault...100%. There was no one else to blame. It was all of our doing.

When looking back at my own childhood, I have tried to remember and access the lessons I learned when it came to food and health. We ate from a garden but I don't recall learning the "whys" behind that. So, now we are training our children daily about why we eat what we eat.

Here are some basic steps we took to help us parent our children in the area of health in a way that would honor God:

1. Read passages from the Bible about food/health. Explain what God expects of us in regard to our bodies!
2. Make a menu for each week and stick to it. Our youngest three children still struggle with some control issues and knowing that we WILL eat is important to them. They know that there is always a menu on the refrigerator, and they can see what we will eat for every meal that week.
3. Snack smartly! In the back of our vehicles, we have a cheap plastic 4 drawer bin that is attached to the last seat with bungee cords. One drawer is always full of bottled water (think 2.99 for a 24 pack....when we see a sale, we pick up several cases) and another has healthy snacks in it (peanut butter packets, boxes of raisins, trail mix, nuts). Being on the road doesn't mean we HAVE to eat fast food or pull into a convenience store for junk. We can still make wise choices without spending lots of extra money because of our lack of planning!
4. Educate, educate, educate. We not only want our children to learn to make healthy choices but to understand the reasons behind their choices. They need to know what carbohydrates, proteins, fats, etc. are and why their bodies need them. They can learn to read labels and see what is truly important!
5. Model wise behaviors....this is SO hard! But, when my children see me at breakfast, they know that I've already run several miles. They see their daddy come in sweaty from a great workout. They KNOW when we go to the park that everyone will be doing something to exercise! You can tell them to "go outside and play" all day...but if you are not exercising, they will be less likely to exercise when they get older!
6. Pray together. Seek God and His wisdom on how you should eat. Let your children see that you are vulnerable and cannot do it alone. Depend on the Father and admit your failures to Him. Praise Him as He sustains and teaches you!

I hope that one day our children will look back at the last eight months of our lives and KNOW that we fought for their future. We have been desperately trying to teach them a new and better way to live for the Lord. We pray that God will remind their hearts of His Word and His commands about health.

1 comment:

Jess Elyse said...

Great post. I love the example that you and JT are for your kids and family.

I really love the idea of the bin in the car. That is such a great idea!