Well what is it? What is the number one thing that is important to you and your family? For me and for the rest of the tribe here at Transtions Chiropractic, it is our family. Taking care of our family, making sure they are as bulletproof as possible and have the best chances in life is why we all do what we do. For quite some time I have been a big believer in the concept that “every generation should live better than the last.” What are the Top 6 habits or activites that we can do to protect our future?
- Take the lead– we all respond so much better to following in someone else’s footprint rather than being forced to do it alone. No one likes to be told to eat healthy or to go to sleep early or to go for a run, especially if whoever is trumpeting the advice isn’t doing likewise. “Boot Camp” parenting and shouting through a megaphone to get your kids to do something may get a result, but it certainly won’t come with any enjoyment or actual learning. The moment you stop telling them to do it, they’ll stop. Showing your kids how to play, eat, even entertain without the need for an ipad It can be done and you can make it fun.
- Play – The success of the Univiersity of Newcastle’s Dad’s and Daughters program has been outstanding. Deliberately getting father’s and their daughter’s together to then move and play has already shown improvements in the parents and kids fitness, but also it has seen relationships strengthen too. It doesn’t have to be a set routine- even roughhousing with the kids on the couch, rolling down a grass hill- it’s still play and requires all sorts of coordination and attention to perform well. Being so close to the beach and parklands gives us great opportunity to go barefoot. Asking our feet to respond to different surfaces teaches them how to adapt and strengthen. This stimulates a lot of our postural reflexes too.
- Stimulate– Whether it’s helping out with school work or in my case helping with counting and the ABC’s (weirdly enough Cain loves English and Spanish…). Story time, playing music, singing songs and even the imaginary tea party. Each one of these creates new neural pathways making your child stronger and more adaptable.
- Move– One of the most beautiful things about our human bodies and our miniature human bodies is they all crave movement. However, the kicker is they don’t care what. Be it gymnastics, martial arts or something like the Ninja Parc or Revolution park. Not only can these be a world of fun, but as with so many sports, they are expolsive and require a huge amount of muscle activity. Especially these Triple joint extension movements such as jumping extend your ankles, knees and hips which goes a long way to bulletproofing during the soccer and netball season.
- Technology– Get off the phone and iPad…. If you have read this far chances are you have probably done it on a portable device. However, I hope that you do limit both yours and your children’s screen times. Kids between the ages of 2-5 are recommended no more than one hour per day. However, when it comes to concentration difficulties, trouble sleeping and increased irritability- less is definitely more. Although I want to bulletproof my kids I also want a good nights sleep. I know if I have been late on the iPad I’ll struggle to switch off and likewise increased screen time certainly doesn’t help Cain sleep through the night.
- Relax– It is very easy in this modern world to be busy, busy, busy. There is always something to do and we seem to all need to do it right now. Show your kids that it is ok for some down time and running on adrenaline 24/7 is not the answer. Getting to bed early is one of the best ways to help your body recover. I’ve gone a step further and have actually meditated 20 days straight which isn’t much, but it’s a record for me. The more that I am centred myself the more likely I’ll be able to be calm and more temperate at home and be able to choose my response, not react all the time.
So if you are anything like me and want to optimise your kid’s chance so that they can out think, out run and out live us in the future, here are a few simple tips. It goes without saying your number one asset would prefer it if you are healthy and full of energy to play along the way, so don’t forget to care for yourself somewhere in the mix.
Additionally, I do check and adjust Cain and Peyton on a regular basis and they both eat plenty of real food. It is fantastic fuel; fuel for their fire. If you have any other tips and tricks up your sleeve please feel free to share your comments or tell us what has worked for you… Thank you for helping to create a generation that lives better than the last!