Are you a working parent who is sometimes worried that their kid isn’t as healthy and mentally challenged as he should be?
Do you feel that because both you and perhaps your wife, husband, or partner are so busy, they are in some ways missing out?
Are you concerned that your children are not being given enough attention and that it may be negatively impacting their mental and perhaps physical growth?
If so, firstly, it’s important to note you are not alone. This whole bringing up a family business isn’t easy and never has been. However, neither retreating into self-recrimination nor ignoring the issue will help anyone.
Here are six ways and tips that may help you overcome and address some of your concerns. Find these 6 ways to make sure you have a healthy kid in body and mind, even if you are super busy below.
Don’t be Afraid to Set Boundaries in Terms of Screen Time
If you are worried your kids are spending way too much time in front of their mobile devices, then don’t be afraid to put your collective feet down. We are all guilty of this, but the issue is likely to be more damaging for kids than adults, and it’s important for you to set boundaries.
We don’t suggest you cancel such privileges, but setting time-frames is important and especially so in the hours prior to them going to bed, as studies have shown that screen time at these hours can be very detrimental to sleep patterns.
Meal Delivery Kits
If you have never used meal delivery kits or perhaps are even unaware of what function they serve, then your life may well be about to change. Meal delivery kits were already fairly popular prior to the coronavirus pandemic, but during this period, they were invaluable to many.
A meal delivery kit, in the simplest of terms, is basically a subscription service that allows you to order a set amount of meals per month, all of which arrive pre-packed with instructions, ready for you to put together with a minimum of fuss.
These are ideal for those of us who don’t have a great deal of time, and the variety and quality of meals and providers are increasing at quite a rate. Fresh and Easy is one of the best around, and if you are worried that your kids aren’t eating well enough, perhaps because you don’t have time to prepare meals or maybe because you are not all that adept in the kitchen, then these are certainly an option to consider.
These are great for those families who have specific dietary needs and are also very good value for money.
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Exercise Time is Family Time
If you find that your family is getting too comfortable and spending far too much of their spare time behind screens, either in front of the TV or their mobile devices, then try to make exercise time more appealing by combining it with some much-needed quality family time.
Built this into a routine, perhaps a twice-weekly event that could be made up of any of the following. Perhaps a brisk local walk in the park or the nearby area, a form of team sport that entails the participation of the whole family, or even a combined visit to the gym.
By making exercise time a family event, you kind of kill two birds with one stone. Try it; you’ll be surprised by the results and a healthy kid.
When it comes to your kid’s mental well-being, a key element is just to be able to listen, preferably without judgment. This is obviously a lot easier said than done, but it’s a vital part of how a healthy family unit communicates.
Don’t be quick to judge, don’t snap, and try to take on board everything that is being said. If you are very busy at the specific time that your child wants to tell you something, then simply and calmly explain that you can discuss this at a specific time later on.
Do this in a way that is not dismissive, as this is preferable to trying to take on board what they are saying while you may be busy doing something else and, therefore, not really paying enough attention.
Connect With Your Kids and Tell Them You Love Them
Try to reinforce good positive communication with your children as often as possible to make sure your kids are healthy. Be attentive to them as much as possible, even during your busiest days. Acknowledge their presence and good work as often as you can.
Look to adopt routines and rituals that help build as strong a bond as possible. This can take the form of books before bedtime, helping with homework, or playtime of some type. The key here is to have that quality time that is regular and uplifting.
This will promote a sense of belonging and should be coupled with loving behavior that shows them how much they mean to you. Clearly, this may be harder to achieve with older children who are ‘too cool’ to hear you say how much you love them and how much they mean to you, but let’s be honest, they love to hear it anyway, even if they pretend to not do so.
Avoid Negative Thinking or Punishing Yourself
Often you can be your own worst enemy. Parents are known to chastise themselves, and while this is in many ways to be expected, in the long run, it doesn’t serve much of a purpose for you or your children.
It is also counter-productive to measure yourself against others, not least as you can never know what goes on behind closed doors. So the next time you look upon a ‘happy family,’ perhaps in a park or on the school run, and wonder if you and your family measure up, be aware that it’s unlikely to be all that rosy with others as it may seem.
This is especially important for those in single-parent situations, where the pressure is even greater, or those who have to work all hours of the day just to make ends meet. Be aware that it’s a challenge and one you are working as hard as possible to meet and make sure kids are healthy.
Therefore it’s useful to reward yourself, even if that’s just mentally patting yourself on the back for all the good you do. Parenting can sometimes feel like a thankless task, especially if things are not going so well for whatever reason, so giving yourself positive feedback is important.