As a parent, I'm sometimes left wondering if I'm on the right track with what I'm modeling and directly teaching my children. I'm human and I make my fair share of mistakes. But then my three year-old says and does things that give me reassurance and peace of mind that we ARE raising them well. One thing that my husband and I are doing well is modeling healthy physical fitness. We're not fanatical about it, but we do make it a regular part of our lives - and it is rubbing off on our children! Here are just a few things that show me that our son will be health-minded:
- "Go, Mama, go!" he cheers as I run on our treadmill.
- "Can I wear my running shoes, too? They make me FAST!" he says while lacing up his New Balance shoes as I tie mine.
- "Oh, I know! We can walk there, we don't have to ride in the car," he suggests when we make our weekly visits to my parents' house (though when both kids are sick and it is snowing, I reassure him that it is okay to take the car).
- "Maybe we could RUN down the hill to the mailbox and then walk up the hill to say hello to my friend, John," he suggests a full quarter-mile option for what is really more of 1/10 of a mile chore.
- "Maybe after my nap we can go outside and have a snowball fight!" (I literally typed this as the words flowed out of his mouth in conversation with my husband). This kid likes to explore his world!
- "Let's go for a bike ride!"
- "Maybe I can get fast if I practice on the treadmill, too."
- "I can't wait for the grass to grow so Dad and I can go out and mow the lawn." We should get this on in writing for when he's fifteen and it is his chore!
Not only do his words make me smile, for he says them in a way and with inflection that is truly a unique part of his charm, but they let me know that we're on the path for raising a son who feels confident in his own skin and knows how to have fun and get his body moving. Our daughter isn't talking yet, but she's on the move, too. A confident walker at eleven-months, we're sure that her own entry into the world of running is close at hand. Yet another good reason for us to continue taking care of our own bodies and physical fitness - we have to keep up with these two!