A Parent’s Responsibility
Being a mom, or parent, means you have qualities and beliefs to pass on to your child.
Whether it was through careful planning or a wild weekend you have now been given a blessing… and a responsibility.
This child you have was given to YOU. You have talents, habits, wisdom and convictions that will be passed on to the next generation. The way you live, the choices you make and your attitude about it all will be carefully watched by the little people in your life. Do you pout and whine at your reflection or flex your sweet biceps? Do you call yourself fat to your daughter when you are feeling defeated or invite her on a bike ride to the park for a Mommy/Daughter date? Do you enthusiastically provide delicious, healthful snacks or always carelessly resort to prepackaged meals and granola bars?
One upon a time I was a kid. I was mentored and molded, loved and educated. My parents believed they had a lot to offer or ‘model’ for us. They talked with us, listened to us, took us hiking and hunting, and ensured we were raised up in the direction we should go.
Fast forward to me the grown up. My husband and I also feel we have a lot to offer our children. In order to raise up our children to be the people that they need to be we must ‘be the change we want to see in the world.’ Teach, guide, and mentor.
There are so many important mentoring aspects to parenting, but for the purpose of the article I will stick with being a good health mentor. Good spiritual, physical, and emotional health.
From menu planning to meal time and everything in between – I communicate and work with the kids. With the older children this can turn into an exercise in reading labels and doing math to find a best bang for our buck at the grocery store. I hope that our children are learning to value wise, nutrient dense food choices.
Prepping food is a hoot with 5 eager helpers, and it requires a patience I only now have (after years of praying for it) but it is worth it. You’ve heard it before, but a child will want to try their own craftsmanship and have pride in serving his/ her family.
We are fortunate to have a family unit with two parents that manage to eat meals together 90% of the time, unless travelling. What an opportunity we have to love, educate, and mentor out children right there, over a plate of dinner. Food and daily activities will not be the only topics discussed. We get to learn about wild dreams, near bicycle accidents, and what other crazy stuff they decided to do that day. We really get to know each other well over a plate of fajitas.
Mom and Dad’s attitude towards food, the hands that prepared it and the gratefulness for provisions will teach children many valuable life lessons.
I feel the same way about my health. I want my girls to see me as a strong, hard working woman. I want them to learn, via me, and appropriate way to dress, act, and carry myself. I want them to see my desire to serve and guide them, as well as stay a healthy and fit for all the various reasons that have been said and pinned to motivational boards everywhere, but also for their father. When he comes home from work I want him to see a woman who has made an effort to be put together and look great (to him).
So keeping fit and eating healthy is not just a lonely pursuit when you’re a Mom, it is a part of the greater picture. Yes, we want to look and feel our best, have fun and enjoy life, but care must be taken with the messages we pass on to our children. Me? I want mine to move forward in life with a well-rounded perception of health; physical, educational, spiritual health and responsibility. I want them to gain a strong respect for themselves and others, the wisdom and confidence to keep learning, improving, loving, and inspiring, and the desire to care for and mentor the people placed in their journeys to and through adulthood.
Written by Mother & Fitness contributing writer Merriam Nixon
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