Written by Claire Dunkley from Cluzie Clinic
What is your most valuable asset?
When answering this question, many people will list their house or their investment properties or perhaps even their family. Let’s hit the big fat PAUSE button for a moment and really think about the answer to that question. I suggest that if you really consider that answer, you may well agree with my answer to that question. Your most valuable asset is YOU!
Your health is the most important and valuable thing you have. As the Princess Bride so aptly puts it “if you don’t have your health, then you haven’t got anything”. Without your health (consisting of your body, your mind and your spirit), your life is impacted dramatically!
For those who perhaps answered that family is their most valuable asset – perhaps consider this question: who will look after your family if you can’t? See why YOU are so valuable?
Things that are considered of ‘value’ take a different meaning if you remove your health from the picture.
So, we need to teach our children about this value, and constantly and gently remind them that their health is the most important asset they can invest in. However, any parent who has tried to force broccoli into their child’s mouth will know that ‘force feeding’ anything (food or values) is NOT the way to go. So, we need to approach teaching importance of health in a different way. The traditional methods of push or pull may work for a time, but at some point, the kid will rebel unless it is ingrained into them in their value chain.
From birth, kids are emulating what their parents / friends do. In order to teach value about being healthy, the best way is to follow the ‘monkey see, monkey do’ principle. Kids will naturally take on and follow the habits that you do. If you are in the habit of not putting your health first and the example you set of working all day, being stressed out and tired from life, sitting on the couch watching TV for downtime activity, eating the easy high calorie-low nutritional value food; then you are teaching your kids that you do not value your own health, so how can they possibly grow to value their own health?
So, let’s break it down into the different healthy components and how you can influence this in your kid’s life.
When you fail to look after your body, it impacts the experiences you are able to have – simple. And it limits your ability to participate in the physical activities you enjoy. Whether that is going for a bike ride, a hike, playing some sport, kicking a footy with the kids, etc if your body is broken or tired, you can no longer participate in these activities and experiences which are all about creating joy.
Some hot tips in how to teach your children about the importance of treating their body as their most valuable asset…
- Prioritise daily and weekly exercise habits that can include your kids. For example, stop sitting on the sidelines with a coffee when you go play sport or to a skate park, do something active too.
- Do a HIIT workout with your kid as the weight.
- Make a game out of some exercise.
- Get outside for the walks / rides / kicking of the footy etc with the kids.
- Have a sport that you continue to do even though you have kids.
- Have difficulty getting your kids to eat their veggies? Start with a fruity/veggie smoothie that you eat in the morning and wait for them to ask you “what’s that?” Then say it is “Adult’s juice”. Wait for them to ask for it and want it too. No push / pull just desire. Make the juice super fruity, wholesome and delicious. Then introduce more and more veggies like celery, spinach, avocado, carrot, beetroot etc into it every day.
- Have a fridge full of yummy healthy snack options like homemade banana bread, protein balls, guacamole dip, snow peas, smoked almonds, an overflowing fruit bowl etc. Have that as the go to snack options.
- Remove all junk food from the cupboards so that you don’t even have it available like: 2-minute noodles, chips, biscuits, soft drink, chocolate etc. If you don’t have it there, you don’t eat it and the kids don’t have access to it. By the time they are 14, have a job and their own finances to buy their own food, they have experienced 14 years of eating good options.
- Eat at the same time as your kids and eat the same thing.
- Involve your kids in the meal preparations so they start to enjoy the process.
What does it look like when you fail to treat your mind well? If you don’t train and look after your brain, things that may emerge are: forgetfulness leading to Alzheimers, brain fog, scatter brain, head clutter etc. Are you the Mum that always forgets where you put the keys last? Or the Dad that wakes up in such a fog that you need the morning coffee to even slightly function? When was the last time you learnt something new?
Your brain is a muscle, a muscle like every other muscle in your body, just a super important one. If you don’t exercise your brain, it degrades. Just like if you don’t walk, your legs fade away. Again, following the ‘monkey see, monkey do’ principle, are you showing your kids the importance of learning new things to retain an attentive mind? Now I don’t mean you have to continuously learn a new degree, however, listening and enacting on podcasts could be a way to expand your brain and keep your cognitive power.
Some ideas on how to show how you train your brain with your kids:
- Learn a new game together. Then work together to come up with new rules to apply.
- Work out how to fix something that is broken.
- Use imagination in practical situations.
- Do mini quests or challenges that make you think differently.
- Follow Jim Kwik and integrate some of his easy brain hacks and do them with the kids.
When you are down in your spirit, the extremes show up as depression, anxiety, mental health disorders. However, the more common experience of an unhealthy spirit is the everyday stressed out, worried, negative or angry experience of life. This plays out in everyday actions like: snapping at the kids for not being quick enough, complaining about the traffic, worrying out loud about being able to pay the bills, sighing when you look at yourself in the mirror etc.
What are you energetically telling your kids day in and day out on how life is to be felt? Now I am not saying that every day has to feel like rose petals, or that you only show a positive face for your children, however it comes down to what you can and can’t control, and how you react to what life throws at you. So much of it is around the choices you make on how you will feel based on what has happened to you. This is the example that you are providing your kids.
The image below shows how it is a self-fulfilling cycle based on how your spirit is thinking / feeling.
Let’s say you have a car crash – normal situation, not ideal! Let’s play out the two choices below:
|Choice 1||Choice 2|
|Think||That stupid person crashed into me||Thank goodness, the kids and I are not hurt|
|Do||Get out of the car, start yelling and swearing abuse||Get out of the car and hug, cuddle, kiss your kids|
|Get||A heart attack from all the anger exploding||A more loving connection with your kids where you totally value life|
This choice in how you react to what life throws at you is what you are teaching your kids in how to have a healthy spirit.
Some tips in how you can introduce a healthy spirit awareness with your kids:
How to teach children How to teach children How to teach children