Keeping children healthy through the winter is a top priority for parents. Fathers playing an active role in their children’s lives, including their health and safety, can make a positive difference. Dads, you can take several simple steps so colds and flu don’t stop your kids and you from spending time together.
According to the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC), setting a good example is the most important way to teach your children healthy behaviors. Even if you don’t share a home with your children, following healthy habits when you are together encourages them to do the same.
To feel great and stay that way, you need to take into account more than just your physical health. Your psychological and social needs also have an impact on your overall well-being and your ability to be positively involved with your children. 1. Psychological health – Life can get complicated and overwhelming. So being a loving, involved father isn’t always easy. If you are depressed, are abusing drugs, or have other issues that affect your emotional and mental health, they can cause problems between you and your children. There are many support and treatment options available to help you get past the barriers that could be holding you back from a better relationship with your children. 2. Physical health- Exercise regularly. Find an activity that you enjoy so you are more likely to maintain a routine. When planning your workouts, discuss them with your children. Explain your exercise routine and how they can join in too. Set realistic workout goals. Be sure to balance your workouts with proper sleep. 3. Dietary health – Eat healthy foods in moderate amounts. Drink water and snack on fruits and vegetables. Discuss your diet with your children. When in the grocery store point out healthy choices. 4. Social health- How you conduct your adult relationships has a direct effect on your children. Studies show that people who enjoy healthy relationships have more happiness and less stress. If your relationships in the past were stormy or troubled, you can start now to undo attitudes and behaviors that might have contributed to an unsatisfying personal life. 5. Interpersonal health- Healthy interactions are often the most neglected component of well-being. Healthy relationships take time and effort. Look for ways to add laughter to your activities with your children. Children need involved fathers in every aspect of their lives. Similarly, dads can take control of every aspect of their health. Getting up-to-date, accurate information is a vital part of health and wellness. The NRFC offers practical tools and resources to help fathers build and maintain stronger connections with their children in every season. Visit www.fatherhood.gov or call 877-4DAD411. Stay in touch with the NRFC on Facebook and Twitter.