You are the example for your children

“The personality, habits and disciplines of a mother and father is the medium through which a child grows and takes form.” — John DeFendis

As parents, we often overlook the power that we have as an example for our children. Our behavior, habits and level of discipline is inspected and copied by our children everyday.

I recognize this in my profession as a fitness expert by the actions of a parent who breaks a commitment to their diet or workout regimen.

What kind of effect will this have on the child?

Allow me to give you an example:

The other day I was consulting with a female client who has lost about 30 pounds and was well on her way to her journey of losing 150 pounds. When I examined her food logs I noticed that she had eaten several brownies. I questioned the reason for her lack of commitment on that day. She responded with, “My 12-year-old-daughter had brought home some brownies from her friend’s house and she was eating them, so I decided to join her.”

I then asked if her daughter knew that she was on a weight loss regimen and that she lost 30 pounds but wanted to lose another 120 pounds.

She told me that her daughter knew and that her daughter had said, “ Mommy, you said that you’re not supposed to eat brownies or cookies.”

She then told her daughter that she was going to have just a couple on that day because she had a bad day and that she would go back on her diet the next day.

Well at this point I had to ask her what kind of message does she think that she passed on to her daughter that day?

Let’s look at the facts:

1. Her daughter knew that she had made a commitment to lose weight.

2. Her daughter knew that she had promised not to eat those foods.

3. She ate the brownies anyway.

4. She made an excuse and said that she would go back on her program the next day.

We have to ask ourselves, will our bad habits and lack of commitment be a bad example for our children?

If we make a commitment and then break that commitment repeatedly, will our children notice it and will it have an effect on their definition of a commitment in the future.

I certainly think so.

If we do not instill a level of commitment and integrity in our children at a young age then what would make us think that they will make good decisions and stick to them later in life?

What would happen if a 16-year-old decided to experiment with drugs and then used the excuse, “I had a bad day and I couldn’t help myself.”

Would that fly with you being the parent?

After all, sugar is an evil and it is bad for someone who is more than 100 pounds overweight with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

How can we expect our children to make good decisions while we make bad ones everyday? Isn’t our health and future worth making a commitment for? Isn’t your families future worth the commitment and follow through? Doesn’t it make sense to set the bar for our children and then follow up with the same behavior that we expect from them?

These are questions that I know the answers to, from my perspective, but ones that I want you to ask yourself.

Your behavior and habits will have a direct reflection on your children.

Obesity, bad health and bad habits can have a trickle down effect on your loved ones.

Make a commitment to lose weight and improve your health and then follow through on your commitment.

Your children’s futures may depend on it.

My client understood the ramifications of her behavior that day and decided to make a stronger commitment while allowing me permission to use her story as an example this week. She feels that it will help others to make a stronger commitment to their health and fitness goals and most importantly, to their children’s future.

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