3 Ways to Model Health & Happiness For Your Kids – Mommy Teacher Spotlight

This is a Mommy Teacher Spotlight from a friend that works out at the same gym as me… that will be no surprise to you after you see what she is all about.

The following post is from Niki (whose information to link up to her site is at the bottom of this post… so check it out!):

Niki writes “It was a 4:30AM kind of morning.  I was pulling out of my driveway to see an early client.  My crazy neighbor was at it again.  Running up and down the street.  Back and forth.  The monotony of it practically put me back to bed.  I wondered why on earth she ran back and forth.  We lived a quarter mile from the cities running hot-spot.  A beautiful 3 mile loop around the university lake.   It made no sense and the absurdity of her routine drove me bonkers.  Years past and every morning I gave her a we’re-up-too-early wave of camaraderie, followed by a you’re-more-nuts-than-me look.

One morning as I was headed off I noticed she had 2 mini-me companions on her morning route of back-and-forth.  Two young children on bikes pedaled at her heels.  It turns out she was a single mom and the only way she could fit exercise into her day was to wake up earlier than her kids and never stray farther than a backward glance.  I immediately fell in love with her no-excuses, make-it-happen mentality.  She wasn’t a nut.  She was a warrior.

What I didn’t know is that she would become the inspiration for my own back and forthing.

Fast forward 3 years.  I’m now a single mom to two wildly fun kiddos, ages 4 and 6.  I could never have dreamed up the life I have today.  It’s very screen-play-ish.  Life throws you curve-balls sometimes.  What I’ve learned is that as pressure increases you have two choices: you can either rise or explode.  Rising sounds like more fun to me.



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I know that I am my child’s greatest teacher.  I will pass on my best and my worst qualities to my children.

So I had to ask myself, “what kind of adult do I want my children to become?”   “Am I a model for that kind of adult?”

I want my children to be healthy, happy, confident and love themselves.  Not self-love in a narcissistic way.  Self love in an I-am-worthy-of-greatness way.  I want my children to become outside-the-box thinkers, people who laugh at limitations, go after what they want in life and follow their heart’s desire.  I want to raise individuals who understand that wholeness comes from within.

Then I asked myself “am I a living example of all I want my children to become?”

Because I value being a mother more than anything in my life, I choose to rise each morning in self-love.  Loving yourself by taking care of your personal needs is not selfish.  So many mothers feel guilty for taking the time to exercise, prepare meals or relax!  We need to embrace self care as a teach-by-example lesson to our children.  If we want our children to love themselves, we must teach them to respect their entire being, body-mind-spirit.  That includes exercise, feeding the body healthy foods, and seeking solutions to eliminate cravings, poor body image and low energy.  The mind can literally become captive inside an unhealthy body.  I know, because I struggled with cravings, emotional eating and poor body image for over 15 years.  Negative self talk occupied my mind and prevented me from contributing my unique gifts to the world.  I knew that I never wanted my children to experience the pain of not loving themselves or the fear of not being enough.  Pretty enough.  Smart enough.  Popular enough.  I want my children to experience a love of their bodies as a gift that allows them to do things that bring them joy and allow them to contribute more love to the world.

I choose self love inspired exercise and nutrition daily to fulfill my own physical needs and personal growth desires.  When you fill yourself up with good food and exercise, you have more energy to give your children.  You show them what it looks like to be healthy and happy.  That is a life skill that cannot be taught in a classroom, it must be consistently modeled.

So, I rise each morning long before the sun comes up.  I move forward in my self-love inspired life by sprinting back and forth past my children’s bedroom window.  I send out a prayer of gratitude for the strong, no-excuses woman who pioneered the path of back and forthing.  The mornings I find myself moaning and groaning with a I-don’t-feel-like-it attitude, I envision my future healthy happy adult children.  My children are my greatest motivation and my biggest fans!

3 Ways To Model Health & Happiness For Your Kids

1. Identify what makes you happy in life.

What are your deepest desires for your own personal development?  Do you have the desire to live in a strong, healthy, energy-abundant body?  Do you have the desire to learn a craft or hobby?  Do you deeply yearn to volunteer and make a positive impact on the world?  What can you do to become the best version of yourself?  Inspire your children to reach their highest potential by reaching for yours.

2. Get organized.

Write your self-development goals for the next 6 months.  Break down your goals by month and put it in your calendar.  If it’s not on your schedule, it’s not happening!  Prior to bed, each night make a (doable) to-do list for the next day.  Setting goals seems obvious but it doesn’t work unless you actually do it and stick to it!

3. Set it and forget it!

Set your goal and then enjoy each step of your journey towards achieving your goal.  Focusing on the end-result will lead to overwhelm.  Overwhelm is the inability to make a decision and take action.  Take one moment at a time and knock out the 1,2,3’s on your daily to-do list.  The most successful people don’t hyper-focus on achievement, they are present with the experience.  Remember, your children will learn patience, persistence and follow through if you model a positive attitude on your own self development journey. “

 

Niki Driscoll is a Mind-Body Connection Expert, Holistic Health Practitioner and Personal Trainer.

Niki Driscoll



Niki created Candy to Kale, a sassy-fun online video program to help women kick cravings and end emotional eating without discipline.  Her sassy-edgy style motivates even the most committed self help cynics.Learn how to love yourself healthy and hot at [http://nikidriscoll.com] and visit [http://facebook.com/thenikidriscoll for the designed-by-niki poster series ‘Exercise Meditations.’

 

Project Imagination – Mommy Teacher Spotlight

A good friend of mine from my church fam is always planning and purposing teaching moments with her kiddos, and I love to see snapshots on Instagram and Facebook that highlight moments in their day.



One of my favorite mommy-teacher friends, Julie.



One of my favorite mommy-teacher friends, Julie, and her little one.

So the following activity is the play-by-play from Julie -this week’s Mommy Teacher Spotlight:

Julie says  “I am always looking for ways to inspire my child’s imagination.  Today’s activity was appropriately titled “Project Imagination.” I threw several items (found around the house) into a cardboard box and set my three-year-old free to create whatever he wanted. To make this an independent experience free from frustration (for him and me) I made sure he had prior experience with most of the items in the box. Our box contained glue, scissors, tape, dried noodles, pipe cleaner, popsicle sticks, bead necklaces, stickers, favor bags, styrofoam, toothpicks, paper towel rolls, and two bowls of paint with paintbrushes. I was taking a risk by letting him paint with no supervision but he did a great job! I set him up on a patio outside with the materials so I wouldn’t be tempted to interject my ideas. It’s important to note that he didn’t have a clear idea of what he was making until he was half way through his project.



Project Imagination



He started by examining all the materials before deciding he wanted to add stickers to the box, followed by a popsicle stick and then paint. It was at this point that he knew he wanted to create a rocket ship. For an hour he worked diligently until he needed some input on making a steering wheel. We brainstormed some ideas out of the materials available but I let him make the final decision. He was so proud of his final product and so was I. We will definitely be trying “Project Imagination” again!



Project Imagination Rocket Ship



 
As a former classroom teacher this type of activity would have intimidated me in the traditional classroom setting. But as a parent I have learned my child needs creativity without restraints. As the great Sir Ken Robinson said,  “I believe this passionately: that we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out if it.” I love this quote because it pushes me as a parent to foster the creative spirit within my child and evaluate the ways I may be limiting his creativity.” 
Love it Julie!  Thanks for sharing this with us!
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Mommy Teacher Spotlights are inspiring glimpses into the lives of other Mommy Teachers.

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