Generational Health Inheritance

We all want what’s best for the health and wellbeing of our kids. Yet, how many of us could say that if they were to take care of their health in the exact same way that they see you do, that you would be happy with what that would look like for them? Probably not many of us! This isn’t a guilt post, but an awareness post, to encourage you to consider the ways in which you practice self care. Children learn healthy behaviours from the adults they spend the most time with. They trust that the people they love, care and respect will be modelling the ‘right way’, and in trust they follow and become the example, and so the cycle repeats.

A term I like to call ‘Generational Health Inheritance’.

What healthy behaviours do you want children to ‘inherit’ from you?

You might have strong social groups of friends, family and community, modelling the importance of quality relationships for mental health and wellbeing.  You could be the teacher kids see outside of school walking the dog, going for a run and keeping active and fit. Perhaps, you are the parent that prioritises preparing and eating healthy and nutritious food, extending the opportunity to your kids to do the same, or even better, to help you prepare it! There are so many ways we can be healthy role models for young people.

Our whole picture of health is much bigger than just the food we eat. Click on the Self Care Scorecard link here to check in with your healthy behaviours, including sleep, water and purpose. Where could you improve? What are you already doing well?

Our ‘why’ and our reason for doing things is often a reflection of the things we value the most. The opportunity I open you to see, is that childhood and youth is a time where values are still being formed, and they are largely influenced by you! Their values begin with the people they spend the most time with. The importance of positive role models in the lives of young people cannot be underestimated. Teaching children to value their health is a lifelong gift you pass onto them. In teaching them to value healthy behaviours, we incidentally teach them self respect and self love. To value ones health, is to values ones self.

“How you treat yourself is how you are inviting the world to treat you. This is also true in that it is how you are inviting your children to take of themselves”

It is our responsibility as adults to look at the Generational Health Inheritance we are passing onto our future adults through the way we are modelling our own self care everyday. The beauty in this, is that we have the potential to show young people that we are ‘human’. Health is not about striving for perfection, but in our willingness to be open to change. Show them that you are committed to your own health journey. There is a saying that “how you treat yourself is how you are inviting the world to treat you”. This is also true in that it is how you are inviting your children to take care of themselves. Our actions will always be the most powerful educational tool over our words.

Self care is self love. No educational institution can teach our children how to love themselves, but we can pass onto them a Generational Health Inheritance that is rich in modelled healthy behaviours. Walk the talk and you invite children to follow in your footsteps.

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Danae Cornford