12 Jan Teach Your Children Well(ness)
The other day I attended a school performance where my son and his class performed Gospel songs as part of a music project. It was so much fun! Many of the kids who sang solos were, technically, not going to become the next American Idol. What was great was their energy and confidence. Every single one of them took the stage and belted it out to the best of their ability.
As a child, performing in public would have intimidated me. Each kid who soloed in my son’s class did it voluntarily. It was their proactive choice and nobody had to be put on the spot. The visiting music director from Glide in San Francisco created an environment where he encouraged the kids to just express themselves, have fun and engage, regardless if they had a “good” voice or musical experience.
This was an example of creating a culture for kids to have positive self-esteem — basically, having a positive attitude toward themselves and what they’re capable of.
Their positive self-esteem started with mindset. This mindset then led to a proactive way of being in the world. Kids participate joyfully even when in it’s an arena where they are not proficient, skilled or comfortable — as long as they feel empowered.
Since my passion and work in the world is around health, healing and wellness, I ask the question:
How can we create positive health esteem?
Health esteem, like self-esteem, means creating a positive attitude towards the body and its ability to heal. It’s a mindset of awareness and empowerment that enables us to engage and participate in staying healthy. Nobody is a victim of having a “bad voice” or “bad genes.”
My background in neuroendocrinology, grad school, and 20 years in practice have clearly shown me that one of the biggest factors in one’s lifetime health trajectory is not our genetics but our health esteem.
The early messaging we give our kids about how capable their bodies are serves them for a lifetime.
So ask yourself these questions:
• Do you have a mindset that expects health and wellness?
• Are you comfortable with a symptomatic child?
• How do you and your kids view your own bodies and their ability to heal?
• Do you ever discuss the body wisdom which keeps our heart beating, food digesting and hair growing?
• Does your child have a name for their innate intelligence?
• Do you point out in your household that the body is self-healing?
• Do you model by asking for what you need when not feeling well?
Development of your child’s health esteem will help them heal faster, be less interested in drugs of all types, need fewer medical interventions, embrace natural healing remedies as adults, and be comfortable with the body’s symptoms without a huge need to suppress. They will rely on their inner doctor.
I also see that kids who are in the know about their innate intelligence are less likely to mess with it through prescription drug overuse and recreational drug use. Huge statements, I know, but it is what I have witnessed over and over again.
Kids who don’t know or trust their bodies to heal:
• Turn to medication right away for any symptom
• Dramatize pain and often use it to get attention
• View themselves as unhealthy kids and grow up as disempowered adults
• Defer their power to doctors instead of listening to their own intuition to manage their simple illnesses like colds and flus
• Don’t understand the basic lifestyle resets that bring health: rest, decrease of stress, nourishing foods, connection and simply allowing the body to process
• Fear natural body responses like fevers, coughing and inflammation
• Use defeatist language around their body: “sick,” “tired,” “weak,” etc.
A crackling adolescent soprano can be accepted as a part of growing up and learning to share your voice. Or it can be stigmatized. These behaviors are learned and can be unlearned, just like the list above. You don’t need a degree in order to develop a better mindset about being a healthy human.
What could be more elemental than creating a mindset for health?
The education starts with you, Revolutionary, Evolutionary Parent!
And it’s easy…I promise!
Now, I never had anyone teach me how to teach my kids to trust their own body. I developed the language and the ideas over years out of necessity.
It’s a simple system of conversations created in my laboratory as mom, scientist and holistic healer. My work in the world is to teach it to you. You will have healthier, more aware and more connected kids when you develop a health esteem mindset.
The learning starts here, on my blog. And get yourself rolling by reading my quick eGuide “How to Avoid the 3 Biggest Mistakes When Your Child Is Sick,” available HERE. Sickness is where we teach our kids how to behave when their body has symptoms. That means our first job is to become conscious of the messaging we are downloading to our kids. That’s why I created this simple tool.
Creating positive health esteem, like creating positive self-esteem, is a big job that is simple but not always easy. Sometimes, though, all you have to do is open your mouth and let the words sing.
P.S. If you want to dig deep, participate with a group of like-minded, supportive parents, and learn with me, this spring I am launching my online course where together we will jam and create a Culture of Wellness. Stay tuned!
Want to know my story? Check out the About section to learn more about the education and life experiences that inspired me to start a health revolution.