Health and Parenting

Raising Fit Kids: Mood

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  • Question 1/10

    Which is a better goal?

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    Which is a better goal?

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    It’s great if you want to get more fit! You can be a role model for your kids in your quest for better health. Studies show that when parents get more active, so do their kids. The more specific you are with your goal, the easier it will be to work toward it and to know when you've reached it. That's true of any personal or family goal. Teach your kids that being specific works best.

  • Question 1/10

    Kids need to be teenagers before they can set goals.

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    Kids need to be teenagers before they can set goals.

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    Kids as young as 7 or 8 can easily set goals. It teaches them an important life skill and gives them the self-confidence to map out goals and achieve them.

     

    To give them practice, get their buy-in when you’re trying to set some new family fitness goals.

     

    For example, if you tell your family the new goal is to eat two veggies every night at dinner, they aren't going to be too thrilled. But if you get together and brainstorm specific ways that the family can eat healthier, everyone will be more likely to get on board.

  • Question 1/10

    Telling other people about your family's goals is:

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    Telling other people about your family's goals is:

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    If your friends and family know what your plan is, they can support you in your quest to make a healthy change. They can ask how it's going and urge you to keep pushing when you might want to give up.

     

    Plus, when you tell others about your goals, they might join you in your efforts! Your families could bike or hike together, or plan healthy picnics and nutritious team snacks.

  • Question 1/10

    A bigger goal is always better.

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    A bigger goal is always better.

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    If you set a realistic goal, you'll be much more likely to reach it. Remember that "realistic" doesn't mean super-easy. It just means that if you push yourself, you can eventuallydo it.

     

    Talk to your child about what a goal is -- something you'd like to accomplish that you think you really can do. Then talk through some goal possibilities. Ask yourselves if you have the skills to meet the goal. Do a little research. Do you have (or can you make) the time? How will you get motivated? Once you have thought things through a little, you're ready to get to work.

  • Question 1/10

    What's the best way to reach a big goal?

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    What's the best way to reach a big goal?

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    Let's say you want to cut your family's screen time by 2 hours a day. Start by turning off the TV during meals for 1 week. Then cut one other show that you watch next week. Cut two shows the following week. Eventually, you'll reach your goal.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting screen time to 1 hour a day for children ages 2-5 and 2 hours a day for children ages 6 and older.

     

  • Question 1/10

    It's OK to bribe your kids with rewards.

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    It's OK to bribe your kids with rewards.

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    Surprised? Maybe “bribe” is a strong word. Come up with treats for everyone when you reach steps along the way to your goal. Find healthy rewards that complement your goals. Perhaps you can get some new music for your workouts or plan a trip to explore a local park.

     

    Just don't use food as a reward to motivate your family. That can set your kids up to start identifying food as a source of comfort. And that can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food and unhealthy weight gain.

  • Answer 1/10

    Write down your family’s goal and:

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    When you put goals in writing, it helps you commit to them. If you post them somewhere your family will see them every day, it can help keep them front and center in everyone's mind. It will remind everyone what they want to achieve. And when you reach your goals, you can celebrate your accomplishments!

     

    Along the way, remind your kids why you've set your healthy goals -- to feel good and grow strong -- and soon it'll be second nature for them to want to make healthy decisions, too.

  • Question 1/10

    If you mess up, it's a sign your goal is too big and you should pick another one.

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    If you mess up, it's a sign your goal is too big and you should pick another one.

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    It's normal for people to have to try a few times to reach a goal. You don't have to give up. Change is hard, but you can do it! Use “do-overs” as a chance to show your kids how to deal with setbacks. 

     

    For example, just because you skipped the family walk twice this week or didn’t eat veggies every day on vacation doesn't mean you have to scrap your exercise or healthy eating goal. Teach your kids about sticking with things and how important it is to not give up. Recommit yourself and start again.

  • Question 1/10

    New habits usually take 1 week to kick in.

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    New habits usually take 1 week to kick in.

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    The way to make a new habit take root is to do it again and again. It takes a while -- some experts say as long as 2 months for it to feel more automatic. But you can do it! To help your new habit stick, find ways to make it easier.

     

    Let's say you want your kids to get up earlier so they have time for a healthy breakfast. Mornings can be tough, so stock the pantry and fridge with healthy breakfast choices, like low-fat yogurt and whole-grain cereals. Lay out as much as you can the night before, including bowls and utensils and washed fruit, then let the kids choose what they want.

     

    Making time for a healthy breakfast is a great family goal. Several studies show that kids who eat breakfast do better in school and have energy for their day.

  • Answer 1/10

    Which will help you succeed?

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    • Correct Answer:

    Put a time frame on your family's goal. That will give you a date to shoot for. It will also help you know if you've succeeded.

     

    If you're vague about when to expect results, it's a lot easier to put off the things you should be doing. You might put off walking until another day or tell yourself you'll start going to bed earlier tomorrow night. If your family knows your time frame is limited, you'll likely be more motivated to start right now.

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    Great job! You know how to help your family set a healthy goal and reach it! What are you waiting for? Set another one!

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    Not bad. You know a thing or two about setting a healthy goal and then reaching it. Keep working on it and you and your family will be meeting all your goals!

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    Looks like you learned a lot about setting and reaching your health goals. Great! Take the quiz again to score higher, or take what you learned about goal setting and go out there and give it a try.

Sources | Reviewed by Amita Shroff, MD on August 29, 2017 Medically Reviewed on August 29, 2017

Reviewed by Amita Shroff, MD on
August 29, 2017

IMAGE PROVIDED BY:

Yellow Dog Productions / Iconica


SOURCES:

The American Council on Exercise: "Reaching Your Goals the SMART Way."

MicheleBorba.com: "Helping Kids Become Goal-Setters."

Holm, K. Journal of Physical Activity & Health , July 2012.

LetsMove.gov: "Reduce Screen Time and Get Active."

Lucy Daniels Center: "Helping Children Set and Meet Goals."

National Institute of Coaching: "Top 10 Tips on Goal Setting."

TeensHealth: "5 Facts About Goal Setting," "Your Secrets to Staying Motivated," "Motivation and the Power of Not Giving Up."

Yale School of Medicine, Yale Medical Group: "Why Parents Shouldn't Use Food as a Reward or Punishment."

This tool does not provide medical advice.
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