Teach Your Children Well…

April 26, 2016 by: Melissa Mitchell

Teach your children well


It is spring time here in America and boy do we know it! Spring break just ended and the local public school kids are headed back to school with sad expressions and funny attitudes. A spring break or in some parts “Easter vacation” is never long enough. You know you enjoyed yourself when you are mad it is over. Remember the last time you went away and had a ball only to make it to the last day before returning to work? Suddenly, all the stuff that is piled up on your desk begins to haunt you. You know you should have checked in, maybe answered an email or two, read up on the latest literature in your field… but bump that, you were on vacation! Heyyyy now!


Well that is how the kiddies were feeling. This past week was actually nice weather wise in this area. Shout out to our friends in the south like Houston who had devastating spring storms. Hopefully, they are getting the help they need.


So along with the fun in the sun, or the rain, or heck the snow depending on where you are reading this – there should have been something else. Spring time is an excellent time to sneak in some education. At GlobalMusic4 Life we love getting that in there when they least expect it. No, I am not saying make them spend rainy days at the library. I know that is tempting, especially for folks who have young kids who have to work. If you do that make sure your kids are well mannered and can get in the house. I would recommend slipping the local librarian a goodie too. She is not a babysitter but sometimes she pinch hits in a jiffy. My favorite librarian was this super old guy who used to yell at us to be quiet. I befriended him and used to remind him to just give the kids the ole “evil eye” no point in screaming. He let me take books out of the grown up section, I fell in love with JAMA and National Geographic that year. He had someone to talk to. It was a win- win.


Sorry for the tangent.


When I say education I mean alternative education: sneaky education. An example can be when my mom was showing me how to bake cookies and also taught me how to wash dishes properly and make bread. I have been washing dishes ever since. Another example is when we had a tea party and she showed me how to properly use all of the fancy forks and knives at a restaurant. My favorite is when she said her eyes hurt, could I read the newspaper to her while she made breakfast? Well of course I could. You just make sure those biscuits are just right.


There are health education teachable moments as well. We never think of it but there are so many. Kids learn by seeing examples. My mom’s favorite drink was RC cola. I wish it had been water or green tea. For those spring break, and the upcoming summer break, lunches chose healthier choices for yourself. The kids will follow. If a little girl’s mom eats a banana for a snack and runs to the kitchen and drinks water when she is thirsty instead of Kool aid, the kid will follow suit. I avoided the smokes. I don’t really drink much, have never been drunk, never used drugs… but some bad habits carry. They can be broken but as a person who has dieted 40 of her 47 years on earth, I tell you it is hard.


Have you ever noticed a family where everyone is obese? That could be blamed on genetics. More likely however, it is learned behavior. Mom eats fried goodies, kids eat fried goodies, and dad, not to be left out eats fried goodies. That makes you sluggish. Then there is the fight for television shows and video games, or even less productive, social media wars. When they are young give them treats as treats, not normal food. It should be unusual to have fried chicken, fried anything for that matter. Introduce corn, cabbage, spinach, lettuce and other vegetables early. Learn to eat them raw or well-seasoned and steamed or my new favorite – roasted. Roasted carrots and asparagus and small heirloom tomatoes were feed to my 9-year-old niece. She smiled and asked me to teach her mommy how to cook. I said I would. I lied. Her mom can cook as well as I. She is just busy. So I taught my niece how to wash and clean the veggies. I told her about olive oil as she ate some green olives, we talked about kosher salt and how fresh ground pepper taste better. She now knows how to roast her own vegetables. She also knows how to use oven mitts… I burned my fingers a bit. Better me than her. The point is it was a fun, healthy, but educational moment. Afterward we played kick ball in my backyard. She learned about weeds vs plants vs herbs. (I really need a landscaper)


So yes, learning to eat right is part of it. Another part is exercise. “don’t come in until the street lights come on” was a common saying. We were literally kicked out of the house on Saturdays. Cold cereal and milk, fruit, cartoons, and then off we went to burn it all off. Maybe Friday’s left overs for lunch, maybe a sandwich and hot soup and then outside again. Now you have to go with the kids. It was dangerous now it is super dangerous! Maybe because of media we just know about it more and nothing has changed much. However, doing exercise with kids and teaching them to love their bodies and love movement is a great thig to do on vacations and just about every time you can.


Go bike riding, surfing, play soccer, take a walk and say hello to the neighbors or go to the local park and play Frisbee! If you do it with them, it makes it more fun. If you do it often enough, it becomes a way of life. Once it becomes a way of life, they will fight hard to keep it.


My friend eats like a bird, she is small. Her daughter eats like a bird, she is small too. I eat like a crazed horse. If I had a kid, she would eat like a bird. A horse sized bird, but we would work on it. We would start early, and I would try to help her avoid the mistakes I made. Well until she becomes a teen. All heck breaks lose at puberty. If you don’t have them in hand by then… well don’t give up. Just “teach your children well. “  That is all you can do. It is worth it.


I just looked at a GlobalMusic4 Life video. Check us out on Youtube and please subscribe. Better yet send me some ideas on health topics you would like covered in our future events and videos. We would love your input. I am at AskMelissa@Melissaweblog.com

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Love and Light,




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