This post is sponsored by Responsibility.org as part of their Ask, Listen, Learn program. All opinions and back to school excitement/jitters are mine or my daughter’s. The start of a new school year is a perfect time to commit to healthy choices and to start a conversation with your kids about alcohol!
Back to school season is in full swing, and my daughter’s first day back in the classroom is tomorrow! I have to say that I’m really looking forward to the start of a new school year. While I love summer, I always get excited for the start of a new academic year. I generally like returning to a regular routine, but most of all, I love that it’s a fresh start. New teachers, fresh notebooks, an academic year ahead full of excitement and potential.
It’s possible my kiddo doesn’t quite share my excitement. But that hasn’t stopped me from trying to pass it along!
We’ve always treated back to school as being like the new year – a time to focus on the future, set goals, and dream big. We even have a school year’s eve celebration the night before the first day where we state our intentions for the upcoming school year. This year, we’re focusing as a family on being healthy and taking good care of our bodies.
That means that back to school preparation has included not only shopping for school supplies, but also a water bottle she can easily refill at school to help her drink more water.
In addition, she got some new shoes (will her feet ever stay the same size?) and she’s been breaking them in on walks and hikes as a family and with her friends.
When talking with my daughter about why she was feeling less than excited to return to school, she shared that she’s not crazy about gym class. In particular, she’s not a fan of the running they do early in the year.
That led to a few different conversations, including why the school has her run a mile, how exercise benefits our bodies, why it’s important to keep our bodies healthy and what we can do to prepare for things that may seem hard.
This reminded me a lot of how we as parent approach encouraging our daughter to make other healthy choices, including saying no to alcohol.
It always starts with a conversation.
That conversation is an opportunity to arm kids with facts. Adolescents are not unlike toddlers in that they often want to know why things are the way they are. Kids need to know how our bodies work in order to take good care of themselves, and that what they eat and drink matters.
I also love that my daughter has reached out to her friends to start exercising together. I love that she’s surrounding herself with people who support her healthy choices, as Galit Breen addresses so well here. And I love that she’s seeing that healthy choices can be fun.
Parents have a big influence on kids. We need to demonstrate making healthy choices when it comes to both food and beverages, including alcohol.
This morning, my daughter went for a short run. I hope it’s the start of year during which she takes good care of her body and makes good choices regarding what she puts in it. I want her to know that the commitment to making healthy choices is a marathon that lasts a lifetime, with lots of great rewards along the way.
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