Yesterday, while painting the beach part of my day, I spent some time just observing. I watched the crashing waves, the surfers (surf was up!) the sky, the sun worshippers and everything around me. For a while, I got caught up watching parents interact with their children. What I started to watch was “monkey see/monkey do.” There were parents running around in the sand with their children, their were parents playing in the ocean, swimming and jumping with their children and then there was the father with the toddler daughter in front of us. Though I was not meaning to be judgmental in any way, I did notice that the families that were running and playing together were all in great shape. The dad who ran around the most (and boy was he fast) was also the guy on the beach with ZERO body fat. Kids too. The guy in front of us was enjoying a relaxing time reclining on his blanket. There is nothing wrong with that, in and of itself, but he was a rather overweight guy and his beautifully blond daughter looked exactly like him. She sat building the same sand castle over and over again, and it saddened me that when she had to reach for sand, I could see it was hard for her to even move. Then she wanted to be just like her dad so they laid a towel beside him so she could lay down. It was a really cute minute, as the dad gave her her sunglasses and took a picture of her sunbathing, but it heart my heart at the same time. My guess is there isn’t a whole lot of roll modeling of anything physical going on between those two.
My dad used to say “do as I say, not as I do,” but I don’t think he ever meant it too seriously. He was smart enough to know that is NOT the way parenting works. Your kids are watching everything you do and kids, especially young ones, always want to emulate their parents. Show your kids that MOVING is as important as eating, breathing, sleeping and school! Consider setting aside a slice of time every day to get outside and play WITH your kids. You’ll not only have a great chance to bond, but your kids will be happier and healthier, and so will you!
Today I say good-bye for the summer to some of my favorite people in the entire world. They are 3 generations of family that have modeled incredible behavior in many ways, and fitness aka moving aka play is way up on top of that list. Though “I don’t wanna say good-bye for the summer”…I will miss them all but know that they will fill their summers with lots of fun and daily doses of peaceandfitness. Happy trails….