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Health Tips: A Sanity Plan for Fall

separator Even though the New Year officially starts in January, fall brings with it a feeling of starting out fresh. New routines, new schedules, new schools…it’s a good opportunity to set some priorities for you and your family. Here are some ways to keep your family healthy and to keep your life from feeling like it’s spinning out of control.

Set strict limits on computer and television time at home. Tell your kids you’re setting these rules because it’s good for them, and make sure they don’t get the idea you’re punishing them. If everybody’s watching less television and playing fewer computer games, there’s more time to talk and play with each other.

Limit the amount of lessons and sports your kids take part in. It can drive you nuts to be constantly shuttling your kids from one activity to the next. And being over-scheduled can make your kids anxious too. Let them choose just one or two things, and save the rest of their spare time to do things together as a family.

Exercise together as a family. Go to an ice rink on weekends. Take walks together. Ride bikes. Whatever you choose to do, do it on a regular basis so that your kids will come to expect it and accept it as part of their routine.

Read together as a family. If your kids are too old to be read to, consider setting time aside for everyone to read at the same time, and then share your thoughts about the books you’re reading. You can also schedule visits to the public library every few weeks.

Listen to music. Very young children will enjoy singing and dancing to the music. It’s a good way for them to get exercise when it’s cold or snowy or rainy, and it’s a lot better for them that watching hours of television or videos.

Discuss your family’s religious, spiritual and philosophical values. You can do this just by talking about each other’s days and weaving in the values that you think are important. Doing this on a regular basis will get your kids in the habit of talking with you about the important things in their lives.

The American Academy of Pediatrics; Children First
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