Another technique used to encourage life change is Environmental Reevaluation, which combines both emotional and cognitive assessments of how a personal habit affects those around you, as well as the understanding that you are a role model for others. We are not always aware of who is watching what we do, but there is always someone whether it is a child (even if not your own), a boss, or a potential client.
For parents it is hugely important to remember that the old saying “do what I say, not what I do” will never work. Children pattern themselves after what is modeled for them. If they see you doing otherwise, they are most likely to learn that those behaviors (whatever they may be) are simply a privilege of being an adult. Most parents report that they want their children to have a better life and make better choices than they have. The best way to make this happen is to start working towards living the life you want your children to have. If you don’t want your children to feel addicted to sweets, limit their consumption of sugar and your own.
Consider how others may view or be impacted by your habits. Anti-smoking campaigns utilize Environmental Reevaluation by discussing the impact of second hand smoke. Testimonials may help you recognize that being out of shape and low energy impacts your ability to play and keep up with your children. Those around you may already be giving you the feedback you need to reevaluate your impact on your social environment.
December 11th, 2008