No one would look at you and think: “That woman sure is a nature lover who loves to hike.”
But this weekend you learned that that is EXACTLY how your niece sees you. She needed an adult to hit the path with, and she sought you out. We were all hanging out at our extended family’s reunion, and she and your son wanted to explore.
You understand feeling antsy, so you decided to abandon the adult conversations for the hike. When you were little doctors and educators did not used to diagnose kids with attention issues like they do today. You learned to manage your attention lapses with figits, doodling, and counting everything in sight. In the past when you have seen my very active niece appear restless, you have challenged her to create a list of items to find on a scavenger hunt.
Our first was years ago at Christmas when your son was visiting his father.
Our second scavenger hunt was with your son and troll stickers at your aunt’s lake house a few summers ago.
Our third was at the cabin this past summer.
A few curves into this day’s path, your niece shouted theatrically, “WAIT. We didn’t make a list.”
You and your son stopped. Both perplexed.
And your niece said, “You are the best at hunts, Auntie. So what are we looking for?”
Turns out you were looking for a reminder that the little actions matter most and while you can be incredibly hard on yourself, your appearances, and your fitness, or lack thereof, journey, your efforts do not go unnoticed. It is such a privilege to be seen as the active, crazy and fun-loving Aunt!
What Examples Are You Setting for the Children in Your Life?
Every adult serves as a role model for the children they are around. Like it or not, when we make a decision to patiently listen instead of talk, a young child is watching and learning. When we make a decision to turn the most boring afternoons into an adventure, a young niece notices. Is it any wonder then that parents and other adults should also make a point of demonstrating healthy habits. From wearing seat belts in the car to paying attention to preventative dental care to making sure that you look both ways before crossing the street, there are opportunities every day to set t he best example.
Hiking with the youngest relatives, making sure that you demonstrate healthy habits like brushing your teeth after meals, both big and small things can impact the younger children you are around. And whether you are a parent, an aunt, an uncle, or someone else who spends a lot to time with children, it is important to notice who is watching you. If you treat others respectfully, the children will do the same.
Preventative Dental Care Habits Can be Taught
Just as you can teach your children a sense of adventure, you can also teach them good habits like preventative dental care. From brushing and flossing in the morning to brushing after every meal, it is possible to treat the best pediatric dental care. And while it may be more fun to think about teaching a young niece about the beauty of nature and a sense of adventure, there are many great advantages of also teaching preventative dental care so that child will not need dental implants later in life.
the latest research indicates that as many as one in 25 people are dental-phobic, so there is definitely a long ways to go if parents want to make sure that their children have a positive attitude about taking care of their teeth on a daily basis, as well as making and keeping dentist appointments. If you want even more proof how important it is to get the right kind of dental habits, consider this fact from an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) survey, almost every adult believes a healthy smile is socially important. In fact, 99.7% of adults believe this statement to be true.
The next time you get to spend time with the youngest of your family, feel free to take them on a scavenger hunt. But why not brush your teeth first? Thew will do the same.