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Why You Have to Be the One Who Sets the Example

February 15, 2019 No Comments

Why You Have to Be the One Who Sets the Example

February 15, 2019 No Comments
Mom and Child, Competitor

“Oh __________!”

I heard my friend’s toddler drop the same curse word I’d just casually mentioned a few minutes prior to him.

“It’s like she’s always watching you.”

“She is,” my friend replied. “Whether you like it or not.”

Children from birth have their eyes set on their parents and follow their lead, in word and deed. So it’s up to parents to set the example in deed for the kid to follow.

Want to help curb the (rapidly) growing obesity rate in kids, now over 18.5%? Get ready to get your butt into a gym.

A 2005 study on family physical activity showed that 4-7 year olds were 2x as likely to be active if their mom was and 3.5x more likely to be active if their father was.

The biggest stat? Children are 5.8x more likely to be active if both parents are active than if neither was.

It’s no surprise that adult obesity rates continue to climb at an alarming rate (almost 40% of Americans), as do their ongoing health concerns ($147 billion in associated medical costs).

They’re always watching.

So how can you encourage an active lifestyle in your household? By having the kids join you.

Bring them with you.

A couple I used to CrossFit with would bring their kids to the gym with them. As the children grew up, they would start participate in CrossFit Kids classes and movements they’d see their parents perform. The child gets to see mom & dad workout and subconsciously start to desire to do the same. Monkey see, monkey do.

Be active with them.

Jenny Dean, a Frisco-based yoga instructor and influencer, shared with me that when she made the decision to get in shape, she started finding excuses to take her kids with her everywhere. Strolls through the park with her kids, workouts, and playing games. She wanted to be active and to help set the example for her kids from a young age, incorporated them into her physical activity.

Practice with them.

Let your child play a sport (or multiple). Sign them up to find out what they enjoy. A Canadian survey showed that “kids who enrolled in lessons or a sport increased their physical activity by 5-15 minutes/day, regardless of what a parent does.”

Instead of simply signing your kid up, why not invest 10-15 minutes at home working with them on the sport? It could be as simple as kicking a soccer ball back and forth, playing 1-on-1 basketball, or what I’ll always remember doing with my dad, playing catch in the front yard.

This activity will create a bonding experience and allow the child to spend active time with you while improving their skills specific to their chosen sport.

Find what works for your family.

Some families all go to the gym together, while some hit the tennis courts or soccer fields. The activity doesn’t matter as much as it does you getting your kids out to be active – And being active yourself.

They’re always watching, and the example we set for them is the one that makes the biggest impact on their future habits.


Compete Every Day’s Raising Competitors program is designed to equip parents with lessons & activities they can use to teach the 5 Pillars of a Competitor. To learn more about this program and when it debuts, click here to sign up for notification.

To learn how you can bring lessons like this and Compete Every Day to your company, click here to learn more.

Jake Thompson

Jake Thompson is a keynote speaker and coach who helps driven people become Championship performers in work and life. As founder of Compete Every Day, he has spent years studying great competitors, and with this research, has created a process that can help ambitious people harness The Competitor Mindset to make better choices and in turn, make bigger impacts in their careers and personal life.

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