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8 Foundations Of a Happy Healthy Life (With Kids)

This article will cover the 8 Foundations of a happy and healthy life with kids. I give my personal experiences as examples and explain what each of the 8 foundations means and how they will impact your kids and/or loved ones. Have you ever taken the time to think about what your family is based on? What your traditions come from or what they even are? What you teach your family without even realizing it? Have you thought about this?: The way you are raising your children today will carry over with them even into their adult life and they most likely won’t even know why they do certain things when they have a family of their own.

The important thing to know is that you can break the cycle of the foundations you grew up with as a child and you can replace those foundations with your own. If you had a bad upbringing you don’t have to keep the cycle going and guarantee your child to have the same struggle as you did growing up and into your adult life.

When I talk about “foundations” what am I referring to? This, in all honesty, refers to many a number of things. I will share with you a few of the “foundations” in my life as an example. Below are a few of the negative things I had become aware of my life, which pointed back to my upbringing, and then I chose to break the cycle. The first step in all of this was awareness. I write about “Awareness Is The First Step” in another article where I use a personal experience to show one of many ways we can all become a victim of our own demise and limit ourselves. We live with a Fixed-Mindset when we limit ourselves and we need to fight for growth and to live with a Growth-Mindset instead. Now that I have broken these cycles I can be certain that my children will not have to struggle in these same areas within their life. Not everything in our life is brought on by our past or our upbringing, but a good bit of it is.

My First Example:

Growing up I was taught that following someone else’s advice was the “right” thing to do. For instance, if someone told me to go to college for Medical Assisting and I wanted to go for Billing & Coding- I was wrong. If I didn’t choose the same things as one of my elders, in personal choices that would affect only my life, then I was living life wrong and/ or putting myself in the worst-case scenario, and my future would be doomed.

My Second Example

My relationship with my mother was a sister-sister, not a mother-daughter. At times, I was the mother and she was the daughter. This example is in regards to setting a good example for your children and being a good role model. I should not have been doing the things I was doing period at such a young age, let alone with my mother.

My Third Example:

As a child, I was never taught that there were different ways to live. I was never encouraged to be my own person. I believed I had my place within the family and I was to stick to that role in order to help everyone else in the family stay happy. As a child, the anxiety of constantly making sure that everyone around me was happy and comfortable carried over to my adult lifestyle. I was never informed that this was not how life was supposed to be lived or that I was allowed to live my life for myself, to make myself happy first. I suppose what I want to point out in this example is that it’s important to give your child decisions and to let them learn from them. Talk to them about what their options are and let them know that it is okay to do something that’s different than what others around them are doing. This builds trust and a bond that, if I had to guess, not very many parents have with their child. Open the doors and be a resource for your child instead of closing them in on what’s really out there in the world. If you do this already than kudos! That’s great. And if you disagree with this and maybe you have grown up in a household like this try to think about how your life would have been today had your parents been more open and lenient with you.

I also would like to touch on other types of “Foundations” that I have recently realized had carried over into my adult life as a mother and as an individual. Things that I grew up with that I thought were out of my life were still affecting me in ways I hadn’t known. My fear of failure was carried into my adult life. The way that I felt when I was scared to do something new or scared to tell someone about it was the same feeling I had as a child. It was the same feeling as when everyone but myself laid out my entire life’s choices before me to follow. I was scared I would fail everyone. I was scared to voice my own decisions and I was scared to say no. Does this resonate with any of you reading this right now?

Another “Foundation” I could touch on is about Inner Voice. As our children grow up they will constantly have a part of them repeating everything we have ever said. When they make certain choices they will hear us in their subconscious and make choices based on what we are still telling them even when we are not with them. We raise them to have a certain image of themselves, they get an idea of the image we as their parents have about them. Unless they realize that they want to change the way they feel about themselves, or realize they even can, they will always have this painted image of who they are stemming back from who we made them believe they were as a child. (Make sense? you may need to re-read that.)

8 Foundations Of A Happy Healthy Life (With Kids)

Building Family Foundations

As a parent of 4 children, these are the 8 Foundations that I work the hardest on within my family home. I feel that these 8 Foundations should be on every mother’s priority list, and building a structured lifestyle around these 8 Foundations will help you live a happy and healthy life within your family home as well!

  1. Family: Who is your family? Where do they come from and what are your roots? Roots can give you an idea of where a few of your ingrained behaviors come from or why you have specific beliefs. What cultural background does your family come from and does that mean there are extra special traditions that live on through that? Your family is like a security blanket. When you run out of options and have nowhere else to turn you can always rely on at least one family member (Does your family have a close friend that is not blood-related but has grown within the immediate family through the generations? This counts as family, too). A family should provide a solid structure and all the unconditional love in the world. It is the safe zone and the home should feel warm and welcoming more so than any other place in the world.
  2. Personal Responsibility: Take responsibility for your role in the family. The parents are the parents, the children are the children, and each has their own responsibilities within the family. Accept the responsibilities, teach your children to accept responsibility for their actions and choices. talk about them amongst each other, if necessary, compromise together. Here is a personal experience I will use to elaborate more on the meaning behind this Foundation. I became an adult in a child’s body. I understood things about life that I probably should not have even known existed until I was an adult. I was an adult in a child’s body because of the way I was raised, the way I was treated, and what I was raised around. If I hadn’t stepped into my big girl boots as quickly as I did I wouldn’t be the woman/parent that I am today. I quickly accepted the reality that I had to be both an adult while trying to have a fun childhood on the side. Instinct must have kicked in and I just started to take care of myself and survive. Now don’t get it wrong, I wasn’t left on the streets for dead or necessarily “neglected” in terms of having a roof over my head and food in the fridge. It was more like having a mother and a step-father that tried their hardest to be good to me, but alcohol had the upper hand. Life got pretty awful and scary and eventually, I learned that I could isolate myself. Now, isolation has carried over into my adult life and it causes a ton of problems in my relationships and goals.
  3. Setting An Example: As we know, children will pick up what we lay down. Even things we “accidentally” lay down. Always keep in mind that kids are listening even when they are around the corner in their room, out of sight, playing with hot wheels cars. They are listening even when they don’t know they are listening. Use this as a tool to instill good values, a good work ethic, and to teach appropriate behaviors. Take a moment to become aware of other types of influences that are in and around your home and at other places your child may visit on a regular basis. A few different types of influences that are in my home and other environments that my kids visit frequently include family, myself, movies, video games, music, teachers, school peers, their siblings, our neighbors, papers laying visible to their little eyes, and more. Set good examples for your little ones and they will be able to see good examples for their little ones!
  4. Inner Voice: As I mentioned earlier, we will speak to our children even when we are away from them and they are not even thinking about “WWMS” (what would mommy say?). It’s just one of those things we can’t do much about other than making sure we are positive and encouraging and that we try our hardest to put good thoughts into our child’s mind. I catch myself all the time making choices based on what my grandmother has told me or taught me. I never even knew that I had taken note of the piece of information until the day had come along that I used it to make a choice. For example, I wanted to get my nails painted and I bought a bright pink color and light spring color. When it came time to paint my nails something in my mind told me to choose the light spring color because the bright color would make me look too -what’s the word?- let’s just say something like “not so classy”. This was one of those thoughts that had been ingrained into my head about myself. It didn’t matter what color I used in reality. But I was made to believe that I would look “less than” if I put bright colors on my nails. A perfect example of how the things you say to your child will carry over to their adult life and it can cripple them in ways we would never think possible. Who cares what color I paint my nails? Why should I care what people think about me based on what my nail color is? And for the record, if someone is judging me based on nail color then they probably don’t need to be in my life in the first place. So please, even if you disagree with something your child wants, does, or chooses, don’t make them feel like that one “different” choice they are making will cause their life to turn upside down. Most things are not even that big of a deal and everyone has different experiences even if they’ve made the same choices. One outcome won’t be the same for everyone making that same decision in that same way. Let it go and see what happens and then take it from there and learn & teach.
  5. Nurturing: Being there for your child and tending to their emotional, physical, and mental needs/ requirements. Be the resources that our children need throughout their life. If they don’t know something help them figure it out or give them the resources they need to figure it out themselves. Help and guide them toward an exceptional Self-Care routine. Listening to them and love them and give them your undivided attention. They will never stop being our babies and will always need nurturing (even when they stop kissing us in front of their friends when we drop them off at school). {sad face and sigh} Supporting our kids, even when everyone else disagrees, is what our child needs from us as their parent. But let your child know that even if they fail you will support them and help them get back up again. This will teach them at an early age that it’s okay to move forward with a goal that might have a negative outcome. They are trying to find success outside of their comfort zone and we know how hard it is to do this when you get a late start at trying! Help them get an early start!
  6. Discipline: The easiest Foundation of all! (kidding, I’m kidding) From my experience, if they hate you for disciplining them than you are doing it right! Seriously, they want it. They crave some type of structure because they want to be told what and how to do things. They act like they know everything in the world but they really do want this. They will not appreciate it until they are an adult (maybe late into adulthood) but hey, it’s a gift to look forward to, right?
  7. Empathy: Let your child know you understand their pains and that you care about their misfortunes. There are 3 types of Empathy: Cognitive, Emotional, and Compassionate. The type of Empathy you should use toward a child or loved one is the Compassionate type as it involves an extra step of not only putting yourself in their shoes and sharing their emotion but to take action toward helping them solve the problem (or feel better about the outcome) as well. Cognitive Empathy is when you are able to see the other person’s perspective on the situation but there are no feelings involved. Emotional Empathy is when you actually feel the other person’s emotions with them. As if you have “caught” the emotion from them. For example: when a baby sees the mother smile, “catches” her emotion, and smiles back. Another definition of Emotional Empathy is called “personal distress” or “emotional contagion”.
  8. Personal Sacrifice: Personally I feel that this one is a given. As a parent you want your children to have a better life than you had to endure. You want to give them a better childhood than you had experienced. Sacrifice is definitely going to play a role in bringing either of these goals to fruition. The common challenge here is trying to decide where to draw the line. What exactly should you sacrifice? How much of that should you sacrifice? For how long? Then we want to think about our own Self-Care needs and make sure that we don’t take from ourselves, as parents that want to be the best parent we can be. What I mean by this is that we still need to put our Self-Care needs first. Yes, before our children and loved ones we need to put ourselves first. The reason for this is that we can’t take care of our children (or others) if we are not in tip-top shape ourselves. We can’t lack in sleep and still be there for our kids when we have 2 meetings at their school and a soccer game and then a birthday party that we are supposed to bake cupcakes for! We will get something wrong, we will be late, and/or we will forget altogether. We have to be selfish, but selfish in a good and positive way, in order to be who we want to be as a parent and as an individual. This Foundation will require a bit of thinking and making sure you are aware of the choices you are making when it comes to the sacrifices you are dishing out.

I have a very interesting and honest article on Self-Care- The Beginner’s Guide To Self-Care In 2019. There is also a Self-Care Questionnaire to fill out for a featured highlight on a future article! Yout fill out the form and I create a newly updated article using the information, questions, and advice my readers provide. This way, we are all getting our advice do and our questions on the table to help as many parents as we can, as a Tribe! I want to include my readers in my articles so we can all be on the same page and so I can write the best most relevant articles for you guys! I would love to see what type of article I could write with your feedback from the 8 Foundations of a Happy Healthy Life (with kids) Questionnare! I will update this article with one as soon as I can. Join the Tribe to get the update and fill out the form for a featured highlight in the article!

Now that I have laid out 8 Foundations of a happy healthy life with kids list I hope it will help you live a happy and healthy successful life, too! What do you feel like you could do more of in terms of applying these to your family Dynamics and lifestyle? Do you already apply some or all of these? Are there Foundations that you have built your family Dynamics on and would you like to add to the 8 I have listed here? I would love to know about them!

If you would like to email me for any questions, tips to include, or suggestions, please do so on my Contact Me page.

When I did research on the Foundations of a Strong Family Unit, I found an incredible website that I feel could also help you benefit in your own life and family. This website identifies these 8 Key Foundations and can maybe add some valuable input to what I have already laid out here.

8 Ways To Build A Strong Foundation For Your Kids

xX Vivacious Momma Bear

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2 thoughts on “8 Foundations Of a Happy Healthy Life (With Kids)”

  1. I can relate to a lot of this, I often felt like the mother and not the child growing up. And still do sometimes even as an adult with a mother who’s heading into retirement. I always joke with my kids that I don’t know how to mom because I was never parented properly and it’s more truth than humor. It’s hard to know what to do when you don’t have a good example set for you. It all comes down to learning and making different choices than what you were taught.

    1. It’s inspiring to see other mothers that have experienced the same upbringing and have broken the cycle to become a better version of their mother. I love that you have turned a negative situation into an inside family joke with ur kids! That’s great ? !! It definitely builds character and becomes a useful experience in the future!

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