I recently heard about a study surveying parents that showed the large majority of those surveyed had already, in their minds, selected the future career field for their children. The study showed the top three career fields those parents chose and not surprisingly, health and wellness was number two.
On one hand, this makes total sense because of the state of our healthcare system, the cost of our healthcare, the desire for parents to have their children lead healthy lives and our overwhelming prevalence of behavior-based chronic health conditions plaguing our world today.
On the other hand, it is a little bit ironic that we are quite literally pushing health and wellness work on our children’s futures while living our present in a state of fast-food fueled, constant stress, anxiety, and insufficient physical activity. Do not get me wrong; I am as guilty as the next parent in all of this, but it troubles me and I know I have to do better. Kids do not do what we say; they do what we do. All our stress in trying to set up their future is not only futile; it is likely to have the opposite effect.
I have never told my kids what I want them to be when they grow up. My late husband was a Green Beret and I was a Special Agent. The kids were babies then and now I am a Writer and I have a Mary Kay business. When I asked my kids last week what they want to be when they grow up, my daughter said she wants to “do Mary Kay” and my son said he wants to be a writer. Go figure. Granted, their answers to that question change constantly (as they should), but the point was driven home.
Kids will model the adults in their life by action and not through word. If I want my children to pursue health and wellness, professionally or personally, then as a parent, modeling healthy living has to be my top action step toward that goal. We do not all want that profession for our kids obviously. Personally, I do not care what career my kids choose as long as they have a passion for it and it makes them happy. However, I think we can all agree that we do hope our children pursue health and wellness personally, whether intentionally or naturally.
With healthy intentions,