By Brad Cooper, CEO of US Corporate Wellness
You’re a great Mom. You care about your own health and you care even more about the health of your children. As CEO of US Corporate Wellness, I’m involved in daily conversations about how to improve the health/wellness of employees at various companies. Interestingly, the strategies that work with employees also work with our kids. Here are a few to consider…
Personalize it: Before writing this article, I surveyed our kids for ideas, since they’ve successfully integrated health/wellness into their own lives. Their initial advice was somewhat humorous:
Our 16-year-old son, Joshua, said, “The key is to incorporate something the kid enjoys. If you would have made me go swim 3 times/week because it’s ‘healthy, ’ then I probably wouldn’t have done it. But I love to run and so that’s easy – and fun.”
Later in the day, our 21-year-old daughter, Ashley, responded, “Make it specific to the individual child. Growing up, I hated running but loved-loved-loved to swim, so that’s what we did.”
Did you catch that? Two kids from the same family, same parents, same schools, etc. For one, running was fun and swimming was awful. For the other, it was the exact opposite. When it comes to employee wellness programs, a personalized approach (usually involving relationship-based wellness coaching) is the key to improving the health of employees because it’s all about that individual! The exact same holds true for our kids.
Engage: In a workplace setting, jamming wellness down the throats of employees is about as effective as forcing kids to eat vegetables. We may win the battle, but lose the long-term war. For employees, if the wellness program isn’t engaging, the cause is lost — and the same holds true for children. With vegetables, we know it’s an acquired taste so we just assume it will take time, and we will try to make it fun in the meantime. One way to engage kids on this front is to pick a color each week, then go to the grocery (together) to select a few vegetables with that color. Then cook those vegetables (together). Rather than some strange-tasting thing showing up on the dinner plate with an order to “eat or else, ” the child has been involved along the way!
Model it: Having the support of Senior Leadership in an organization is powerful for an employee wellness program. However, having the ENGAGEMENT of Senior Leadership goes significantly further. The exact same concept holds true for our kids. It’s great for us to drive them to soccer (swim, gymnastics, basketball…) and encourage them to get off the couch and play outside. However, it has an infinitely more impact if WE get off the couch and get active, pursuing healthy lifestyles of our own. As parents, we set the baseline for what our children see as “standard practice.” If we live wellness rather than just talk about it (or demand it in others but not ourselves), the positive impact on our kids will last a lifetime – for both of us.
Brad Cooper is CEO of US Corporate Wellness and was recently recognized as the “World’s Fittest CEO.” The Colorado-based firm is one of the most respected employee wellness providers in the country, offering accredited programs for organizations with 100 or more employees nationwide. For more information about a tailored approach for your organization, please see www.USCorporateWellness.com or contact us at Results@USCorporateWellness.com. If you’d like more information about becoming a Certified Wellness Coach yourself, please visit www.CatalystCoachingInstitute.com.
Want more great content from The Mother List? Sign up here!