Yep, this is one thing we are pretty good about. My daughter is mighty busy with her schoolwork and sometimes gives us a little flak about coming down to eat when she’s in a groove, but she understands that it’s a high priority.Honestly? I think the single most thing that will bring a family closer to at least nudging toward health goals is to eat dinner together. At home. Cooking and preparing together. And not just once in a while. Most evenings. Routine.
It’s not a simple task to accomplish for many families. Particularly families with kids in sports, dance, band, etc… Or competing work schedules. Or kids who are either very socially active, or maybe just avoid family. And in every family there are unspoken rules about eating for good or bad that aren’t addressed, that can in turn make eating together a nightmare. And then there are picky eaters. Not just kids, mind you.
I could go on and on. It’s a topic my wife and I know well both personally and professionally. My kids were all of the above. But we still managed to have dinner together throughout their childhood.
As young adults they can shop and cook for themselves. And they tend to eat fairly healthy because of it. Neither likes fast food. My son at least continues to exercise regularly. My daughter is on the autism spectrum and severely ADHD, so her eating behaviors (sensory), sleeping, and activity (lack thereof) are always going to be an issue, regardless. But I can say without a doubt that family dinner time made things far better for her in the long run.
Yeah, I'm still searching for the thing. The boy will go running with me, and he already shreds me going uphill cuz he's half my weight and a quarter my age, but the girl HATES distance running and my wife seems to hate getting tired in general: I can't seem to get her interested in all the dumbbells and barbells and resistance bands and stuff lying around the house, and I don't think she's gone running since badminton club back in college. She's active in her job and doing chores around the house (she probably gets 8000 steps a day), but she's still losing muscle mass and bone density now that she's over 50. Maybe I can get her interested in rucking...As mentioned earlier, eating meals together is big.
Something my wife and I have been doing since around 2011 is cycling. I started, then she got kinda interested. Now, she is a better cyclist than I am. Her endurance is much better. Finding an active hobby that the whole family can do might be a direction to look into. Cycling, kayaking, hiking, golf (or that frisbee golf thing) anything to get them outside and moving would be a success, or at least, a nice start.
Yeah, I'm still searching for the thing. The boy will go running with me, and he already shreds me going uphill cuz he's half my weight and a quarter my age, but the girl HATES distance running and my wife seems to hate getting tired in general: I can't seem to get her interested in all the dumbbells and barbells and resistance bands and stuff lying around the house, and I don't think she's gone running since badminton club back in college. She's active in her job and doing chores around the house (she probably gets 8000 steps a day), but she's still losing muscle mass and bone density now that she's over 50. Maybe I can get her interested in rucking...
I have what might seem like a kind of hot take about this:
Leading by example is basically the LEAST you can do. Effective leaders do a LOT more than that. I already know that as a MS/HS teacher and coach--I'm not claiming to BE an effective teacher (well okay, yeah I am), but I do know what one has to do in that context.
You have to start with a vision of where you want people to be, sell that vision, facilitate change, etc. etc.
So what I'm looking for is specific techniques/hacks/steps to lead my little tribe in the right direction.
Nope! But now that you mention it....Typo?
Good luck mate. I'm in exactly the same situation as you and our families sound like the same age and activity level. Basically I am the only one who does any concious exercise and my wife and kids won't even walk the dog.for my whole family, regarding diet and sedentary lifestyle.
I've read this book called Built to Move, by Kerry and Juliet Starrett, which I've already referenced a few times around here. I've been getting more and more interested in human movement, fitness, durability, etc. I've been lifting weights for years, VERY consistently since 2018, getting my 10k steps every day for about a month, doing a bunch of other agility, cardio, mobility and balance work (not all at once, but gradually more bit by bit), and made two basic diet changes (try to get 800g of produce per day and about .7g/lb of body weight in protein--in my case, that's about 120g). I haven't REALLY tried to eliminate bread and sweets, but I have found that they are less attractive when my stomach is packed with chicken and zucchini, and I HAVE been, very gradually, losing some weight. I've also been trying to get at least 30-60 minutes more sleep per day (I'm still struggling to get 8hr/day, but I'm over 7 at least).
So guys, I am feeling a lot better. And I'm looking at my family and thinking, I need to bring them with me.
My wife probably gets 10k steps a day because she's a classroom assistant for 1st graders, and she eats a fair amount of veggies (not anywhere close to 800 grams though), but she doesn't do any vigorous exercise or any resistance training at all, and she's getting MUCH less protein than recommended. Consequently, I can see her losing muscle mass, and losing strength, as she gets into her 50s. My daughter is REALLY cranking it in high school, studying like mad, and she knows a bit about exercise, but she doesn't feel like she has time to workout these days, and she eats SO much crappy food and monster drinks. Our boy, who's finishing grade 8 now, is umbilically attached to his computer, and a thin-as-a-rail hunched over noodle. He did a bit of sports when younger, but nowadays he's EXTREMELY sedentary...
I'm thinking it's time for a family meeting, and some global fundamental changes in the house. The thing is, nobody else is inspired about this stuff like I am. I don't want to fight and drag everybody kicking and screaming, but I do feel like I have a responsibility as "the Dad" to show some effective leadership for the well-being of my family.
I have plenty of ideas for programmatic changes, but I'm less sure about the logistics of implementing them, and I'm mostly unsure about how to get buy-in.
Does anybody have any smart tips for how to get fundamental changes going in my household? Do we really need to have The Talk, or can I move things in a smoother more indirect way?
Yeah, I dunno the answer, but it does seem like things are shifting a little bit here. People eating a bit more protein and veggies, moving a little bit more, etc.Good luck mate. I'm in exactly the same situation as you and our families sound like the same age and activity level. Basically I am the only one who does any concious exercise and my wife and kids won't even walk the dog.
I've had the chat (multiple times) and it only leads to arguments. They have to be motivated by change and start new habits themselves, and it's unlikely that talks from you will make any difference.
The thing with kids is, unless both parents are super active there is a tendency for them to take the "easy' option by taking the side of the inactive parent, without knowing what the long term implications are.
(Edit) I actually read the rest of your thread and see that you family are several steps ahead if me, e.g your kids go running with you, mine don't So my advice, just keep doing what you are doing and be thankful for what you have.
A bit about me- ex watersports coach, active outdoors person, . Been trying to bring my family song for the ride for years. Nope that's not happening