teaching your children these days? Are you teaching them?
As parents, you can exert more influence over their lives
than anyone else, and your children will learn from the good
examples you provide as well as the bad ones.
If you don't believe that, consider a recent study that
examined the potential for health-risk behaviors to be transmitted
from parents to offspring. More than 300 children and their
parents participated in the study, which focused on five specific
poor eating habits;
inadequate sleep; and
The authors selected families from a rural eight-county area
in North Central Iowa from 1989-1994. Families chosen had
at least two children in 1989: one child in seventh grade
(the focus child of the study), and a sibling within four
years of age of the seventh grader. Results are presented
1) Parents' behaviors significantly influenced the health-risk
behaviors of their children.
2) This influence occurred in two ways: by transmitting (teaching)
specific behaviors and by sharing the health-risk lifestyle
3) Fathers' specific negative behaviors seemed to affect
4) Mothers' specific negative behaviors seemed to affect
If you think your kids don't listen or learn from anything
you say or do, you're not giving yourself (or them) enough
credit. Your children are watching and learning from you,
so point them in the direction of health and wellness ‹ chances
are they'll follow.
Wickrama KAS, Conger RD, Wallace LE, et al. The intergenerational
transmission of health-risk behaviors: adolescent lifestyles
and gender moderating effects. Journal of Health and Social
Behavior, Sept. 1999: Vol. 40, pp258-72.