There has been so much “talk” in the news recently regarding drugs and sport that it’s been hard not to miss. Even for me, someone who consciously tries to avoid listening to the news or reading newspapers, I couldn’t help but be intrigued. There seems to be sooooooooooooooo many people irate at these sporting icons who have publicly admitted drug use.
Perhaps the issue at hand though, is more the cultural beliefs our society has around drugs, prescriptive and non-prescriptive, than the argument that our child’s superhero now lacks authenticity or that their actions have been careless and irresponsible.
This brings me to my point , as parents we are the greatest role models our children have! I believe it is the level of connection and rapport we build with our children from the earliest moments that influence them the most.
Personally, I find that I have to consciously remind myself each day to be proactive about my parenting, as it is not something I want to do half-heartedly. Ideally our influence should not happen simply through default, but through examining our individual philosophies on life and demonstrating these with congruent behaviour and actions.
In Ayn Rand’s classic “Philosophy Who Needs It” she discusses that as a human being we have no choice about the fact that we need a philosophy. Our only choice is whether we define our philosophy by conscious, rationale, logical deliberation or do we let our subconsciousness accumulate a junk heap of doubts and fears and integrate a kind of mongrel philosophy, thrown together by chance.
That is to say, have we taken the time to examine our core principles on health, racism and religion for example? Or are our core beliefs someone else’s, which we have adopted as our own, unexamined?
Sometimes culturally we may find that we morph into a type of thinking without realising or consciously deciding. We do so, just because it is the ‘norm’.
Let’s consider your philosophy on health….
Here are some examples of core beliefs people may have regarding health;
Have you been raised to never question your doctor?
Have you adopted an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to health, waiting for symptoms to arise before pondering your health?
Have you been socialised into handing over your health to a physician or a miracle drug when you have a health crisis?
Do you disassociate your lifestyle habits from your current level of health?
Did you independently examine your birth options and inquire about the effects of pain-relieving drugs on your baby?
When an infection emerges do you rush for antibiotics or do you wait and let your body fight it off naturally?
Do you teach your children to take responsibility for their health, for example with the food choices they make or the amount of exercise they perform?
Do you promote to your children how clever the human body is? That “symptoms” are a sign from the body that something is “not right”, that something needs to change?
Do we teach our children to self-soothe or that something from outside of the body will be necessary for healing or nurturing?
There are many examples of how our choices, as role models influence our children. The health of our children begins with the lifestyle habits we create today; they learn through our example and inherit a health culture that they carry with them for a lifetime. In the first five years of a child’s life they primarily observe our actions and behaviours, whilst for the next five years we can help them to develop their own beliefs and philosophies around cultural ‘habits’.
“Every moment is golden for him who has the vision to recognise it as such.”
As a society, if we pay little respect to our health or the intelligence of the body, how can we expect our children to be able to resist the increasing pressures for performance enhancing drugs or the lure of party drugs and escapism?
Perhaps it is also worth considering that if we continue to move through life at such a rapid pace without a genuine connection to spirit or to each other, perhaps our children will forever search for adventure outside of themselves. The more we listen, the more they listen. The more we acknowledge them and their interests or skills, the more important and centred they feel in our world.
Obviously there are no guarantees for any family against illicit drug use. All of our children will come to a point in time where they have to make their individual choices regarding drugs. There’s no security blanket. I know wonderful, conscientious parents whose kids have still wound up having years of drug abuse.
Perhaps it is mostly for our own inner-peace that we need to know that we have played an active role in building our children’s awareness around their bodies and their health. This can begin with congruency in our lives and reminding them that our greatest teacher and companion lies within each of us.
Wishing you every success, love and exceptional health.