As new parents, we want to give our children a healthy start in life. We can do so by utilizing the following tips:

* Think back to your fondest memories as a child and how your parents raised you. More often than not, their instincts were correct. Begin by following your own instincts.
* Children rely on you for everything. Thus it is important to live a healthy and productive life. Being a good role model for your child is the key.
* Treat your child with respect and they will treat you the same way.
* Communicate with your child. Discuss the day’s events, ask questions and take an interest in everything they do. Become a good listener.
* Have fun with your child. Find activities they enjoy. Read to them at night.
* Offer praise whenever you can as this will build your child’s confidence.
* Never yell at your children or demean them in any way. Every problem has a solution.
* Allow your child to make mistakes. This is the only way he or she will learn from them.
* Teach your child the values you hold dear.
* If your child acts up, set up a time-out so you can both calm down. Then have a discussion about the incident.
* Prepare nutritional meals and limit inappropriate snacks.
* Exercise with your child daily whether it’s a walk in the park or playing a game at home.
* Encourage your child to achieve that which he or she wishes to attain as a goal.
* Limit the amount of computer, TV and gaming time, as well as what they view on TV. Utilize parent controls on both TV and computer.
* Invite other children over to your home. This will begin the socialization process.
* Hug and kiss your child every day.

These are just a few tips on how you can give your child a healthy start in life. It is by no means the entire list. Keep in mind children mimic what they perceive as normal behavior. Therefore, it is important to lead a healthy life so that your child will ultimately follow in your footsteps.

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