PITTSBURGH (FFD) - My 8-year-old son has been spying on me lately as I work on the Football Fan’s Diet website at home. He laughs and giggles at the site and teasingly tells me, “The Football Fan’s Diet sucks, Dad.”
Don’t you love kids?
His criticisms usually trigger me chasing him around the house and wrestling him down—giving him a “beat down” which is typically a home grown battery of belly rubs, tickles, wrestling, pillow fighting, tossing him on the sofa, chasing him, and letting him pummel me with imitation wrestling moves.
I found it interesting that he was paying attention to actually what was on the computer screen in front of me, when he would come over to show me a picture he had just drawn. Several times, I found myself quite embarrassed as I spotted his inquisitive eyes peering over my shoulders and taking in the weirdness of the Football Fan’s Diet.
I would tell him to quit looking at my website. He would laugh and tell me it sucks—out of the mouth of babes right? Because he was paying so close attention to what I was doing, I immediately thought he must also be paying close attention to how healthy I am too. After all, he is developing his own health habits and they are probably modeled on mine.
It got me thinking, just how impressionable is this little monkey? From what I read, the answer is quite a bit.
Important role of being a dad
According to a blog article written by the Pediatric’s Associates of Franklin, boys model their relationships after their father’s character. Boys seek approval from their fathers from a very young age, the article stated. If a father is caring and treats people with respect, the article stated, boys will grow up much the same.
My son is now so impressionable and aware to know what websites I am working on in my spare time. It also means he sees how much beer I drink or how much junk food I eat. He sees all the good and bad I do as a father.
He notices other things too.
Besides the Football Fan’s Diet, I have a novel that is a work in progress. My son notices that. He likes to write in a journal everyday and has made pictures for scenes I have described to him in my sci-fi book. Essentially, he is absorbing and commenting on everything I am doing as a father. How could it not be the same when it comes to my health?
Dad’s matter a whole lot
Another article on the subject states that it is impossible to over-estimate the importance of dad. According to the article, girls who have good relationships with their fathers tend to do better in math, and boys who have actively involved fathers tend to have better grades and perform better on achievement tests. Well-bonded boys develop securely with a stable and sustained sense of self, the article stated. Certainly then, what this boy sees me eat, will likely influence what he likes to eat.
What it all means?
I not only need to be healthy for me, I need to be healthy for him—and all my loved ones (lovely wife, beautiful daughter). I need to be around so I can do the things I want to do in life, such as attend my son’s or daughter’s wedding one day.
On this Monday morning as I write this blog post, this notion that I need to be a model for him, is my source of motivation for the upcoming week of choices I will make regarding my health.
As for me son, right now, I need to accept the responsibility that what this little monkey sees, this little monk will do. If he sees me being healthy, he will likely want to do the same. Much like football, health is bigger than just you or me. It is a team—eh, family game. Your health is important to all your fans that love you.
Even if you are not a dad, there are likely folks who want you to be as healthy as you can be, so you can play the game of life as long as possible.
Today’s post is one of inspiration then—be healthy for you and for the team. This week I will keep that in mind. Will you?
What is the Football Fan’s Diet
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