As a pediatrician I see my mission not just to do check-ups, give vaccines and treat colds and fevers. I want to see the children grow and mature into independent self-sustaining adults. One of the best things we can do as parents is to teach them how best to take care of themselves.
The elements of self care, in my opinion are the following:
- Proper diet
- Proper sleep
- Proper hygiene
- Exercise and activity
- School and learning
- Responsibility for self and others
As parents and as their physician, we need to let children know that we work on taking care of ourselves with attention to all of those factors. We need to look at ourselves and see what we do well, and what needs improvement. Then, we need to show our children what we do well, and show that we are working on bettering the areas that need work.