Our health, both physical and mental, should be a priority in our lives. We need to take care of  ourselves and what we do every day makes  a difference for our overall health. Parents and adults  sometimes have habits that we aren’t very healthy, and  children also can develop bad habits. Children are more  likely to develop good habits if they are shown a positive  example. How we cope with disappointment, frustration,  anger, illness and other challenges affects others around  us. Our children need us to model healthy coping skills  and to seek help when needed.  

Take some time to evaluate some of your daily  health habits. Ask yourself – Am I getting adequate sleep? Am I making healthy choices in the food I eat?  Am I drinking enough water?  

Are you getting enough sleep? We all function better with enough rest. What changes can you make if needed to get more sleep? 

Are you making healthy choices in the food you eat? We are inundated with advertisements and easy fixes all around us. Do you need to set aside time each  week to do some food preparation to have healthier  meals and snacks? 

Are you drinking enough water? Our body needs  enough water to function well. Are you familiar with the PTA Healthy Hydration program? All the tools and  resources you need to implement this program and  make drinking water fun for the whole family are found  on the PTA website www.pta.org. 

There are things we have a great deal of control over like how much water we drink. But there are many  things we have no control over. None of us knows what  the day is going to bring. In a world filled with uncertainty and many truly sad events, we must know how to cope  and help our children cope in healthy ways as well.  

Keep up with basics like eating right and resting.  Take time to re-evaluate and make positive chang es when needed. Listen to Notes from the Backpack  Podcast episode 44 – Are You Practicing Parent Self Care? We can better help others when we are taking  care of ourselves. 

PTA encourages healthy habits, and The Healthy  Lifestyles Initiative encourages people to have a healthy  body, a healthy mind, and a healthy earth. The National  PTA website has many resources for schools to help them host programs and while each school may choose dif ferent programs to implement, we can all take time in  our homes to use the healthy minds and healthy bodies  resources to improve our health and our family’s health.  

PTA is an organization that advocates for children  and we encourage you to become involved and make  a difference in your own life and the lives of those  around you. As the legislative session begins this year,  we will monitor and support policies that improve mental  health and well-being for all children. Your voice is need ed as well, and you are invited to join us at your local  school and in our community as we work together to  make every child’s potential a reality.  


This article was written by Lisa Shanklin. Lisa Shanklin is the Co-President  of the East Cobb County Council  of PTAs. She is also the Co-Owner of Capstone Counseling and  Coaching and is a certified  professional coach. She is the  mother of five children and has a three-year-old grandson. 

This column originally appeared in the EAST COBBER January/February  issue. You can access the digital edition HERE.