We live in a world where it is hard to escape excessive consumption. We are influenced to buy more, to want more or to be more – a vicious cycle, especially for our children. The key to a happy and well-balanced life style is moderation. Moderation is the avoidance of excessiveness. Evidence shows that the more stimulation we receive, the less joy we get out of it. Striving for moderation across all aspects of life can lead to greater overall pleasure and fulfilment.
Here’s why boys should learn the importance of moderation:
1. Screen consumption
With the rapid evolvement of technology, teenagers are heavily influenced by screens – such as texting, social media, gaming and virtual realities. Research suggests that parents should limit screen time. More hours spent on screens leads to fewer hours available for more productive or active endeavours, such as exercise or interacting with friends, which may negatively affect physical and mental health.
2. Food and nutrition
With access to a wide variety of options at the School canteen, constant temptations and unrealistic expectations of body image, it can be difficult to monitor your son’s food intake, especially as his independence grows. Try your best to encourage healthy eating by maintaining dialogue, meal planning together and cooking healthy meals. It’s important to also endorse the odd treat or takeaway meal from time to time. A balanced diet throughout adolescence is essential for growth, development and a lifetime of healthy eating habits.
Healthy competition can be a catalyst for improvement. It’s vital for social development, self-esteem and general learning. It’s essential to teach your son that competition isn’t just about winning and to support him through the disappointment of losing or not reaching his goal. Unhealthy competition such as aggression, cheating and lack of sportsmanship can fuel hostility and deflate one’s ego.
Emotional access is extremely important in adolescence, especially in periods of emotional duress and hormonal changes. Reassure your son that rapid emotional changes are part of the normal teenage passage. Keep an eye on your son’s emotional intelligence and check in with his teachers every so often. Emotional moderation means we’re able to express our emotions appropriately (to the right people and to a mature degree), without shutting ourselves down or going overboard.
For some teens, exercise can be addictive and can cause obsessive behaviours around body image. For others, exercise can be a daunting experience and the fear of judgment can lead to under-exercising. Like anything in life, it’s about moderation and finding a balanced exercise routine that is suitable for the individual. Encourage exercise and participation in sports but let your son be known that it’s okay to have days off.
To support boys health and wellbeing, The Wynne Centre for Boys’ Health and Wellbeing at Christ Church Grammar School offers valuable resources to help boys make informed decisions about their physical and emotional wellbeing and to help build good men holistically.