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How to form a conscious attitude to health in preschoolers


Adults are sure that they know everything about health and pass on the correct healthy lifestyle settings to kids: for example, dress warmly in winter, do not eat much cold in summer. And in general, health is when you don't get sick. However, health is not just the absence of physical ailments and their prevention but a valuable state of mental, physical, and social well-being that requires proper understanding and maintenance. How to talk to children to form a conscious attitude to their health from early childhood, says Elena Fedorenko, Dean of the Faculty of Management in Education at the Moscow Higher School of Social and Economic Sciences.

"Unhealthy" views

In everyday consciousness, the concept of health is devoid of psychological meaning: a healthy person is represented as one who is devoid of physical defects, practically a person without properties. For a long time, researchers have focused on anomalies, deviations from the norm, and phenomena that threaten society — such phenomena are easier to identify as protruding from the "background". And typical ideas about health are ingrained in the culture, which is demonstrated by the popular wisdom: "Health is a call loan", "Study sickness while you are well", "The first wealth is health".

From generation to generation, society reproduces the traditional idea that health, on the one hand, is an alternative to illness, and on the other — good physical shape: sharp vision, correct posture, well-coordinated work of internal organs, and the absence of somatic diseases. Health is not perceived separately from illness and does not exist as an independent phenomenon in the view of a person. The surrounding world is considered a threat that claims to human health.

However, this concept is much broader than just the absence of diseases and physical defects. It is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. This definition was given by the World Health Organization and is used in professional circles.

Health Economics

Good health is the foundation of productivity and efficiency. For example, Karl Marx gives health fundamental economic properties to work physically and intellectually and learn and develop.

However, numerous studies of adult behavior in various regions of Russia show that our contemporaries do not consider health as a priority and are ready to sacrifice it for the sake of achieving material or social benefits.

Since health is valued less than achievements in other areas, the demands of adults on the educational results of children are growing. But often, these claims are not adequate in terms of the age and individual capabilities of the child. With this perception, health is often the subject of bargaining. The relationship resembles an economic one: one resource is necessarily a payment for another, more important at a given time.

It turns out that the idea that children's health can be a payment, for example, training and development, is tacitly accepted by society and the subjects of education in particular. For this reason, the ways of developing and maintaining health in the context of age, professional activity, and achieving significant social results are not well defined.

Children and health

The understanding of health in children is formed as they grow up and become aware of themselves. At preschool age, they learn what the disease is from personal experience or observe the symptoms in loved ones.

Kids can tell how they were sick and why (they usually refer to external factors): "There was a cold wind, it was slippery, and I fell". A little later, children begin to associate the cause of the disease with their actions, for example: "I didn't wash my hands, so my stomach hurt". And their statements about what you need to do to be healthy relate more to the prevention of disease than to an active, healthy lifestyle: "Do not drink cold, dress warmly, do not shout when it's cold outside".

Children at an early age cannot fully comprehend health independently since the experience of its experience, unlike the disease, is not perceived especially. Therefore, it is the task of adults to help children form a correct idea of health as a separate phenomenon from the disease.

How to talk to children about health

For the child to consciously treat health as a significant resource, discuss this topic separately from the disease. Talking about what it means to be healthy, the external and internal signs of this condition, what to do to be healthy will help formalize the kiddy’s perception at the sensory and event-level the idea of health outside of its connection with ailments.

When talking about health, focus your children's attention on things that they understand, that they can feel, see, compare, and try. For example, start a discussion about what it means if a person is healthy, what they are like, what they look like, what they do, what they feel, and their mood. Discuss what you need to learn to be healthy.

Pay attention to the kiddy’s well-being, mood, desires, create conditions to meet his basic needs. And remember that children take an example from adults, so the declared values of health should coincide with the actual practice of life. To instill a conscious attitude to health in your children, demonstrate the right mindset to fitness, form proper habits and show their importance.

Do not use argumentation that the child cannot perceive due to age. For example, it is useless to say that if he does not brush his teeth, they will fall out by 30 because for a baby, 30 years is a profound old age.

Healthy — when you do not get sick, do not cough, do not have a sore throat and stomach, do not go to the doctors, you do not get injections.

Healthy is when you are cheerful and cheerful, you can play and walk on the street, meet friends, be strong and agile.

How to tell about the disease

The disease is more tangible for a child than health since he can not yet fully understand, generalize and isolate its significant components. When he understands what the disease is and learns to recognize its symptoms, you should help him understand how his behavior is related to the unpleasant symptoms and his responsibility for the undesirable condition.

It is correct to discuss the disease as a separate category and a separate temporary episode in the child's life. During the illness, the child gets a diverse experience of relationships with parents and doctors, experiences unpleasant procedures. Then the kid turns these impressions into a game, actively discusses with adults, and in this, he needs to be supported so that the experience is fully assimilated. The main task of adults is to help them survive and understand the disease.