#21: The World Needs Moms as Children’s Wellness Heroes & Advocates

In 2002, the well-known economist, Paul Zane Pilzer, in his book The Wellness Revolution: How to Make a Fortune in the Next Trillion Dollar Industry, predicted that by the year 2010, the wellness industry, not to be confused with the medical industry or the pharmaceutical industry, would be producing at least $1 trillion dollars in annual revenues from the sale of wellness products not yet available in the marketplace at that time and that amount would be above and beyond all the money we were already spending on medical care and drugs, which of course, at that time, was a whole heck of a lot of money.

Fast forward to the future and we find that not only did Mr. Pilzer nail his prediction, but by the end of 2015, the global wellness industry was worth $3.72 trillion per year,  which of course, is 3.7 times larger than the global pharmaceutical industry.

And this wellness industry has been segmented in all kinds of categories already, including complementary and alternative medicine, wellness tourism, the spa industry, workplace wellness, the thermal and mineral springs sector, beauty and anti-aging, the wellness lifestyle real estate sector with an increasing number of wellness communities, preventative and personalized medicine and public health, healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss, and of course, fitness and mind-body wellness.

These 10 categories are, of course, the broad categories and each of these breaks down into dozens if not hundreds of much smaller segments of the wellness market. Altogether, as of the end of 2015, the wellness industry saw double-digit growth over the previous two years and according to experts, there’s no sign of this number slowing down.

Why Should We All Care?

So, just what is the point of me rambling on about the massive growth in the wellness industry?

Well, given how much money is being spent on wellness every year, not to mention the pharmaceutical industry and the medical industry, there really is nothing that annoys me more than the fact that children are getting less healthy as time passes instead of healthier. And this is particularly true in realm of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, all kinds of illnesses on the autism spectrum, behavior challenges and of course a proliferation of children with chronic degenerative diseases that used to be reserved for adults in their 40’s and beyond.

Childhood illness, obesity and mental health issues are out of control and it seems to me that if our spending on health and wellness has quadrupled in less than a generation, then the health of our children should be increasing not decreasing. All the ominous statistics lead me to believe there is some piece of this puzzle causing us to miss the miss the mark in our efforts of achieving wellness for our kids and our families now and in the future.

The Missing Puzzle Piece

So, I won’t keep you in suspense… I think that missing puzzle piece has something to do with parents (mothers, in particular), not being empowered to do what needs to be done to make sure their children get access to all the wellness knowledge and services they need to conquer stress and illness for life.

Kids, even more than adults, need total access to all the knowledge, skills, tools, products, services and resources to be able to conquer stress and illness for life. Kids must be given the opportunity to live—while they are still young—in a way that allows them hang onto their health and wellness and they need to be taught how to develop habits for maintaining lifelong health and wellness.

We do children such a disservice by forcing them to grow up in a world filled with unhealthy habits so that later they must learn how to cope with their out of control stress and diseases after they reach adulthood, not to mention having to spend their hard-earned money on trying to solve the health challenges they got stuck with in childhood.

And I think the number one thing that stops kids from being able to hang onto their health is that moms feel completely disempowered by every aspect of society from doing what is best for their children. Since I became a health coach, I have been astounded at all the stories from moms wanting to “do right” by their children only to be blocked by a condescending community-based professional or judgemental, know-it-all family member.

And let’s not forget the “mommy wars”, in which moms attack each other viciously for a dozens of contradictory reasons that have no basis in reality. Moms, not ready, willing and able to become like pitbulls fighting for their health and wellness of their children (like I was), are left flailing around in a puddle of guilt and shame believing they have somehow failed their children, failed their significant others, failed their extended family members, failed their community and even failed their ancestors.

And because of this disempowerment, these moms are scared to ask questions, they think they are dumb or stupid and they live with a level of fear that is insane. No wonder our kids are not getting their needs met. No wonder the childhood obesity, anxiety and disease rates are so crazy.

Has Society Failed Moms?

In my opinion, society has failed moms… and kids, by extension. Instead of judging and criticizing moms, we should be building them up and empowering them. We need to be giving them as much support and as many tools as they want and need to achieve positive outcomes for their children’s health and wellness.

They need to be told they are doing things right; they need to hear that their child is not breakable and they need to know that children are resilient and can bounce back. In fact, they even need to learn that kids do better later in life, if they are exposed to constructive and controlled adversity, while they are still young. Of course, I am not talking about traumatic and destructive stress or full on negligent parenting, but all children need a fair amount of helpful and positive stress in their lives to be able to grow up to be stress hardy and resilient.

A New Business Model – The Children’s Wellness Advocate and Community Wellness Ambassador

So, to solve this entire mess, I think it’s high time that a new career category and/or business model be created and that is for the role of the mother as a CHILDREN’S WELLNESS ADVOCATE and COMMUNITY WELLNESS AMBASSADOR. We need moms to absolutely become lobbyists and begin fighting for children’s wellness in society.

However, I do not want moms to do this work for free. Rather, I want willing moms to get a large piece of the global wellness industry for their efforts. This new job/business category is very important and so we need to make sure there are plenty of benefits for moms willing to step up to the plate. We should not expect moms to do this job for free just like we would never expect anybody else in the wellness industry to work for free. The reality is that wellness advocates and ambassadors should be very high paid positions.

And to that end, it’s time to create a highly profitable and sustainable business model that allows moms to become children’s wellness advocates and community wellness ambassadors and to earn a significant income working together and fighting for children’s wellness.

It’s time for moms to come together and leverage all the systems that already exist in communities and in the business world and to put them together into a viable structure that allows moms to help children get well and to make a lot of money doing it. Now is not the time to find yet another way for moms to work for free; now is not the time to come up with a new volunteer program. Now is the time to create a rock-solid business model that promotes children’s wellness and helps moms become extremely financially self-sufficient doing it.

Moms need to be the leaders on this project because kids are getting sicker and sicker with each passing year and we can no longer sit back and wait for community-based professionals or under-funded government agencies to solve the problem. It’s time to add a new category to the global wellness marketplace and that is moms advocating for children’s health and wellness.


What To Do Next

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About The Author

Jill Prince, MBA

Hi, I'm Jill. I'm a Certified Health Coach & Stress Management Consultant as well as a mom of 2 amazing teen girls - Julia & Clara. Through my work, I hope to honor & inspire moms by equipping them with dynamic tools to conquer stress & empower the future.

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