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Written by: Daniel Sherwin
Whether your family is based in Sudbury, Massachusetts, or San Diego, California, you may be looking for fun ways to help your kids learn the basics of self-care. Learning how to take care of yourself and unwind in a healthy way is a crucial skill that can equip your kids to handle the trials and tribulations of growing up. To prepare your kids for the future, Balancing Life and Kids outlines five easy and enjoyable ideas to try.
1. Act as a Role Model for Your Kids and Demonstrate the Basics of Self-Care
The first and perhaps the most important tip to keep in mind when trying to teach your kids self-care is that kids will often imitate the actions they see you taking. Greater Good Magazine notes that this means it’s imperative you act as a role model for your kids and that you prioritize caring for yourself as well.
When learning how to model self-care for your little ones, remember that if they see you stressed, your kids may pick up on this and that could affect their own self-care routines. Try to cut down on your own work-related and everyday stress. For instance, pack yourself some healthy snacks, mix up your routines, and remember to avoid perfectionism when possible.
2. Explain the Importance of Self-Care and Encourage Your Kids To Prioritize Their Health
Parenting Now explains that learning self-care methods helps regulate kids’ behavior and improve their health and well-being outcomes over time. As your kids start to get older, you can explain the importance of looking after themselves in age-appropriate ways. For instance, you should:
• Explain why living a balanced life is healthy.
• Prioritize well-being and personal health.
• Remind your kids it’s ok to make mistakes and learn from them.
• Teach them about the ability to reach out to online therapists and other professionals, if you're open to online options. By using telehealth, you can conveniently connect with mental health professionals without setting foot in an office. You're also not limited by professionals in your area.
3. Spend More Time Together as a Family Having Fun and Getting Outdoors
If your kids are reluctant to practice self-care of their own accord, getting involved as a family could fix the issue. Try to schedule more family time where you simply relax and unwind together.
For instance, you can spend your weekends or after-school time outdoors. Take the kids for a walk through the neighborhood or a bike through the local park, for instance.
4. Expose Your Kids To a Few Different Methods of Practicing Daily Self-Care
Helping kids get into the habit of caring for themselves requires giving them the tools to draw on whenever they need a refresher. That’s why it’s crucial to expose your kids to several different ways they can practice self-care. For instance, let your kids know that they can stay well by:
• Working out
• Doing yoga or meditating
• Listening to relaxing music
• Practicing daily gratitude
• Deep breathing
• Doing arts and crafts
5. Instill Strong Nutritional Habits in Your Kids and Get Messy in the Kitchen Every Day
Lastly, learning healthy eating habits is one form of simple yet foundational self-care that will serve your kids well throughout their lives. You can even get messy in the kitchen daily by having your kids help out with meal prep! Make sure that your little ones are regularly consuming:
• Whole grains
• Veggies and fruits
• Low-fat dairy products or substitutes
• Lean protein sources, including white meat and oily fish
Practicing self-care isn’t just for adults. If your kids don’t currently have personal care time and relaxing activities baked into their everyday schedule, now may be the time to start helping them form those healthy habits. These five ideas make unwinding, practicing self-care, and getting ready to grow up fun and easy.