3 Ways to Help Kids Practice Self-Care

Dear friends, today I would like to present a guest article by Tim Gibson-Cooper from Parenting Central. It is always a pleasure to collaborate with such organizations for our common purpose and goal of providing essential parenting insights to the 21st century parents.

Adults aren't the only ones who benefit from self-care practices. Learning how to recognize signs of personal overwhelm, manage stress, and alleviate anxiety are all crucial components of living a life in which you are physically and mentally well. Help the kids in your life learn how to practice self-care using the following list of ideas.

1. Check Yourself

Children emulate what they see the adults in their life doing, so it’s essential for you to model the kind of mental health practices and habits you want your kids to follow. If you are stressed, it’s likely your children will recognize your tension, and they may adopt it as their own or it may otherwise get in the way of them successfully caring for themselves.

Treat yourself with the grace you’d extend to other people, and try not to demand perfection from yourself or others. Instead, prioritize your own self-care so that your children can see you value its importance and find ways to reduce stress that can affect the whole family. Consider adding daily meditation practice or a weekly therapy session to your routine to help.

Another practice to model is goal setting. Seeing a parent set and working toward a goal can be very beneficial. You can start with small and easy-to-understand domestic plans and routines like doing everyday morning exercises or working on some projects or hobbies with your little one to give an excellent example of consistency.

2. Get Active

According to an analysis by the National Library of Medicine, there is a strong link between physical and mental health, with physical activity, in particular, having a strong impact on the state of someone’s mental state. This means that part of caring for yourself should be engaging in regular activities that are healthy for your body.

Kids are naturally inclined to activity and can greatly benefit from engaging in physical activities that have been shown to specifically benefit both mind and body. Martial arts, for example, are often cited as reducing stress, improving focus, and increasing mindfulness. Yoga also has many benefits both physical and mental, including improved sleep, better flexibility, and more energy. Even walking more often has significant health benefits — look for walkable neighbourhoods that are safe for your family.

Being active is another area where adults modeling good self-care is crucial for the development of children. Finding exercises that you can do together is a great way to carve out more time for your kids, too. Schedule a weekly activity for you and your children that can vary with the season. Even a weekly game of basketball in the driveway or hiking a local trail together can help build children’s whole beings up.

3. Start Journaling

Keeping a journal can feel a bit silly for people of all ages, but understanding one’s thoughts and feelings are often easier for children and adults alike when they are laid out on the page. Journaling has been shown to have many benefits, including reducing stress, improving problem-solving and conflict resolution, and getting a better sense of self.

Practice regular journaling with your children. If it is difficult for them to get started, they can begin with one-sentence entries each day and work up to longer ones. If kids are unable to write for themselves, you can offer to transcribe their thoughts for them, or they could keep a visual journal where instead of writing out what they feel and think, they can draw those things instead. They can also keep an oral journal in which they express their thoughts and feelings verbally and record their voices.

Prioritize your kids and start giving them the tools they need to live happy and healthy lives by modeling and teaching positive self-care practices today. Model mental health practices, get active with activities like yoga and walking, and have them journal.

Hope you enjoyed this article and found the information useful. For more insights and advice check out the Parenting Central website and stay tuned to my blog updates!

With love, Elizabeth