How to Teach Your Kids the Value of Self-Care

By Justin Bennett

As a parent, you know the importance of “me time” all too well. And with children prenatally exposed to alcohol or other toxins, we understand this becomes more difficult.  You need a TIME OUT for yourself – one way to do it is to TEACH YOUR KIDS to do self care giving you a break in-between as they learn. Your kids need to practice self-care too!

Teaching your kids the value of self-care can help them learn to identify and tend to their emotional and physical needs. A family self-care practice is a great way to help your kids establish healthy habits that will stick with them for the rest of their lives. Better Endings New Beginnings and Red Shoes Rock explore some ways you can encourage your kids to practice self-care!

Model Good Self-Care Practices

Kids naturally mirror the actions of their parents. If you want your kids to grow up with good habits, Verywell Family points out that you’ll need to exhibit healthy behaviors yourself. Plus, taking care of your mental and physical wellbeing will keep your mood and energy levels balanced so you can better support the self-care needs of your kids.

Managing work stress is an important element of self-care for busy parents. If you’re concerned that you may be headed towards burnout, look for ways to reduce your stress load. ZenBusiness suggests techniques to improve your focus and productivity, so you can spend less time stressing over the tasks on your to-do list and more time getting things done! Use project organization strategies to sort and organize your priorities so you can stay on top of things. And remember to schedule time for rest and relaxation!

Start the Day with a Positive Morning Routine

Starting the day with a healthy morning routine is a great way to instill the importance of self-care in your children. Big Life Journal recommends creating a morning routine that includes dedicated time for reconnecting with your kids and coming up with affirmations that encourage your kids to speak positively about themselves. Remember, self-care is about more than taking care of your body. While eating a nutritious breakfast is an important part of any healthy morning routine, this is also a good time to support the emotional health of your kids.

Help Your Kids Find Self-Care Activities They Enjoy

Self-care means something different to everyone. Your idea of a relaxing self-care activity might differ from that of your kids. Encourage your kids to discover self-care activities that they enjoy! Some ideas include playing outside, listening to calming music, creating art, playing instruments, meditating, doing yoga, and journaling. Consider also teaching your kids some mindfulness and relaxation exercises that they can use to calm themselves in stressful situations. For example, Connecticut Children’s suggests using fun strategies to teach your kids about deep breathing.

Encourage Regular Exercise

Exercise is another important element of self-care. Thankfully, kids are naturally active and love running around. It can become challenging to preserve the same level of activity as your kids get older, so you may have to step in and provide some form of motivation. For example, be sure to choose the right activities for your kid’s age to prevent them from getting bored or frustrated. Preschoolers typically enjoy playing tag or running obstacle courses while school-age kids prefer activities like playing sports or biking around with their friends.

Build Downtime into Your Schedule

We all need downtime. Between school and extracurricular activities, many kids are overscheduled, constantly moving between practices, games, studying, homework, friends, and family obligations. Kids rarely have a moment of downtime, but they need time to unwind and eliminate stress. If you’re concerned that your child is too busy, help them pare down their schedule. Make sure they have a few free days every week when they don’t have to think about their obligations. Most importantly, let them do what they want during their downtime, whether it’s playing outside or resting on the couch.

Teaching your kids how to practice self-care will lay the foundation for a healthy future. Help your kids learn to be mindful of their mental and physical needs so they can take control of their whole-body wellbeing. As a parent, this is a great chance to evaluate your own self-care habits too!

Better Endings New Beginnings provides hope for children, teens and adults living, laughing, learning and loving through the challenges before birth — including alcohol exposure (fetal alcohol spectrum disorders-FASD) and other toxins. Reach out today to find out more!

Red Shoes Rock provides Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness to the global community.

Published by jodeekulp

Jodee Kulp, is an award-winning author, producer and advocate who works tirelessly to serve children and families of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Her behavioral work in understanding canine fear and applying it to helping adults gain life skills is momumental and parallels our work with EAGALA Equine Therapy. It will be exciting to watch this progress. - Chris Troutt, Papillion Center Current Projects include: LiveAbilities Red Shoes Rock. Stop FASD PawZup Life Stories

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