Children don’t come out of the womb knowing how to look after themselves. They have to be taught how by their parents (and various other caretakers) – it’s one of your biggest responsibilities as a parent. Not only will it make your child happy and healthy right, but you’ll help them grow into capable, self-sufficient adults down the road. Here, UPMI STEAM Learning Centers offers some tried-and-tested tips on imparting self-care lessons to your children.
Talk about self-care
Before you start teaching self-care, Michigan State University notes that it’s a good idea to have a conversation with your child. Explain what self-care means, why it’s important, and what you expect from them moving forward. Even young children can benefit from such a conversation. It gives them clarity on what to do, why, and how to proceed. Offer reassurances and approval, as necessary.
Talk about the basics of self-care while you’re at it. Essentially, humans need to look after their minds, bodies, and emotions to be healthy and well-balanced. Explain, in simple terms, what that means – doing things that help, and staying away from things that don’t.
Agree on a self-care schedule
Bodies need regular upkeep and maintenance, just like houses need regular cleaning and repair. You will need to make self-care a part of your child’s routine to really cement it into place. Hash out a self-care schedule with your child, allocating time for daily routines and self-care activities. Account and allow for your child’s preferences. Some children are naturally resistant to lessons – be gentle but firm, if necessary.
Do fun self-care activities
Fun self-care activities can make it much more likely that your child will stick to a self-care schedule. It makes self-care something to look forward to, as opposed to dread. Some suggestions:
● Play games: Outdoor games like catch or tag and organized team-based sports like football are excellent for their physical fitness.
● Create art: Few activities are as meaningful, fun, or fulfilling as creating art. Drawing or similar artsy activities also happen to help your child’s mental growth.
● Meditate: The modern lifestyle can be tough for everyone – but especially so for kids. Consider teaching your child how to meditate. It should help them manage their anxiety and remain calm and centered.
● Music: Playing a musical instrument or simply listening to music is a great self-care activity. Music is healing and offers a great outlet for emotions.
Create a healthy home environment
The child’s home environment determines their wellbeing to a large extent. They need a healthy, peaceful home where they are prioritized – and it’s something they depend on you to provide. Here are some suggestions on building a healthy home environment:
● Declutter: Clean, decluttered spaces are better for their health, not to mention being more comfortable and enjoyable.
● Bring in houseplants: Houseplants are not only soothing, but they also clean the air and are good to look at.
● Use an oil diffuser: Oil diffusers spread a pleasant fragrance in your house. Breathing becomes more relaxing and enjoyable.
● Have enough light: Human bodies need a lot of light (natural is better). Light can uplift your child’s mood.
The U.S. Department of Housing offers some additional home-safety tips that are worth looking into.
Model self-care for your child
Last, but not least, don’t forget to model self-care for your child. Children learn best from imitating their parents. If you make self-care a part of your lifestyle, prioritizing your wellbeing and avoiding less wholesome pursuits, they are going to follow suit.
As you may have noticed, the modern generation is not well-adjusted. FreddieMac reports “adulting” is harder than ever, and many young adults are struggling with the most basic of responsibilities. Teaching your child self-care will go a long way toward helping them avoid this fate, and is one of the best things you can do for them.
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UPMI STEAM Learning Centers are created to empower and inspire underserved, underprivileged and under-resourced students globally, and to present every child with an opportunity to be academically successful. Connect today to find out more! +1 (205) 755-4744