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Self-Care for Kids: Helping Your Child Be Happy and Healthy

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.

Image via Unsplash

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

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