This is a guest post from our friend Laura Pearson at http://edutude.net/ . We love her perspective on this topic and hope you'll check out her website of learning resources.
The pace at which we live life is getting busier and busier, thanks in part to technology and the fact that we live in an ambitious world, where there is always just one more thing to get in a day. The same is true for our kids who can also feel overextended when it comes to school, their friends, and their hobbies which can leave them wanting more time for themselves, but they may be unsure of how to get there. Here are a few self-care principles you can instill in your child so that they can thrive in the days ahead, presented by Our 4 Outdoors.
Teach Them Healthy Basic Habits
Teaching your kids how to take care of themselves from a young age from healthy grooming habits to taking pride in their appearance, to eating better, are the types of basic life principles that can become part of your child’s daily habits so that they grow to feel more confident within themselves.
Teach your kids about the importance of good work/life balance. Even though they may not have traditional jobs for a while, they feel stress from school and household responsibilities, too. Show them the value of taking breaks and doing mental health checks throughout the day. And fill the kitchen with healthy snacks and pause to talk about how they feel after eating apple chips and string cheese versus cookies and chips. Highlighting these small steps can help your kids learn how to manage their own stress levels now and in the future.
Take Time to Talk about Their Feelings
One of the things that children adore most is one-on-one time with you. Therefore, be sure to set aside time in your busy schedule for them to talk to them about their feelings. This way you teach them the importance of opening up about their feelings so that they can manage and overcome negative emotions instead of suppressing them and resorting to unhealthy habits later on.
Encourage Them to be Active
According to statistics, childhood obesity is escalating. That’s why it’s vital to encourage them to get moving at a young age, not only for their physical well-being but for their mental health too. Moreover, you could make exercising together with them a daily habit, which can give you precious time to talk to each other more and strengthen your bond even further.
You can even take inspiration from the family at Our 4 Outdoors regarding ways to get your family outside and adventuring. This family does it all, from hiking to rafting, so check them out and learn from their experiences.
Practice the Art of Gratitude
Perhaps one of the most vital traits you can teach your kids is the art of gratitude. Gratitude, together with humility, can help boost your child’s confidence and self-assurance levels so that they become well-adjusted, well-rounded adults who aren't arrogant or overbearing.
There is so much competition and comparison nowadays that children are feeling more pressure than ever to live up to a certain perceived standard of excellence. This could, understandably, lead to feelings of frustration and disappointment if they feel that they don't quite measure up to society's standards. In this instance, teaching them how to be grateful in every circumstance could be the saving grace they need to face tough situations with a positive and optimistic attitude.
Be Role Models
According to research, kids learn from the behavior of their parents. Therefore, if you aren’t exhibiting healthy lifestyle patterns, then we cannot expect them to. Essentially, if it all starts with you, and they look up to you, then it may be time to start implementing healthier habits if you feel that there could be room to improve upon. For example, perhaps you’ve left your home to reach a chaotic stage because you’re overworked and just don’t have the time to give it a thorough spring clean. If so, you could start with clearing away the clutter, bringing in more light and fresh air, adding a few houseplants, and even adding a diffuse here and there to your home to make it feel lighter, brighter, calmer, and happier.
In summary, self-care is just as vital for kids as it is for adults, perhaps more so in the formative years, when they are capable of learning and absorbing so much that will set the course for the rest of their lives. Take the time to talk about and model healthy habits, and do your best to get outside more as a family. You will all feel better physically and mentally, and your kids will remember that as they grow up.