As adults, we understand how important self-care is. We know that if we don’t take the time to care for our own mental and physical health that we can eventually become burnt out. Some employers even provide a number of self-care days for employees to use freely.
However, as important as it is for adults, self-care for kids is also just as important. Have you ever stopped to consider your child might be in need of a good self-care routine? When you can instill healthy self-care skills for kids in your child, they’ll then develop a strong foundation to build on a carry with them into adulthood.
Although your child might not be working full-time while raising a family and balancing bills and social life, they still have a lot on their plate. Between school, homework, friends, and a plethora of emotions they’re not sure how to handle yet, being a kid can be tough. Here are several self-care ideas for kids to consider using at home.
Make Time For Reflection
Rather than ignoring emotions, your child should learn how to understand their emotions and reflect on them. Why is your child feeling these emotions? Reflection time is the best way for your child to begin to understand their own emotions and where they’re stemming from.
It’s also important to remind your child that it’s normal to feel a lot of these emotions. One good way to reflect at the end of the day is to use a journal or a gratitude journal. Your child can use this journal to express their emotions and then also reflect on the good things that happened that day.
Don’t forget, your child might need prompts to help them throughout the process. On each page for a new day, write down a few questions for your child to answer. Some examples are as follows:
- Who showed you kindness today?
- What are the top 3 best things that happened today?
- Did something happen that upset you?
Questions like these can help get the ball rolling for your child and teach them how to use their journal.
Sit Down With Them and Talk
When children’s behavior is less than ideal, it’s not uncommon for a parent to become frustrated, impatient, or upset themselves. It’s a normal reaction to discipline a child to teach them wrong from right. Very little do parents, teachers, or caregivers take the time to sit down and talk with the child.
Rather than skipping straight to discipline, consider sitting down with your child and speaking with them about what’s going on. It’s important to remember that children are small humans with feelings and struggles, just like adults. Imagine having a difficult day and no one to talk to.
After starting a healthy conversation with them, you just might find that there’s something going on with them or bothering them that’s causing them to act out. Now that you know the underlining cause of their behavior, you can then begin to come up with a solution. If your child is struggling with a specific feeling or emotion they’re not sure how to handle, then you can help them cope and understand.
Having an open-door policy with your child lets them know they can always come to you and talk to you about how they’re feeling or what’s going on in their life. This then teaches them how to handle their emotions in their adult years as well, because you’ve built a strong foundation for them.
Create a Relaxation Box
A relaxation box is a small box that holds specific calming items inside of it. These items can be fidget toys, scratch and sniff stickers, a stuffed animal, a stress ball, a pinwheel for them to breathe on, or even a lollipop. If you notice they’re close to having a meltdown or have become frustrated, then you can present the box to them.
These items should be considered special tools used to help your child calm down. It’s essential that the box isn’t treated as a part of discipline. Make sure to use positive language when speaking about the relaxation box and when encouraging your child to use it.
Get Active With Them
Staying active with your child will help them destress. Just like exercising helps you destress from a long day, staying active for kids can do the same. You won’t want to bring your child along to the gym with you, but there are plenty of different things you can do together.
Do you have any local parks or nature trails nearby? Bring a soccer ball or frisbee to the park with you. Take the bikes and bike down the nature trails together.
You can even take things slow and walk the nature trails, giving everyone time to explore. Teach your child that staying active can help them destress and feel better. The same is true for spending time outdoors.
Time spent outside is ideal for refreshing the mind, relaxing, and destressing.
Stress the Importance of Downtime
If you’re constantly on the go, life can get stressful. There’s always something to do or something that must be done. This isn’t only true for adults, though.
The same is true for children. They wake up each morning, go to school, go to afterschool care, participate in sports, come home to homework, and before they know it, the day is over. Have a good understanding of self-care and how downtime plays a role in it, which you can view here!
It’s a good idea to teach your child about the importance of downtime. Everyone needs time during their day to do nothing. This is a certain amount of time to spend however they’d like.
They can read a book, snuggle on the couch, sit outside and nature watch, or something else.
How Can You Ensure Proper Self-Care For Kids?
We know how important self-care for kids is, but our children might not. For this reason, it’s up to us to teach proper self-care techniques to our children. When you develop a healthy self-care routine for your child in their younger years, we help them build a strong foundation for them to use in their adult years.
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