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Teaching kids how to take care of themselves from a young age creates strong foundations for them to handle future stressors and responsibilities. Additionally, by consistently making kids practice self-care, you’ll integrate it as a regular part of their behavior which will only grow stronger as they age. In this article by Chloe Pierre, we’ll explore four easy strategies for teaching self-care to kids.
Believe it or not, kids love routines. Living in a predictable environment helps them feel comfortable and reduces stress stemming from uncertainty. Moreover, according to research, routines help kids develop self-regulation skills, allowing them to control emotions from a young age.
When it comes to creating and maintaining a routine, you as a parent will play a pivotal role. A basic routine will involve having set times for sleeping, eating, playing, and studying. As kids are known to model behaviors of those around them, you’ll need to fully commit to the schedule yourself to ensure your child follows it.
Teach Them About Boundaries
Kids are known to be outspoken about their feelings and needs, whether that be for demanding food, wanting a new toy, or needing to spend time with you. While catering to their needs is important, simultaneously, they need to be taught how to respect boundaries.
The lesson kids need to learn about boundaries is that they are a two-way street. Understanding this lesson will play a pivotal role in forming strong social and professional relationships in the future, in addition to developing a healthy level of self-respect.
Teaching kids about boundaries isn’t simple and will require consistency. Here are two simple ways to start teaching your child about respecting boundaries:
Prohibit them from grabbing or pulling individuals to get their attention. Rather, teach them to say excuse me or call the person’s name.
Do not let them interrupt you or others during conversations. Instruct them to wait and speak only when others have finished their part. Similarly, teach them to expect the same.
Spend Time Outdoors
Include spending time outdoors as a regular part of your child’s routine, such as:
Going for walks
Visiting the playground
Planning frequent outdoor excursions that include activities such as trekking, camping, boating, hiking, etc.
According to research, spending just 10 minutes outdoors can help reduce stress significantly. Hence, when you notice your child feeling stressed or low, make it a habit to take them outdoors. As a result, you’ll engrain healthy behavior, which will make them well equipped to tackle the numerous stressors they’ll face during college, work and relationships.
Additionally, spending greater time outdoors will reduce your child’s dependence on electronics. This will lower their motivation to use social media as the go-to medium to pass time, helping them to develop better self-esteem.
Develop a Stress-free Home Environment
As reported by ANI, a child’s home environment plays a major role in their growth and development. A positive environment can help develop strong self-confidence and healthy habits. Here are a few ways to create the best home environment for your child:
Keep it Clean:
Follow the habit of cleaning up after yourself, whether it’s the kitchen, home office, or the garden. Observing you, your child will learn to do the same.
Install Good Lighting:
Poor lighting can lead to higher cortisol levels, eye strain, and headaches. During the day, keep windows open to allow ample sunlight to enter your home and buy lights that mimic the hue of daylight to be used at night.
Use an Oil Diffuser:
The smell of oils such as lemon and lavender has been shown to help individuals experience happier moods. In addition, it’ll make your home smell amazing at all times. Consider an air purifier too – equally as good for children’s overall health as well as their mental health.
Bring Nature Indoors:
Having houseplants will help beautify your home, lead to you breathing cleaner air and serve as a natural stress buster. Popular options include Devil’s Ivy, Mass Cane, and Peace Lily.
The earlier you begin teaching your child about self-care, the easier it will be for them to form healthy habits.
But, during this process remember to keep a close eye on their progress and provide them guidance when needed as well as leading by example.