You have likely heard about the importance of self-care and some ways to practice it. Every adult should practice self-care to give themselves a break from their hectic lives, refresh, and take care of themselves mentally, emotionally, and physically (be sure to read our blog about this!). While we all know that self-care is important for adults, it is also important for kiddos!
While your child likely does not deal with as much stress during a day at preschool as you do, self-care is still beneficial and important for them to practice. When you teach your child about self-care at a young age, it will teach them to prioritize their mental and physical health, now and as they age. According to a Parents article, when you introduce your kiddos to these habits of caring for themselves, it can help them learn how to deal with stressors in the future and reduces their risk of developing mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression!
At Growing Kids Learning Centers in Northern Indiana, we understand the importance of implementing these types of things when a child is young. As your kiddo develops, they will learn skills that they will carry throughout their adult life, including skills for caring for their own wellbeing. In this blog, we are going to go over some tips that can help you teach your child about self-care. Read on to learn more and start practicing together!
Teach Basic Skills
Start by teaching your child basic skills they need to follow to keep themselves healthy. From personal hygiene to diet, you can start teaching these things at a young age. If you are feeding your kiddo healthy foods, giving them baths, and helping them brush their teeth, you are helping them to develop a foundation for taking care of themselves as they grow. These are things that your child will have to learn how to do eventually and if you work with them early on, you can help them develop healthy habits. While these may not seem like huge self-care habits, they are some of the most important and they show your child that you have to take care of yourself to keep yourself healthy.
Work on the Mind
Nowadays, kids often get lost watching episodes of their favorite TV show, playing video games, or consuming too much screen time. While technology is a huge part of the future and your child’s life, you should also encourage them to nourish the mind and get away from the TV or tablet for a while. Buy toys that get your child to think, allow them to practice imaginative play, or work on some crafts. These all can help them develop different skills and allow them to work things through in their minds. Take it a step further and have them practice yoga or something else that helps them get in touch with their inner selves with you. This is a great way to help them gain insight and awareness.
Talk About Emotions
A huge part of self-care revolves around mental health and emotions. While talking to your toddler about emotions will be different than talking to a teenager about emotions, it is a great way to help them develop the right skills to identify and manage their emotions. When your child has a tantrum or is feeling sad, help them talk about their emotions and figure out ways to manage them. Many adults do not know how to manage their emotions and may not even know how to properly identify them, which can lead to problems of their own. By helping your kiddo better understand their emotions, they can understand how to handle them, even as an adult. This is a great way to practice self-care and get in touch with their emotions.
Exercise is a great self-care habit that is easy to teach your child. While it is unlikely that you will bring your toddler to the gym and teach them how to lift weights, there are so many ways you can encourage an active lifestyle. Play soccer or basketball with them, bring them to the park, go on bike rides, go for long walks, do yoga, the list goes on and on. When you live an active lifestyle, you are more likely to be healthier mentally, physically, and emotionally. Help your children learn that being active can help them destress and feel better. They will carry this into their future.
Allow For Downtime
Don’t teach your child that downtime is bad. Sometimes the best self-care practice is doing nothing. Especially in the fast-paced lives we live as adults, sometimes all we need is a break from it all to do absolutely nothing. Allow for your kiddos to have some downtime, whether that means just cuddling with them on the couch for a few minutes, reading to them, or sitting outside and watching the clouds float by. Teaching your child that it is okay to take some downtime and that it can help them slow down their busy lives when they become adults.
Spend Time Together
Spending time with loved ones is not only a great self-care act for adults, but also for children! Make it a habit of spending some quality time with your children every week and doing something fun. Get some ice cream, play a silly game, or do some other fun activity. Not only can it work as a self-care practice, but it can also help you bond with your child!
Spending time outside can help you and your kiddos refresh and is another great self-care practice. Spend time outside with your kiddos whenever you can. Have fun outdoor adventures that allow them to explore and enjoy time outside. By making the outdoors a major part of your family life, you can help your child develop a love for it and use it as a self-care tactic as they grow.
There are many ways to teach your child self-care and to practice with them! By teaching your children self-care at a young age, you can help them develop these important habits as they age and become adults.
If you are interested in our learning center, be sure to contact us today! We have multiple programs that help kids to learn and develop skills they will use throughout the rest of their lives. Get started and enroll your child at one of the Growing Kids Learning Centers across Northern Indiana!