Being a kid is as challenging as ever. Kids have faced more and more isolation in recent years due to the pandemic. And society as a whole dedicates plenty of time to screens – kids included. Self care isn’t just for adults anymore. Self care for kids is more important than ever.
How to Teach Self Care for Kids
Kids might not understand what self care is, so parents need to explain it. Put it in terms they can understand. Self care for kids is best described as any activity that allows them to be mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy. Explain it to younger children by telling them self care for kids is simply feeling good and happy.
Here are some ideas to implement a self care plan for kids.
Take a Break
Regardless of age, everyone needs some downtime – especially when life is chaotic. Schedule a time of day when children – or the entire family – engages in a quiet activity. Implement ideas ranging from lying on a hammock to enjoying a nature walk. Older kids can read a book or build LEGO.
Reduce Screen Time
Who doesn’t love losing themselves in their devices? But every so often kids should undergo a digital detox. Too much screen time causes some very negative effects on kids including:
- Increased obesity risk
- Irregular sleep patterns
- Behavioral problems
- Diminished academic performance
- Desensitization to violence
- Decreased creative play time
Some tips to reduce screen time include eliminating TV in the background, keeping phones, tablets, and computers out of bedrooms, and avoiding eating meals in front of a screen.
Exercise does wonders for the body – mentally and physically. Children reap the rewards of exercise according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Kids who exercise regularly benefit in the following ways:
- Improves attention and memory
- Reduces depression risk
- Builds muscles and endurance
- Improves blood pressure and aerobic fitness
- Maintains normal blood sugar levels
- Strengthens bones
- Reduces chronic disease risk
- Regulates a healthy body weight.
Children between the ages of six and 17 should be active for 60 minutes daily.
Swimming is one form of exercise that is sure to keep kids active. And it has benefits galore! One of those is stress relief. Kids have hard days just like adults. Swimming helps them unwind along with being some fun self care for kids.
Keeping a journal is a great way to express emotions and feelings for kids and teenagers. Feelings at that age can be complex and hard to understand. Writing them down is a great way to comprehend those feelings. Journal entries can vary in length. Sometimes they’ll be long while other times a sentence or two will do.
Writing isn’t the only means of creativity. Activities such as painting, coloring, molding clay, music, and dancing are all great ways for children to express their creative side. Moving to the music releases endorphins from the brain. Endorphins improve a person’s overall mood and promote positive well-being. This is especially helpful for children who struggle with anxiety or frustration.
Breathing is a fantastic way to help a child gain control of their emotions when stressed. Parents try a couple of different breathing exercises with their children.
Count to 30
Count to 30 with your child. The process will help them calm down from the moment that is overwhelming them.
Visualize a Square
Visualize the four sides of a square as you count. Breathe in on the first side and out on the next. Keep repeating that process. Draw the square in the air with a finger as you go so that you’re correctly timing the breathing.
Sometimes it is as simple as just breathing. Focus on the breathing as you go. Feel each inhale and exhale in the chest as well as the nose and mouth.
Life can be difficult for children just as it is for adults. Children face different challenges than adults, however, we all need to find stress relief methods. If parents teach self care instructions to their kids, children will know how to handle stress as they grow into adults.
SOCIAL30: Life can be just as stressful for children as it is for adults. Parents can help their children prepare the ultimate self care routine for kids.
SOCIAL90: Life can be just as stressful for children as it is for adults. Parents can help their children prepare the ultimate self care routine for kids. Incorporate strategies like breathing, moving, being creative, making downtime, and taking a screen break. If parents start teaching their kids self care strategies at an early age, they’ll be able to develop them fully as adult and employ those strategies throughout their lives.