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Teaching Your Kids the How-To of Self-Care

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Children today face an extraordinary amount of stimuli throughout their day-to-day lives, and they don’t always know how to process emotions healthily. Understanding the importance of self-care from a young age can decrease anxiety and fortify the mind and body against current and future life stressors. As a parent, it is important to begin teaching your children effective self-care habits and techniques from an early age. Here are some suggestions from Bence Chiropractic Wellness Center about where to start.

Help Them Establish a Support Network

When you feel overwhelmed, your first avenue for relief is likely a phone call to your closest friend or family member. You know who you can go to for unconditional love and support through your life struggles, and you want to create the same kind of network for your children. During their younger years, you can do this by making family time a priority. Especially when life gets busy, you should organize activities, and be available for family dinners or bedtime rituals your kids can look forward to each day. Teach them how to cultivate valuable relationships, so they’ll always have a great support system in place.

Teach Them to Value Their Health

Perhaps one of the most important concepts of self-care is valuing one’s health and wellbeing. Providing access to wellness tools such as pediatric chiropractic treatment can be useful in teaching your children about the importance of taking care of themselves. If you are interested in discovering how your children can benefit from chiropractic treatment, reach out to Bence Chiropractic Wellness Center today!

Exercise Together as a Family

Childhood exercise is necessary for physical health factors such as weight management and muscle strength, but it’s also essential for building self-esteem and fighting off depression. While regular trips to the playground are a wonderful summertime routine, try not to think of it as a chore. Remember that your kids will seek validation from you as they start to take risks, so look up from your smartphone and try to remain engaged. You can teach your children the value of physical exercise by moving your body as well. Enjoy new and exciting activities such as hiking, biking, or swimming as a family. Visit a community challenge course where you can exercise together while conquering mental and physical obstacles as a team.

For colder months or days when the weather is poor, it’s useful to have some exercise products at home. You and your family will still be able to get some healthy movement done without having to brave hostile conditions outside. When choosing equipment, be sure to read unbiased online reviews to get a good idea of what will work for you. You don’t want your family to deal with low-quality or potentially dangerous products.

Encourage Age-Appropriate Independence

It’s important to let kids explore self-care on their own so they can discover their preferences. However, you should consider their age and developmental needs along the way. For younger children, one of the stepping stones to understanding their emotional needs is recognizing their physical needs. Giving your kids the freedom and responsibility of getting their food from the kitchen or caring for a family pet are great ways to let them mitigate stress and gain confidence in a safe space.

Teach Self-Compassion

You cannot shield your children from every difficult situation in life, so you must help them learn to cope. According to leading psychologists, self-compassion is the practice of showing love, empathy and concern to oneself, which is extremely difficult for many people. Make sure your children understand that it is necessary and unselfish to take breaks and evaluate their mental state. A common template for a three-step self-compassion break includes the following criteria:

  1. Acknowledge that this is a stressful moment in your life.
  2. Understand that stress is normal for everyone and accept that you are not alone.
  3. Think kind thoughts or do something nice for yourself.

Part of self-compassion is being able to recognize the reality of one’s situation. If you own a business, for example, being able to notice the signs of burnout and proactively address their causes is an important part of your own self-care. There are many techniques that can help you address your work, such as the Eisenhower Matrix and the 52/17 technique. Try to implement some of these strategies in your work life to improve your own self-care.

Because every child is unique and every family operates differently, there is no specific formula for teaching self-care to kids. If you can recognize the types of events and situations that cause stress and anxiety for the young members of your household, then you can use these techniques to build an effective coping strategy within your family that your kids can build upon as they grow.

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