When raising kids, caring for their basic needs is no longer enough. Today’s world is very different from the world we grew up in, and young children are increasingly feeling overwhelmed by the pressures and expectations of the new era.
One of the best gifts you can give your child is the awareness and ability to prioritize self-care. By helping your young one form self-care routines, you can equip your kids with the tools they need to tackle any pressures that life may throw their way.
The foods with which you fuel your body can profoundly impact your physical and mental health. To set good lifelong habits, healthy eating should be a custom that begins when your children are young.
Here are some strategies that can help:
- Fill your refrigerator and pantry with healthy options
- Avoid keeping processed foods, soda, and other junk food in your home
- Make dinnertime a family ritual that is never pushed aside for other obligations
- Serve your kids everything you eat to help them expand their palates
- Never use food as a reward or punishment
- Give your children their own reusable water bottles to help them stay hydrated
Getting enough quality sleep is imperative for good health, and yet more than half of all American children get less than the commended minimum. To encourage healthy sleep habits, make your child’s bedroom a cozy oasis for sleep:
- Use room darkening shades to ensure complete darkness
- Keep the temperature of the room cool
- Invest in a quality mattress and pillow, as well as comfortable bedlinens
- Keep technology out of the bedroom
- Establish a consistent routine that encourages your kids to wind down
Encourage your young ones to play outside. Scientists agree that the great outdoors and exposure to nature improves overall health by giving you more energy, reducing stress, and even reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Additionally, having the space to run and climb allows children to be more physically active than when they remain indoors.
Another ideal way to get your kids moving is to enroll them in a martial arts or kickbox training program, such as Amerikick Martial Arts in Brooklyn, New York. Learning martial arts not only improves their strength, stamina, and flexibility but also helps their mindset and mental health in several ways:
- Develops confidence
- Improves focus
- Teaches respect
- Establishes self-discipline
Children whose parents set a good example are more likely to develop good habits themselves. In fact, research shows that social learning plays a significant role in how individuals acquire helpful information and skills from their role models. In other words, kids learn more from what you do than from what you say.
Conversely, if you feel weighed down by stress, those negative feelings can impact how your child feels. To protect your child, prioritize self-care for yourself, and choose activities that improve your mental and physical well-being:
- Prioritize your sleep
- Exercise on a regular basis
- Avoid negative self-talk and judgment
- Express gratitude every day
- Establish healthy eating habits
- Take work breaks when needed
- Create healthy boundaries between your work and personal lives
Life today is not easy. To prepare for the pressures and challenges of this world, children need the skills to take care of themselves. Demonstrating the importance of self-care and helping your child establish routines and habits that prioritize health can make all the difference in your child’s future happiness and well-being.
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