By Janice Russell
Adults are no strangers to daily stress and anxiety. And we understand how essential self-care is for maintaining our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. But the truth is children are also under a lot of stress these days, and many don’t have the know-how to navigate the various pressures of daily life.
You’ve come to the right place if you want to help your child learn helpful self-care techniques, coping skills, and emotional management tactics. Consider these ideas from Parents of Children with All Special Needs!
Take the Lead
Your first step will be to embrace your role as a self-care model in your child’s life. That means you need to practice it in your own life and demonstrate to your child what a healthy lifestyle looks like.
Consider the three pillars of healthy living: diet, exercise, and sleep. Opt for simple, nutritious meals and ensure you get plenty of fatty fish, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. Also, find a quick exercise to fit into your busy schedule and prioritize adequate rest so you can live productively.
Further, think of how you can foster a peaceful and healthy home environment. Decluttering and cleaning space, maximizing natural light flowing through the windows, and incorporating air-purifying house plants are a few simple strategies to consider.
Prioritize Quality Time
If you’re like most parents, your life is impossibly busy. Nonetheless, you must prioritize your child at all costs, especially during the busiest seasons.
This will require you to be intentional about making room to spend quality time with your child. When you schedule the time, you won’t have to worry as much about hiccups, and you can be confident that you’re cultivating a healthy relationship.
How you approach this will depend on your specific situation. But here are a few ideas to get you started:
● Asking your child to contribute to simple chores around the house
● Planning new experiences (e.g., going to the museum, attending a concert, watching a
● Designating your child’s bedtime for reading and catching up on the day
● Showing interest in your child’s weekly activities
Create Healthy Habits Together
Along with modeling self-care through your own life, think of how you and your child can foster your health and well-being together. Perhaps the two of you could prepare nutritious meals on the weekends, which would give you more control of what your family is eating and save you money on dining out.
Get outside together! Nature has been shown to stimulate brain development while decreasing anxiety and increasing mood. It’s a wonder we don’t spend all day outside. Choose some age and season-appropriate activities to do in the park or your backyard. And if your yard needs a little love, look online for a “grading company near me” to get the area level and ready for playing. Just be sure to read the reviews and get some written estimates after site visits to help you choose the right company.
Another strategy is to find some kid-friendly workout videos on YouTube to try together. And maybe you could come up with a daily activity that helps both of you decompress and end the day on a high note. And if your child needs help unwinding from life‘s pressures or has sensory needs, consider investing in a weighted blanket!
Introduce Your Child to Activities
Lastly, research various activities you could introduce to your child for them to do by
themselves. After all, getting them to practice self-care independently is the ultimate goal. There are countless things your child can do to reduce stress and increase their overall happiness and confidence, such as:
● Hands-on arts and crafts projects
● Mindful puzzle time
● Yoga, walks, and outdoor recreational sports
● Listening to soothing music
Self-care is crucial for helping us navigate life’s pressures and establishing a healthy, fulfilling life for ourselves. And that includes kids. You may decide that some equipment would make self-care easier for you and your kids, but be strategic about where you spend your money. Dig into reviews to help you find the best deals on items like wagons or kitchen helper tools you can use with your child.
Be intentional about modeling self-care for your child, and prioritize quality time with them. Also, look for fun, relaxing activities the two of you can do together. Then, you’ll have a solid foundation for helping your child develop their self-care routine!
Parenting is a lot of work, and oftentimes parents don’t take the time to care for their own needs. This is even more true for parents of special needs children, which is why Parents of Children with All Special Needs was created. We offer services, online resources, and information to help support self-care for these parents. Visit us online to learn more about our services or to donate.
Photo Credit: Antoni Shkraba via Pexels