By Colleen Stewart, Guest Blogger
A child’s success throughout life can depend on the level of emotional support from parents and caregivers. These suggestions promote positive self-care behaviors that last a lifetime.
Foster Open Communication
A weekly family meeting gives every member time to express concerns and address tensions so that issues don’t fester under the surface. Feeling heard and understood is an essential human need and the foundation of solid relationships. Keep to a set time limit and take care not to let disagreements devolve into bitter arguments.
If possible, attempt to have one meal together daily where the emphasis is on being a good listener. Help your kids see the value of listening by demonstrating balanced conversational techniques and teaching them how doing so creates healthy friendships.
Enjoy Recreational Events
Help your little ones relax by going to a game of the family’s favorite sports team. Enjoy some tasty treats and pick up souvenirs for treasured lifelong memories. Make it a weekend getaway if you have to travel more than a couple of hours to get to the event. For instance, if you’re wondering how to score Yankees or Mets tickets, search online and sort by date, price range and seat rating. Check the seller’s site for an interactive seating chart to see a 360-degree view from your seats ahead of time. And when you get home, continue the fun by playing catch with your kids!
Unwind with a day at the zoo or a walk in the woods. The natural setting can be a calming form of therapy, but prepare to adjust plans if your child becomes unsettled by specific animals. Read a book or visit a website teaching about the types of animals present to assuage fears.
Volunteer as a Family
Instill high moral values in your children by devoting time to assisting others and strengthening the community. At least an hour or two each week should be spent on volunteer activities. Encourage the kids to sign up for helpful groups and earmark time for giving in their personal schedules.
Set a Good Example
Model self-care. Study after study confirms that stress is contagious and alters how human brains work, leading to other physical and mental illnesses. Create self-care goals that the family tackles together.
Prevent outside influences from disrupting the peace of the family. Doing so can be especially challenging for business owners, so establish boundaries. Family members must agree to allow you time during the workday to focus on your company without unnecessary distraction. In return, set times where you focus on the family and silence all professional alerts and messages. Relegate intensive tasks to the morning when you’re fresh and can give them resolution before the day’s end. Don’t micromanage the business and delegate mundane assignments where possible.
A child overwhelmed with stress and anxiety can benefit greatly from regular counseling at North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center, which is now offering both in-person and virtual therapy.
Bottom line: Reducing stress through a variety of means is worth the effort, so collaborate to give your children a self-care routine that helps them refresh, reset and ready themselves for life’s challenges.
Bio: Colleen Stewart loves giving her two kids a healthy example to live by. Her passion for community and wellness inspired her and her husband to team up with their neighbors and create a playgroup that allows the adults and their kids to squeeze in a workout a few times a week. She created Playdate Fitness to help inspire other mamas and papas to make their well-being a priority, and set a healthy foundation for their little ones in the process.