Teaching kids about self-care can empower them to become independent from a young age, improve their understanding of physical and mental needs and make healthier decisions. In this article by Prudence Learning Center, we’ll explore a few simple ways parents can inculcate good self-care habits in their children.
Lead by Example
It is common for children to copy the actions of those around them, this is actually one of the prominent ways young children learn new behaviors. Hence, it is important to be mindful of your behavior around kids. But, you can use this habit to teach them how to make healthy choices. One of the easiest ways is to include them in your own self-care routine, which can involve:
Teach Age Appropriate Habits
Teaching self-care to kids is a long-term process, which will involve taking a step-by-step approach. This will allow your child to fully integrate them into their routine and make it a core part of their behavior. While your child is in pre-school you can start teaching them how to undertake simple chores such as bathing, clothing themselves, eating, and more.
As they grow older and enter elementary and middle school, you can introduce them to concepts related to mental, physical, and emotional health. This can include:
Help Them Find a Hobby
As reported by Parent Circle, a hobby provides various health benefits for children:
Additionally, a hobby will reduce your child’s dependence on electronic devices and the internet to pass time. Rather they’ll spend their time on activities that promote their physical and mental development.
To help your child find a hobby, try to expose them to as many activities as possible, such as journaling, drawing, reading, sports, music, dance, etc. It is common for kids to change their interests over time, hence, allowing them to indulge in these activities at their own pace and then decide which one they want to continue with.
Teach Them to Clean Up
According to research, living in a cluttered environment can lead to stress, reduce our ability to focus, and breed negative emotions. While a child may not be as affected by toys lying around the room, the habit of not cleaning up can cause problems as they grow older. For instance, when living alone during college, having a cluttered bedroom can reduce their ability to concentrate, ultimately affecting their grades.
To help your child overcome such a predicament in the future, inculcate the habit of cleaning up areas after use. This can start from instructing your child to always place their toys back where they took them from after use. Similarly, teach them to make their bed, and keep their room organized at all times.
Setting boundaries is an effective way of teaching children the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Boundaries also help develop discipline in kids, making the process of teaching other self-care habits easier and less stressful.
You can start with setting basic boundaries in your home, such as:
Over time, children will understand the importance of boundaries and start setting some of their own. This will help to develop a healthy level of self-esteem and confidence.
When it comes to teaching kids self-care, consistency is key. Additionally, you will need to follow these practices yourself so that your child can model their behavior based on their observations of yours.