Many adults are quick to dismiss children as having no real problems. To them, any issue a child may face is insignificant when compared with adult concerns. However, children are just as vulnerable to mental health problems as older individuals, maybe even more so considering their minds are undeveloped and they lack control over much of their lives.
CDC cites statistics showing that between 2016 and 2019, out of minors between the ages of 3 and 17, over 9% and over 4% suffered from anxiety and depression, not including undiagnosed cases. The Guardian notes that these numbers continue to rise. Youths need self-care as much as any other. Counselling with Care explains that by both explaining and modelling self-care behaviours for your kids, you can help improve their mental health and instil lifelong habits in them that will benefit them their entire lives.
Start Each Morning With a Refreshing Exercise
Homeschooling allows you a great deal of flexibility in terms of scheduling and curriculum. How you start off your morning often sets the tone for how the rest of the day goes. Set aside time each morning for your children to practise beneficial habits like writing in a gratitude journal or stretching to get them in the right frame of mind. Meditation is another practice that can help them clear and sharpen their minds for a productive day. There are apps and videos online to help them learn. Even just short breathing exercises can help settle them.
Teach Them to Express Creativity
Creativity is the foundation for critical thinking and problem-solving. Nurturing it in kids from a young age is vital for their development as it helps them with emotional and mental maturity. Designate a period specifically for painting, drawing, photography, sewing, knitting, writing, and other crafty activities. Besides craft kits for beginners, there are many free resources like videos, as well as books, for learning. There are also discounts for home educators. Libraries also often have free arts and crafts activity programs in the summer.
Schedule Special Times for Fun Family Activity
Prioritise spending time with your children that is dedicated solely to having fun with them, especially during the busiest times when they may feel as if they don’t get enough attention from you. Planning these sessions out will ensure they occur and reduce the pressure of fitting them in. They can be as simple as being there for bedtime or cooking with them or as complex as a complete day filled with museum or zoo visits.
Introduce Them to Nature
Connecting with nature boosts mental health. Outdoor activities like birdwatching, gardening, hiking, leaf collecting, and camping can also help them develop an appreciation for the world around them.
Give Them Free Time
Children need and crave structure and schooling needs a certain level of order. However, part of self-care is taking time for yourself to do what you enjoy. Kids need free time where they choose what to do and develop their own interests and learn who they are. Psychology Today suggests supporting their hobbies by learning about them, doing them with them, and purchasing basic materials or giving them the opportunity to earn money to purchase them.
Demonstrate self-care by practising it yourself and explaining it to your children. Don’t just tell them without showing. Encouraging your children to practise self-care and engaging in it yourself will benefit them in both the short and long term.
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Counselling with Care operates in many local schools as well as private counselling at a purpose-built lodge in the picturesque Kent countryside. Contact us today to learn more! 07796951622
By Cheryl Conklin