Teaching Children Self Care
Last month, I shared about the importance of parental self care so we as parents can have the strength and patience we need to take care of our children. This month, I want to stress the importance of parents in helping their children meeting their basic needs.
Nutrition: Children need to eat regular, nutritious meals. Meals and snacks that are high in fiber and protein help children feel fuller, longer. It also helps them do better in school because the have better concentration and memory.
Children also need daily physical activity. This helps their concentration in school, reduces stress, improves their health, and overall, increases their energy.
Finally, make sure your children are getting plenty of sleep. I cannot emphasize this enough! The recommended amount of sleep for children in elementary school is 9-12 hours. A bedtime routine is extremely important. It trains them in what to expect and a regular bedtime helps them to set their internal clocks when there is consistency. Sleep affects their health, behavior, concentration and overall well being.
“More is caught than taught,” so what our children SEE us doing has a greater impact meaning. They are more likely to catch on to what they see us doing, rather than telling them something that we are not modeling. So, if we as parents are doing these things, our children are going to be more likely to do them.
Children thrive on structure and routine. They like to know what is going to happen. Even when they rail against it, they like to know there are boundaries. It makes them feel safe when they know someone is in control.
All the best to you, on this parenting journey!
Shaune Brady, Mental Health Intervention Specialist
Vallecito Union School District