Taking care of your family is a full-time job. It doesn’t matter whether you’re working full-time or a stay-at-home parent. There are always so many things that need to be overseen when you are taking care of little, and not so little, ones. But one thing that seems to slip from our hands when we’re super busy is the importance of self-care. From providing proper nutrition and medical care to balancing work, school, and life, managing your day and tasks can be a little challenging. But keep in mind that you and your actions, how you spend your day, and how you handle stress are all being scrutinized by your little person. Your kids constantly observe your behavior to develop a sense of what they need to do in any given situation.
So how can you navigate all that you need to do and be the role model you want to be for your kids? Remember that everything you do is being observed, so if you curse when you stub your toe, drink at dinner time, or exercise first thing in the morning, your behaviors are the cornerstones for what your kids will adopt as their own as they grow.
Being authentic is one of the most important things to do as you try to parent well and set a good example for your kids. Be yourself, in all your glory, your moles, play to your strengths and show your weaknesses. What you’re teaching your kids is that you’re doing the best you can in a given situation, that you’re not perfect and that sometimes things are challenging. Don’t show yourself being overwhelmed; you can spare them that part of your experience, but let them see you when you are doing well and when you’re busy. Take time to explain what you’re experiencing and how you’re handling the situation, and make it a teachable experience for all of you.
Most importantly, by just “being you,” you’re engaging with your kids honestly and truthfully, showing them that it’s ok sometimes to be upset or overly happy. Those expressions are normal and part of the human experience, so it’s good that you’re framing those healthy behaviors for your kids to learn about.
Take Care Of Your Health
Modeling good behaviors yourself, so your kids learn how to handle different situations is crucial to their development, and self-care is one of the most important things to demonstrate. Focusing on those things and activities that are beneficial to your health will help your kids learn the importance of self-care in their own lives.
Self-care should prioritize what you eat, daily exercise, getting enough sleep, taking personal time, and preventative healthcare.
Diet and Nutrition
Diet and Nutrition: Eating right and focusing on serving size is the foundation for better health. A balanced diet and smaller portions will benefit your health and teach your kids the importance of a healthy diet.
Exercise: Getting some form of exercise every day is recommended to help fight off disease, and the effects of aging, help with appetite and weight control, as well as aid in sleep, and boost cognitive abilities, including moods. The World Health Organization recommends weekly 150-300 minutes of moderate activity to 75-150 minutes of vigorous exercise.
Sleep: One of the most critical yet overlooked foundations of living well is getting enough adequate sleep. Sleep replenishes the body, allows the brain and body to heal, aids in cognitive and behavioral abilities, and boosts the immune system.
Modeling a schedule of sleeping 7-9 hours for an adult and teaching your kids to prioritize getting enough sleep is crucial to their overall development and setting a foundation for healthy living.
Personal Time: As busy as you can be in a day with the kids, school, work, and chores around the house, taking some time every day to devote to some personal interests is crucial for you to model for your kids.
Whether it’s reading, painting, playing music, or some other hobby you enjoy, taking a little time throughout the day for yourself is vital for your well-being and for your kids to see.
Preventative Health: Another foundational behavior to model is preventive healthcare. You want to illustrate to your kids that visiting the doctor or dentist isn’t scary but should be done regularly.
Schedule an appointment, tell your kids what is happening and place it on the family calendar. You can schedule appointments for the following ;
Pediatrics and Pediatric Dentists
If you’re in a specific location, for example, mid-city Los Angeles, you can conduct a localized Google search such as;
Baldwin Park Medical Center
Center City Therapist
Center City Cardiologist
Los Angeles Pediatrics
As a parent, you have many things on your plate at any given time. What’s most important is that you demonstrate to your children how to handle the stresses that come along in life and model the types of self-care that are the foundations for a long, healthy life.