It’s a couple weeks into summer vacation, and while living at our cottage, I’ve watched my kids chill out after their busy school year. They are sleeping later, staying in their pjs for hours, spending time alone in their rooms, and doing a lot of nothing.
I’m okay with their laziness. I know they need to wind down. I love that my daughter has barely emerged from her room in a couple days, addicted to a novel series. I love that my son’s Lego is scattered all over his floor as he moves from project to project. I want to teach my children how to relax.
Kids today have too much stress. From school to activities to friends, media messages, and news coverage of scary global events, children are exposed to too many stress causing stimuli. Many parents get caught up in making their kids’ lives crazy, and take on a “more is better” way of thinking. The kids can become over scheduled and have no time for “nothing”, and little time for sleep.
Some level of stress is normal, and it’s okay to feel anxious about life sometimes. But when the tough issues arise, we need to protect our kids and teach them the skills they need to cope in our world.
Some great relaxation techniques for kids include visualization, controlled breathing, yoga poses, and progressive relaxation exercises. Check out Livestrong.com here to learn more about these exercises. By teaching your children these valuable skills, you will help them cope with stress throughout their lives.
Other things you can do to help your child relax?
don’t overload your kids with too many extra-curricular activities, and summer camps/commitments
communicate with them, and encourage them to share if they feel overwhelmed or not wanting to do a scheduled activity
teach your kids ways to relax, such as reading a book, taking a bath, or listening to music
role-model. Let them see you engage in relaxing activities
spend quality time with your kids, with no distractions and good communication
teach your child to keep a journal: a safe, private place to share personal ideas and feelings
make sure they know that they are part of an unconditional, loving family.
Enjoy the remaining weeks of summer vacation, and make sure that YOU relax too!