Are you one of those people that are committed to making sure your child is healthy and has access to some of the best programs out there for inspiring creativity or promoting cognitive, social, and emotional development? If you are like most parents, the answer is an obvious YES! But often times busy parents, especially mothers, neglect their own self-care because they believe they don’t have the time, or they believe their needs are not as important.
I want to remind all the amazing women out there that are lucky enough to be called “mom” that you are worth the me-time you so deserve. Many times, moms are the first people we look for when we are feeling frightened or stressed. Children seek the comfort of a mom’s warm embrace when they are in pain, either physically or emotionally. And “Look what I can do, Mom” is our child’s go-to call when he or she wants to share their accomplishments. There is no doubt about it, moms are the first teachers. They play a vital role in helping a child navigate the world, develop the necessary skills it takes to one day be self-sufficient, and they play a key role in imparting confidence and a positive self-image in their child. Even though moms are the most influential and important person in a young child’s life, they often forget to practice good self-care. In fact, nearly one-third of all those providing care for others neglect their own health and well-being. Additionally, many caregivers are classified as being in “poor health” themselves.
Children are very impressionable. What they observe their caretakers doing and saying causes their brains to be wired a certain way. This is known as neuroplasticity. It is the action in the brain that enables learning. The patterns children are the most exposed to become part of their long-term memory and can often lead to habitual behavior. This is important because if your child does not see you practicing healthy behaviors, they “learn,” through the impressions that were made by watching you as their example, that health is unimportant. If you are not practicing healthy habits for yourself but you are expecting your child to do so, you are sending very confusing messages.
But don’t worry, we have you covered. You can choose to practice healthy habits that also engage your children. Practice taking slow, purposeful deep breaths when you are feeling stressed. Your child will watch you and learn that he or she can also take calming breaths when feeling anxious. They will be able to regulate difficult emotions, which leads to improved mental health and self-esteem.
Becoming more physically active is also important. Physical activity not only improves heart, lung and brain functioning, but it also elevates mood and reduces stress. If you think you don’t have enough time to go to the gym, why not seek activities that you and your child can do together? Take a walk, ride your bikes, go bowling, or find a Family Yoga class. There are a host of benefits, including demonstrating to your child that a healthy lifestyle is important.
When you take care of yourself, you ensure that you are able to be the best mom you can be. You are demonstrating that you love yourself enough to be in good health. After all, children of any age need their mothers. We appreciate all the moms who are ensuring the next generation is filled with peace and joy, love and light, and lots of peaceful children.
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