Children develop how think about themselves at an early age. They soak in how people treat each other and how others treat them. Right or wrong they develop perceptions of themselves by their surrounding inputs. It doesn’t have to be a correct perception, but it is the perception they carry into their adult lives. What self image are our children forming about themselves. What self acceptance, or lack thereof, are they thinking… Are they smart? Is there appearance acceptable? Do others want to be around them? Do people value what they have to say? These are all questions we as adults ask ourselves, and they come from experiences we had when we were young, and develop how we cope with rejection and how we handle conflict in our adult lives.
Our job as parents is to equip our children to become good adults, and along the way develop healthy relationships and teach them how to develop healthy relationships. This all begins with helping them build a healthy self-esteem. We take great pains into purchasing the correct vitamins for their physical health and feeding them the right foods. We meal plan and check for vitamin content, try to pick out the freshest fruits and veggies. We take great care in picking out the outfits we are going to purchase for them, what will get the most wear and make up the most outfits. We need to begin to consider what will make them special on the inside.
We’ve talked about getting up and moving more. We’ve talked about matters of the heart. Now let’s touch on Exercising Your Brain! Too often we get into the day-to-day routine, and let’s face it, we don’t burn up many brain cells when we throw in a load of laundry or feed the dog. Let’s carve out some time to pick up a book…how about a crossword puzzle…how about a memory game on the computer. Do something daily to distress a minute and exercise your brain. Make it fun! Make it a part of your time for the day. Put a card table up and keep an on-going puzzle on it…work for 15 minutes each day. Get creative with this and use your brain!!!
Exercising Your Heart! Be good to your heart. It’s hard to parent and be fair to your children when you are upset, overloaded, stressed. Your heart needs taken care of with a little self-love, which will in turn, make you a better parent. What is your heart time? What makes you tick? Is it spending time with your children? Going to park? Playing outside? Coloring? or is it alone time: walking the dog? sitting by the lake? beaching it with friends? or spending an evening eating out with your spouse? Exercise your heart and think about how you can increase the special love between you and the significant relationships in your life.
Taking some time for yourself is very stress reducing. Keeping ourselves healthy is very important. It’s hard to accomplish our day-to-day tasks if we don’t feel well or don’t have the energy to make it till the end of the day. As we begin 2018, start some exercise routine. Even if it’s only stretching, doing some sit ups or walking the dog. Get moving on a regular basis to create energy. Use it as a time to get the kids involved. I regularly exercise with my 14 year old son. He’s over there pumping iron, while I walk the treadmill. We can laugh and joke and have fun, while getting something done. You don’t have to exercise everyday, but do something more than you did before. That is success!
I have the type of job that when the weather gets icy, I can usually work from home. It turns into a very productive day, because I’m not interrupted by others and can get a lot accomplished. It’s also a time that I can throw dinner on, throw in a load of laundry and make sure my son is on-task for the day. Snow days are a time that my son and I can use this time to catch up on conversation. It is nice to see him talk about his hopes and dreams. Listening and directing is the best part of being a parent. I love to hear about what he loves and what he wants to do with his life. Instead of looking at snow days as an …
As we set goals for ourselves for the New Year, let’s remember to pass this same skill on to our children. Start them young how to be productive individuals. What goals are important to them? Is it improving their basketball shot? Keeping their room picked up? Or learning piano? (ok, it’s probably NOT the last one) Let’s show them how to set those goals and then to break that goal down into baby steps for them to try and reach. Don’t be surprised if they have a hard time sticking to the schedule. We do! But it’s a good time to encourage them and use the occasion for both of you to stay on track.
Turn the Winter Blues into Winter WhooHoos!