5 Everyday Ways to Be Kind to Yourself as a Parent
Showing your Kids that Taking Care of Yourself is Important –
This year we are taking part in the 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge again with Toddler Approved and Coffee Cups and Crayons.
Kristina from Toddler Approved says, “Our 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge is inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and that is why we are starting it on the day when we honor him. Dr. King encouraged people to show kindness and love. He asked…
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”
I adore the delightful ideas that are being shared – lots of simple ways your family can be kind. You can sign up for the challenge here on Toddler Approved and find a Printable List of Ways Kids can Be Kind at Coffee Cups and Crayons.
I love the message to be kind to others, and I think it’s the perfect opportunity also to remember that you have no energy to care for others when you’re not kind to yourself. On the list of 100 Ways to be Kind to Your Child, #72 is “Show that taking care of yourself is important.”
When we show our children we can be kind to ourselves, we model how we would like them to treat themselves, and in turn we shine kindness out into the world.
When we raise children who have compassion towards themselves, they naturally are more able to be kind to others.
This doesn’t have to be complicated – you can show your children this with your attitude towards daily self care (instead of feeling guilty, feeling good that you are showing your kids an important part of how to care for themselves), and you might mention something like “When we take care of ourselves, we’re being kind to ourselves.”
How often do your kids see you deliberately do something kind for yourself?
Simple opportunities to be kind to yourself:
- Take a stretching break – include the kids, maybe they’ll have a new stretch for you to try.
- Put on lotion – if you have stretch marks, put lotion on them and say thank you for the amazing way your body can expand to hold a life. Any physical self care you do is a way of being kind to yourself. Even brushing teeth – you can tell the kids you are being kind to your body by caring for it.
- Drink water. Have you had a glass of water today? Your body will thank you.
- Step outside and take a deep breath. Look at the sky. You might let your kids know how nature helps you feel calm.
- Write in your journal – or doodle or color. You can do this in a short burst of time, I share journal prompts that work well in only 10-15 minutes of time to write. Or print one of these free coloring pages for adults and invite your kids to sit and draw or write next to you at the table.
Don’t despair that at this busy time in your life, self care looks different than it ever did before. I was inspired when I read this response recently from a reader – she was talking about hearing me during a webinar mention that I feel better and more able to be present with my kids when I’m doing little things for myself throughout the day.
You see I used to think of those as chores that I had to fulfill. And if I failed to do them, I would feel horrible.
It is amazing how just one sentence you said has completely changed my point of view! I feel so happy now when I do a mini-yoga-break; when I put on some lotion; when I floss my teeth; and so on… Because I am saying to myself: Look! Now I’m taking care of myself! I do take care of myself, every day! And it doesn’t really matter if I forget about a little something, because I’m aware that I do so many little things every day to take care of myself. ~Marta
When we look for the many everyday ways that we take care of ourselves we can give ourselves some grace and realize that we’re doing alright – and when we are kinder to ourselves, we have energy to spread that kindness in the world.
How will you be kind to YOU today?
Related Kindness Posts:
- Build Yourself Up – Phrases to Get Rid of Negative Self Talk
- The Joyful Parenting Habit That Shifts Everything
- A Mantra for the Most Overwhelming Days
64 Positive Things to Say to Kids
Subscribe to Download your FREE printable of 64 Positive Things to Say to Kids
Kathy O'Halloran Slattery
This is beautiful and oh so needed right now. Thank you!
Doing Good Together
Fabulous tips! Thank you.
Diane Thompson Cortese
That’s right Jennie you need to make yourself a priority some times. Husbands don’t always like it much….so we have to have courage sometimes. I know I had too.
Absolutely! I really believe our kids need to see us taking care of ourselves, and this list is great. Love the simple idea of putting lotion on as a form of being kind to yourself. I used to put my very favorite (not too cheap) lotion on my hands every night, but I’ve kind of forgotten. Reading this reminded me it’s time to start again! Thanks, Alissa! (Sharing on twitter, btw.)
@Allison Thanks Allison, I think as parents (and moms especially) it’s easy to put all of our energy outward and forget that it’s not selfish to be kind to ourselves; it’s critical if we want to care for our families without resentment and poor health.