Kids are busy in today’s world. Often, they are over scheduled and overstimulated. They have cell phones, Xboxes, PlayStations, t.v., handheld video games, iPods, and often times, a busy schedule that they have no control over.
So, how do you help you child to unwind and relax in today’s busy world?
- Show them how to unwind
- Let go of the busy schedule
- Give them unstructured active time
- Let them have time to be bored
- Keep a bedtime routine that is soothing and consistent
Show Your Kids How to Unwind
Many kids just don’t know how to unwind. They were born into a world of constant activity and this is all they know. Show your kids how to unwind by unwinding with them.
Try getting your child involved with some of the activities that help you unwind. Some slow-paced ideas are:
- read together
- play a low-key sport such as croquet or horse-shoes
- tend to the garden together
- teach them to sew or knit
- work on a large puzzle or build something together
- take a walk and enjoy nature together
- stare into a fire together – there is something about fire that makes the mind slow down and relax.
It’s okay if your child doesn’t enjoy the same ways of unwinding as you. Just try again until they find something that works for them.
Whatever you do together, always make it a point to turn off and leave home all electronic devices.
Give Them Unstructured Active Time
When kids are constantly busy and on the go, it’s easy for them to feel stress and pressure. Especially if their schedules are not of their own creation.
Try giving them time to just play, to run around and be active without the pressures of a schedule. Some examples would be:
- let them play at a park and give them space to play how they want to
- visit a state park and let them run the trails
- go swimming
Give Your Kids Time to be Bored
Kids need to be bored. It’s good for them. Give them a break from all activities and electronics and you will soon hear the common phrase, “Mom! (or dad) I’m bored!”
Don’t think you have to constantly keep your child entertained. Boredom gives their mind time to slow down and rest.
Keep a Bedtime Routine That is Soothing and Consistent
Kids unwind best at the end of the day when they can count on and participate in a consistent and relaxing bedtime routine.
This should include shutting off all electronics at least an hour before lights out. If they are playing games or watching t.v. right up until time to sleep, their minds will be overstimulated and they won’t be able to shut down and get to sleep as easily.
- For younger kids, a nice relaxing bath and a book or two are great ideas for a bedtime routine.
- For older kids, suggest they read for a little before sleeping or relax in a warm shower.
Remember, kids need to be kids. They need time to play without the demands of a busy schedule. And they need to be able to let go and unwind. They will be healthier and happier all around.
How do you help your kids to unwind?