Self-care moments for kids are big moments. We find that parents always cheer their little ones on when they master tasks like toilet training and tying their shoes. What makes self-care skills exceptionally important is that we will use these skills all throughout our lives. We’ll take a close look at what happens when kids struggle with self-care skills and self-care ideas and activities to try at home.
Self-care Skills Importance and Problems
We all need a little self-care every day whether it means setting yourself up to soak in a lavender bath or brushing your hair. Self-care skills are all around essential for moving through our day-to-day lives with ease. For our kids though, it means a little more. We see them learn to build up to these bigger self-care skill tasks by implementing fine motor skills (ex: hand/finger motions) and gross motor skills (ex: keeping back straight). It’s a sight to see and admire. They keep growing and learning. Kids may struggle with self-care skills for a number of reasons. For example, if your child does not tolerate clothing, it’s possible that sensory processing disorder is at play. Occupational therapy (OT) can really be a lifesaver for kiddos struggling for any reason. OT therapy for toddlers, babies, and school-aged can help your little one reach all of their self-care goals. If you need help knowing what skills are age-appropriate for your child, go here.
Self-care Activities for Kids
Bring Out the Dollhouse (or Action Figures)
Dolls and action figures need something to do, and much of the time, self-care is involved in one way or another. Maybe the doll or figure needs feeding, a new dress, help brushing their teeth, or maybe a soak in the bath. You’re welcome to include items that involve self-care activities like a toothbrush, hairbrush, or clothing.
Make it a Competition
Some kids like to compete to test their skills. Who can get this jacket on faster? Me or you? Adding a little urgency might make your child focus a little more on the task at hand. You may even show them that you’re struggling with a task. If they can help you out, they’re very likely to complete the task themselves. You may also set a timer instead of joining yourself. See if your kiddo can beat the timer.
Dance Off! Pants Off
Adding upbeat music whenever it is time to do a certain self-care activity can make any task a lot more fun. If your kiddo successfully completes the task at hand, it may be time to celebrate with a dance-off.
Self-care practice for kids comes along with finding what we enjoy doing in our free time. Give your child opportunities to explore what brings them the most happiness in the day. Coloring, running around outside, and reading are all great hobbies to take part in outside of busy schedules. Everyone deserves time to enjoy moments when pressure is low and fun can be had.
Encouragement, Practice, and Praise
When you’re at home, the biggest thing you can do to help your child reach milestones in the self-care department is to encourage, practice, and praise. When they start getting older, give them opportunities to practice without help. If you need to step in, that’s okay. Keep practicing, and when they do a good job, give your kiddo a high five, positive words, and maybe even a big hug. Kids love hearing that they did a good job from you, and they tend to respond to praise better than negative feedback. Focus on the positive, and keep practicing.
Occupational therapy for child development? Occupational therapy helps kids out in so many ways, including helping them reach self-care skill milestones and complete them with ease. Contact us today!
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