Finding Ways To De-stress With Your Little Ones
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During this time of year, parents have a lot to deal with. Trying to get a moment to yourself is far from mind. The holidays and end of the year can take a toll on you and there is never time to de-stress. No matter the holiday you and your family are celebrating, you have to make time to get a second wind. There are ways you can destress without trying to find a closet to hide in. When it comes to your children, there are ways you can have them sit and de-stress with you. This can be in between meals, after school, before breakfast, or any time you need a moment.
How Does This Work?
To be able to get materials or prepare effectively, parents should take time and conduct a brief survey of their children (that is if they don’t already know the answers) in order for this de-stressor to work. I know, I know, a lot of parents say “this is easy, I can just give them a screen and that is my time to myself.” Well let me tell you honey, there are ways to destress with your little, or big ones without them sitting in front of a screen. I plan to show my children pictures and see which ones they would chose. This way there is no miscommunication.
What Should You Do?
First things first. You have to establish this time. You have to be clear and label this time for you and your children. My children and I decided to call it our de-stress time. Yes, we are going to try this with you all.
Be sure you make it clear, no matter the age (with the exception of infants, let’s face it, they will always run the house) what your intentions are. You can’t just think that the children are just going to comply when this is something that is brand new. Make it fun, and exciting that way you and your kids, no matter the age, will look forward to this time of quiet and low stress.
What Would You Need?
Now to get to the part I know you have been looking for. Here are some suggestions you can take advantage of, besides the suggestions your children requested.
You can get books. Some reading books, some activity books, some busy books to keep their minds going during the de-stress time, depending on the age of your children. Here are links of some great books to get your kiddos interested:
Just to name a few. You can make this a family teachable moment, but I know you are looking to relax. There are also some activities that your children can take advantage of. There is something for all ages. Some of my favorite quite activities that I have for my kids are these:
Writing Tablets I have to say, these devices are my all-time favorite quiet activity for my children. There is no screen time, the tablets are not pricey, you don’t have to look for paper to replenish, and you also don’t have to worry about a little someone writing on the wall. I let my 6-month-old, with supervision of course, use this tablet to strengthen her fine motor skills. She is the youngest, so she tries to do what her older brother and sister do. This gives your kids the freedom to express their imagination, and you don’t have an extra mess to clean up in the end.
If you are looking to destress together with your children, instead of doing separate activities, there are other options you can take advantage of.
This book has great exercises and breathing techniques that the kids, in my opinion, would like.
Now there are other ways you can destress with your children if you want to go out. That is if you can get your little ones out without having them too excited. You can have a picnic or just calm down time outside on a blanket.
Then there is my family’s favorite way to destress…… DANCE PARTY! We make requests and come up with playlists. Our favorite music outlet is Spotify. But we also use good old Youtube as well.
You can stargaze or cloud gaze. Let them use their imaginations. Make up a story with them. If you are looking to destress with no mess, these are some options for you, but the sky’s the limit. You know your kids best. You can also involve them and ask what they would like to do for your de-stress time. You can let them take turns planning if your kids are older. Or you can write down 3 activities to start with and let them pick to make it more controlled. You can read the choice and let them vote.
How Much Time Do You Ask?
Well, my children and I have been doing this for some time now, so we have graduated to longer times. But the length of time is completely up to you. My kids and I started out with 10 minutes a day. Now we are up to a half an hour twice a day. We rotate what we do for that time, that way the kids don’t get bored.
You can top it all off with their favorite snacks. My children love to have snacks after our de-stress time.
As another year comes to an end, most people try to come up with resolutions to better themselves for the new year. This time of year, as a parent, I think this is a lot of extra stress that we put on ourselves. Most of us are trying to lose weight, find inner peace, be a better person, and those are just the common ones. There are some people with other goals such as starting a business, making more money, getting a promotion, and other ambitious successes. This year, how about we try something different. How about we don’t put so much stress on ourselves. We as parents have a yearlong job. Our job is 365 days, and 24/7 around the clock. I will be the first to admit, making time for yourself is hard. I am finding time at this moment just to write this blog. I have my 6-month-old blowing raspberries at me while I make faces at her just to write this paragraph. So yes, it is hard finding time just for yourself. But this year let’s try something different.
How About This?
Let’s try not to think of one or two tasks to stick with. How about we make a list of many tasks, accomplishments, and/or bucket lists. Don’t put an end date to anything. Let’s try to make some changes to ourselves, our livelihood, our relationships, our children, our spirituality, and anything else in between.
Let’s start by incorporating a time to destress together.
As always let me know how you feel. I take it all. The good, bad, ugly, you name it. Leave a comment and try to incorporate time for yourself, even if it is with the kids.