Welcome to Self Care Week where I’m hoping to cover a tiny bit about how we integrate Self-Care into our daily routine. I wasn’t sure if I was going to take this week into full-blown psychology, or make it about literally teaching toddlers to take care of themselves… so I’m going to do a bit of both. I’m going to lead with teaching care for self and close with self-care. I am in no way a licensed, practicing child psychologist. What I do have is a Master’s in Behavior Management which is an endorsement through Educational Psychology for children. Once upon a time, a lifetime ago, I did teach Special Education, where I wrote IEPs and assessed students on a daily basis. But that was 20 years ago and SO MUCH has changed. There are many things I look back on and completely disagree with now, while there are some definite, proven concepts, like Pavlov. He’s always going to be relevant. Maybe he rings a bell for some of you 😉
Week 2 | Post 2
This will forever be one of my favorite Teaching Table Lessons we did and it is PERFECT for February. Go through this week’s post link and snag the recipe for Chocolate Play-Dough. You’re going to need it and some giant, white Lego blocks to teach toddlers about flossing their teeth. One year we gave all of our pre-school buddies chocolate play-dough for Valentine’s Day and it was a big hit. We then used it for weeks after for flossing practice. I’ve got a whole blog post on it.
Week 2 | Post 3
And it gets better, ask me how we used Powdered Donuts to teach toddlers about GERMS. This is also perfect for February and the upcoming season of all the ick. I’ll tell you all about it in another Blog Post that you can access through this week’s link. I paired the powdered donut with a snowman project for winter, so you only need one bag to cover multiple lessons in winter. Powdered donuts made it super easy to demonstrate the ease of spreading germs at a level they could comprehend very easily. Lessons like this that are fun (and tasty) build an understanding of hygiene and healthy hand-washing routines for any age. The literal importance of teaching kids how to take care of themselves this time of year (and all year, really) will always be a huge part of Self-Care in our house.
Week 2 | Post 4
Today I’m sharing one of my absolute favorite and long-standing Affiliates, @Doughp, Edible Cookie Dough. I’ve been partnering with them for many years, mostly because I absolutely appreciate the work she, Kelsey, does and has done in the world of Mental Health Awareness. Please take a quick look into her story and consider supporting her mission by investing in some LEGIT Cookie Dough this week. It’s a perfect Valentine’s Day Gift, which is a bonus 😉 Plus, buying yourself cookie dough obviously counts as self-care. You’ll find my Affiliate link through the profile link when you scroll down to that SWEET picture of Wyatt.
Shop Doughp Cookie Dough
Week 2 | Post 5
Speaking of Mental Health Awareness, I know many of you have heard me talk about Glimmers. They’re those moments opposite of triggers, which spark positive feelings. Our Mental Health and Self-Care journey has relied on them heavily these last few years as we’ve had to climb out of the black hole known as grief. I could easily do a whole month of Grief Management Weeks, but I’ll spare you. One decision I made immediately after my mom’s passing was to get a tattoo representing her. That was part one, for me, but part two is about how I left off the color so that my boys could color it in whenever they missed her. I’m confident that this strategy alone pulled them through an intense year of grief management, self-care, mental health awareness, all the things or whatever you choose to call it. I am forever grateful to my childhood friend since 3rd Grade, Kassi, at @tattoos_by_kassandra for making this possible. And I highly recommend it for any kids suffering an immensely close loss. So much beauty was found through these evenings we shared adding color back into our thoughts.
Week 2 | Post 6
Now that we’ve segwayed into the heavier, deeper stuff, we can talk about self-care for kids and yourself. The best advice I can give is to READ as many books as you can. Get to know yourself, and your kids at a level so personal that you can help them discover their best routines for Self-Care. Cash and Wyatt are very different. Cash and I are very similar when it comes to mental recovery. I have a book list on Amazon with all the books we’ve read in order to get to the place we are today. My favorites include: Raising Good Humans, That’s My Son, and The People Code. Chances are if you’ve gone down the rabbit hole with me while watching our kids on the playground, I brought up one of these books. Surrounded by Idiots and The Four Tendencies are right up there too.
Week 2 | Post 7
And finally, we arrive at the big and scary… actually doing the work after you’ve done all the reading about how to properly care for yourself. I confess I am bad at this. I have been rewiring my own cognitive software for two years now as I process my grief and get in touch with my mental health. What I’ve learned is that I have still, so much to learn. Mainly that’s because we never, ever practiced it as kids. I think it’s because of that realization that I overdo it now with my own kids. They get so sick of openly discussing their big feelings I’m probably still traumatizing them! Read all about the routine I’ve been using since they were 5 years old and how rewarding it is that they now initiate them whenever they need one as a 9 and 10-year-old today.