Wellness for kids has been a topic brought into sharp relief by the pandemic, especially with the increase of screen-based learning and the decrease in social opportunities (ie the good stuff like birthday parties, team sports, big family gatherings). It’s not only their routines that have been disrupted, but their whole way of life.
Happily, the same techniques and strategies that help adults manage the unexpected are transferrable to kids. And by introducing them early, you’re setting kids up with good habits for life.
A whole range of initiatives have sprung up to fulfill this need. ABC Kids Listen has a great range of health and wellbeing resources, from empowering kids to bounce forward from adversity to establishing peaceful morning routines. There are countless books for kids to inspire healthy habits in kids of every age. And there are fantastic apps for healthy eating, fitness and mindful breathing tailored to kids of all ages.
The most powerful way to foster wellness in kids and by practicing it yourself – and finding activities you can do together. Getting kids involved in cooking makes healthy eating a lot more palatable. Yoga is a great way of developing strength, flexibility and focus in kids from as young as two (many studios offer parent/kid classes, or you can roll out a mat next to yours at home). And as hard as it feels sometimes, finding joy is more important than ever, whether it’s fostering an environment for laughter or just going outside.
Just Breathe: Meditation, Mindfulness, Movement, and More by Mallika Chopra (audiobook)
Stuff That Sucks: A Teen’s Guide to Accepting What You Can’t Change and Committing to What You Can by Ben Sedley
Big Life Journal: a notebook to help kids age 7-10 face challenges with confidence
The Moshi app has stories, meditations and music specially designed to help kids fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer and wake less in the night.
Belly Breathing with Elmo (for when younget kids feel like monsters)
Photo: Unsplash – Rene Bernal