Yoga and Mindfulness for children and Teens.
teach your child how to fill their cup with these 7 tips
What does the term ‘fill your cup’ mean?
Do you know at the end of a long day, where you’ve helped everyone with everything, and you just feel done? You’re ready to climb into bed, and feel like if one more person touches you or asks for anything, it is possible that you may go insane? This is when your cup is empty. You've been pouring from it all day, filling up everyone else’s cup but leaving nothing for yourself. Maybe someone will come along and fill it up for you, but quite often, you need to find ways to fill it back up yourself.
The same goes for our children. Their cups drain and empty just like ours, and while we try to fill it up for them, it is important that they know how to fill it up themselves too.
7 tips to help you teach your child to fill their cup
Tip #1 Start with self-awareness
Self-awareness is so important when it comes to practicing self-care. Without it, how will children know what their body and mind are trying to tell them? How will they know what care they need?
Read more about the importance of Self-awareness here.
A great place to start with self-awareness is to do a check in. I'll be posting a video for a simple, quick practice that you can do with your child to check in with the body, mind and breath. Look for this at the end of this post.
Tip #2 Notice how you fill your cup
What lessons are your children learning from you? How are you modelling self-care? How do you manage stress in front of them? It can help to talk through what you’re doing sometimes. Instead of just disappearing for 5 minutes because you need a break. Tell them you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed and just need to breathe for 5 minutes. Sometimes invite them to do this with you (when you have the headspace to do so, sometimes you really do just want them 5 minutes alone and that is okay too). Never blame them for the stress or say “You’re stressing me out so I need 5 minutes.” but just that you are feeling that way. Tell them what helps you when you do feel that way. Talk about what you enjoyed when you were a child with them.
What you do for self-care is probably not going to be what they do for self-care. They may try it out, but they are going to find their own path. Don’t force something because you like the way it makes you feel, just model it. It’s enough that you are showing that you have self-care practices, they’ll feel inspired to have their own, even if it’s something completely different.
Tip #3 Fill your cup together!
Just as we can fill our own cups or each other's cups, we can also fill our cups together! Do something your child loves with them, or something you both enjoy. Spend this time together, connecting and being really present. It could be reading, baking, rock climbing, going on a day trip or holiday, swimming - anything that lights you up and makes you feel good, peaceful or just simply present.
Tip #4 Saying No is self-care
Sometimes your child may not want to do something that you would like them to do or that someone else wants them to do. Listen to them when they say no and support their choice. Society has made it so we are so praised for being busy, and this has started to spill over on to our children. So many after school activities, family get togethers, homework and chores - sometimes it can get too much. Just like we need a break, so do they. Let them know that it’s okay to say no to something when they need a break. It’s not lazy or naughty - sometime’s it’s self-care.
Expression is a form of self-care. Quite often children are not asked their opinion on things enough. Expressing how they feel, even if it goes against what we think is ‘best’, is so important and we need to hold space for them to do that.
Tip #5 Make it a routine
How can you encourage them to make self-care part of their daily routines? How do you make it part of your routine? Is there something you do each night before bed or when you wake up in the morning? Self-care is so unique to all of us so it really is up to each individual person and family to see what works for them, but whatever that is, keep going with it.
Tip #6 Self-care isn’t always doing - sometimes it's nothing
Sometimes it’s not a plan or something scheduled, it’s just a rest where there is nothing to process or do, just rest. It can be as simple as laying down on the sofa or putting your head on a desk for a few moments.
Tip #7 Have fun!
Outside of schedules and plans, what does your child like to do that just makes them happy? What do they want to do more of? What absolutely lights them up? How can they do more of this?
Fun is something that is often underrated, when in fact it is so important - for children and adults!
How do they know what it is that brings them joy?
It comes back to tip number 1!
I’m sharing this with you today because I strongly believe that self-care is an essential tool to teach our children to support their wellbeing. Yoga is an amazing practice that can support your family with self-care practices. It can help with all of the 7 tips I shared here today, my favourite is that it can help your family to release stress and tension, calm the mind and actually allow you to enjoy rest.
Rest can feel so frustrating when your brain is telling you that you should be doing something or that you need to be busy or moving around. Yoga can help prepare your body and mind for rest and bring you into a state of calm that feels safe to rest in. It can get the wiggles out, not just in the body but in the mind too. Yes, I said it, your mind can be wriggly! So let's get the wiggles out and find a space where we can just be. This is how we can teach children to fill their cups.
I have shared 7 tips with you that will help your child to fill their cup and practice self-care. In this post we have looked at the importance of self-awareness, your own practices and habits as a parent, the importance of connection and spending time together, boundaries, routines, taking time when we need it and not as part of a schedule and also the benefits of having fun.
If you haven't already, check out the video about doing a 'check in' with your child below.
For more tips and practices that will help your child fill their cup, manage big emotions and have some fun, join the Amazing Me Yoga Community on Facebook >>
Supporting your family with Yoga and mindfulness
Other Blog posts of interest
All Breath Work Children's Yoga And Mindfulness Christmas Emotional Well Being Emotional Well-being Intuition Meditations Parents Play Pose Of The Week Print Outs Self Care Challenge Summer Teachers Teenagers