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  • Writer's pictureJenn

Five Ways to Teach Your Kids The Importance of Self-Care

Children Taking Care of Themselves Through Play

A strong sense of self is at the core of self-care.

A strong sense of self is at the core of intimacy.

Our own sense of self will strongly dictate how we relate to ourselves and how we will relate to others, including our children.

We teach our children how to interact with the world.

We teach them through our examples how to love themselves and how to love others.

We want them to respect themselves and respect others but when we are in a state of chronic self-denial are we teaching them that?

We teach them how to respect us and also how to take advantage of us, how to take advantage of others, and how to be taken advantage of by how we treat ourselves and allow others to treat us.

We don't get more respect than we give to ourselves.

If we are in a state of chronic self-denial we may be teaching our children to give the responsibility of knowing who they are, loving who they are, and attributing their someone or something else.

We want them to know how valuable they truly are...regardless of who tells them they are fat or ugly or unlovable, right??

The way we relate to our own desires is critical to teaching our children how to rely on their own strong sense of self so that they don't need to use others to obtain their own value.

We don't like to hear that we are using others to gain a sense of self but here is a fact:

If we don't believe we are good enough, don't deserve good treatment for ourselves, we will depend on others for approval and validation at our own expense.

We will be looking to others to tell us that we are betting than we think.

This shows up as people-pleasing, perfectionism, and a sense of resentment after giving for the sake of "goodness" or duty/obligation.

Is that actually a good thing? Or is it "fakesgiving"?

If the go-to way we prove that we are "good" is by self-abnegation we are sending two signals. The way we act is going to be the one our children pay attention to the most. If we are giving because of what it may mean about us if we don't (we are selfish, we are unrighteous, disobedient) the service is not coming from a place of integrity. Is that goodness???

For the next 5 weeks I am going to be sharing the underground issues of genuinely taking care of ourselves so that we can teach our children to do the same.

This does not mean indulging in a bubble bath while eating ice-cream after the kids have gone to bed, although that is valuable sometimes.

It is understanding the root of WHY we don't take care of ourselves and HOW we place responsibility on others for taking care of us and WHY we do that.

Once we can actually see the issues on the table we have the opportunity to look at what is actually going on and what our choices legitimately are. And then make an informed decision about who we want to be.

I invite you to ask yourself:

How would you like your children to know themselves well enough that they don't rely on others to decide that for them?

How would you like them to be able to make decisions with a genuine, clear conscience in pure honesty to give service that is best for them AND the community?

How would you like your children to know to their core that they are enough, valuable, and worth love and excellent care?

How would you like them to make strong and responsible decisions without blaming others for their choices?

How would you like them to be able to BE %100 themselves? Known.

Develop deep and intimate connections with others?

Then do this work yourself.

The good news is that we don't get more respect than we give ourselves.

Give yourself high respect, high care, high value and you will be teaching your children to expect the same for themselves.

This isn't something we can just hand to our kids on a platter through great advice and admonition. We share it by example. They create it for themselves using the skills they see you using.

If you are someone who operates out of fear, guilt, resentment around giving to yourself or others this means that you are out of alignment with some core beliefs.

When you act in a way that is self-betraying you should feel this way. When our actions are not in alignment with our beliefs it creates dissonance.

An amazing gift that alerts us to alignment issues.

Like the wobbling that means your tires need to be balanced.

It means you need to change your actions or change your beliefs.

But first you need to see what your beliefs actually are, which means being willing to look yourself in the mirror, see your true thoughts, possibly some things you don't like, and not entertain shame.

Shame may be at the party, but you don't need to serve it h'orderves and dessert.

Look forward to this in the upcoming Self-Care Series

1. Increase intimacy and connections with others by developing a strong sense of self

Intimacy and trust within ourselves is the first relationship. If we are not truly connected with ourselves we will struggle to intimately connect with others.

How can we become connected with ourselves AND connected with others?

How can we teach our children to do the same?

2. Recognize the symptoms of relying on others to determine your value

This shows up as people-pleasing, doing things or not doing things at our own expense so that someone else doesn't get angry, upset, annoyed, etc. This may look like us saying, "It's not a big deal" but how often is it actually us saying, "I'm not a big deal and you are more important".

Do we want to teach others including our children that we are not as important? Would we like them to believe that they are not as important as others?

What is the difference between a strong sense of self and being self-consumed? How do you know the difference?

3. Understand the importance of taking responsibility for your own needs

Remember when we used to have a code to our parents of when they were supposed to say, "Sorry, she can't" so that we could say, "My parents said I can't" instead of "I don't feel comfortable with that. No thanks"?

Taking responsibility is heavy. We may believe that we can't handle the discomfort, the guilt, the emotional backlash....and that's okay.

It's the difference in saying, "I'm going to pass this time" because you have genuinely assessed your needs, your resources, your intent, the needs of the other person and decided it would be best for both if you didn't versus:

"I don't have time..."

"I don't have money..."

"I can't..."

"I'll ask my husband..."

"It's my job..."

"I'm too exhausted, confused, overwhelmed...."

So that you and others believe you are at the mercy of something outside of you.

This indicates that we need someone else to legitimize our own needs/wants because we cannot/will not do it on our own.

If you are expecting someone or something else to validate your desires this is an excellent opportunity to ask yourself "Why?"

Do your wants count?

Do you trust yourself?

Let's get it figured out for you and the people you love.

4. Recognize unhelpful thoughts that keep us from recognizing our wants and needs

Some examples are:

Self-abnegation is stronger and more virtuous than listening to our own wants and needs

Our own desires are selfish, sinful, and lazy

Our desires can't be trusted so we need someone else to validate them

Desirable women are selfless, desireless, and put others first

Offering and yielding when others want something is an expression of goodness

I should be reflexively serving and happy when I do it

If I reflexively serve I will be rewarded

I will lose control if I begin to "give in" to my own desires, wants, and needs

Strength means not giving into emotion

The ideal woman doesn't say no

And so on.

Let's find some more accurate thoughts that serve you to be an agent in your own life rather than expecting others to know what you need, offer a break or a service so you don't have to ask.

5. Know how to take better care of yourself

How do I decide when it is good to sacrifice?

How can I live in integrity and be an example for genuine good rather than acting to avoid guilt, what I think it may mean about me if I don't, what others may think of me, and take genuine responsibility?

What would you like your children to learn about their own value?

Do it first yourself.

Next week: If we do not, in our core, believe that we are good enough we will depend on others for our approval at our own expense, pressure others to accommodate our desires, or become low investors in ourselves or others.

Please share if you know someone could use this to bless their life and others lives. The better care we take of ourselves, the better we will be as a community.

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