Heed the below advice, find ways to incorporate these behaviors into your life and teach them to your children. These life lessons know no age limit.
Moving on. No matter your station in life, you will encounter negativity, upsetting events and disappointments—and even though things are often out of your control, you always have control of your reaction. If you find that you tend to stew on something for a long time and struggle to let it go, this is a good lesson for you. The sooner you can move past what’s happened, the better you’ll feel and the easier life will be.
Help your child to master “moving on” by talking out something that has upset him or her, and listen, recognize and acknowledge that it’s OK to feel crummy about it for a little bit. Then switch gears and gently tell him or her it’s time for the next adventure! Model this behavior for your child, and it will become second nature to him or her.
Living in the moment. As adults, many of us can remember the time before Google and text messages, but most of today’s youth can’t—and many kids are growing up totally disconnected from what’s in front of them. We all need a reality check. Spend time away from your devices as a family and have your children unplug often; you’ll find a richness in life’s moments you may have forgotten.
Some ideas: Establish “no phone zones,” perhaps at the dinner table or Sunday afternoons (you too, Mom and Dad); go on exploratory walks, describing things you see, smell, feel and hear; spend a weekend without a watch or a schedule and engage in free play with your child.
Valuing yourself. We’ve all been taught to treat others like we would want to be treated, right? But what about treating ourselves like we want others to treat us? Sounds strange—but how often are you overly critical of yourself? Many of us engage in some pretty awful self-talk. This behavior is deeply embedded in our culture and many kiddos learn at a young age how to be hard on themselves (anyone ever heard their mom criticize her looks or her weight?).
Break the cycle and start paying attention to the ways you put yourself down—aloud and in your thoughts. Take and give compliments freely. Ask your children to list something they like about themselves (and do so on a regular basis)—and don’t forget to share yours, too.
What are some important life lessons you’ve learned or would like to learn? What’s the most important thing you’d like your child to learn? We want to hear from you; drop us a line in the comment section below. If you like reading our Be Well posts, be sure to subscribe in the upper righthand corner to have them delivered to your inbox.