11 Easy Relaxation Practices to Share With Your Children and Teens

If you have relaxation practices that work for you, you might wonder how you can encourage your children to join you. Even if you haven’t been the best role model. After all, their lives can be stressful too when they’re trying to get good grades, make friends, and adapt to the changes that are part of growing up.

Sure, it would be tough to train a toddler to meditate for a half hour when they can barely sit still long enough to eat. However, there are age-appropriate activities suitable for any stage of development, from preschoolers to teens.

Find out more about how to help your children develop greater mindfulness and relieve stress.

Sharing Relaxation Practices with Younger Children

Even small children can relax and focus if you use movement and sound to make it interesting. It also helps if you provide an inspiring role model by managing stress constructively yourself.

Try these techniques:

  1. Make it fun. Be sure to present relaxation practices as a helpful tool rather than punishment. Pay attention to your child’s limits so they’ll stay engaged.
  2. Keep it brief. As little as one minute of seated meditation can be an achievement for a preschooler. Plan multiple activities so you can switch things around if your child seems to be losing interest.
  3. Breathe deep. Focusing on the breath is an excellent starting point at any age. Ask your child to imagine filling their stomach and chest with air and then releasing it like a balloon.
  4. Play music. Does your child have some favorite songs? Take turns singing different parts or ask them to listen for certain notes. Close observation is a form of mindfulness.
  5. Take a walk. You can also meditate or appreciate your surroundings while you’re moving around. Go to the park and identify as many different kinds of flowers as you can.
  6. Ask the teacher. Some schools are including stress management and meditation in their curriculum. Check on what’s available and see if there’s anything you can do to help.

Sharing Relaxation Practices with Teens

With teens, you can build on the techniques designed for younger children and introduce some new lessons. Meditation may be especially valuable during these years as many teens experience depression and anxiety. Be sure to let your doctor know if your teen is already receiving treatment for such conditions.

Share these strategies:

  1. Increase time gradually. Keep in mind your teen’s interests and abilities. If they benefit from meditating, they may want to sit for an hour or more a day. Otherwise, you can suggest other ways to relax, such as yoga or working on hobbies.
  2. Share experiences. Listen enthusiastically to what your teen thinks about relieving stress and living mindfully. Discuss your own thoughts and feelings too.
  3. Take turns teaching. Give your teen a chance to instruct you. If you do guided meditations together, you could alternate being the one to do the reading and provide directions. If you usually do tai chi, let them know that you’d appreciate their help in coming up with new ideas for the sake of variety.
  4. Search for apps. There are apps for relaxation and meditation, and many of them are free. Your teen may prefer something created for their own age group or they may be happy with a general program for adults.
  5. Sign up for classes. If you’re still looking for something more, see what’s available in your neighborhood. Check events listings at your local library and other resources to find courses on meditating or gardening.

Children and teens can benefit from relaxation practices whether you use a modern app or an old-fashioned meditation cushion. Introduce your sons and daughters to positive habits that can help them grow up to be happy and peaceful.

One app I’m really loving right now is called Calm. https://www.calm.com/ They even have a mindfulness initative and training for teachers: https://www.calm.com/schools Check it out. 

Top 5 Resources For Being A More Intentional Mother

I LOVE to read, that’s no secret. I believe in reading I get to experience someone’s else life, heart their heart, receive their guidance and feel encouraged. So when I came across this author I was in awe of her! I just soaked up everything she had to offer, subscribed to her podcast, joined her membership site, attended her virtual tea party, and Amazon primed all of her books. (Yes she’s that good)

Sally Clarkson really shares a passion for being excellent stewards over what God has given us in our spouses and children. She’s cultured, she’s God-fearing and she caused me to find the joy in parenting rather than focus on the chaos. All of my recommendations today are authored by her because she’s had much of a profound effect on me (and I have read LOTS of parenting books).

You can learn more about Sally at sallyclarkson.com or utilize my affiliate links below and add one of her books to your collection. You’ll be a better mom/person because of it!

Educating the WholeHearted Child is all about Christian homeschooling. Every feeling I ever felt about homeschooling but could never put into words was said in this book and more. The Clarkson’s walk us through what it means to set the foundation for biblical learning and across all subjects. They share scriptures to explain how they came to each recommendation and suggestion.  If you’ve been wanting to influence your child’s heart and mind, you’ve got to pick this one up!

The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child’s Heart for Eternity is about understanding our roles as mothers. I don’t need anyone to tell me how to parent but J could always use someone to remind me on the overwhelming days that it’s going to be alright and to find the joy in my role. This book does that for me. Being able to fully understand that magnitude of my job as a mom causes me to look at everything day to day task differently.

The Lifegiving Home invites us into the things that make the Clarkson family unique; their family culture. I don’t naturally sit around and intentionally think about what culture I’m creating for my family but after reading this book I did and still do. What kinds of music, art, literature, food, routines, and rhythms do you create for your family on a consistent basis? What are their outcomes for your family? What can you stand to be better or more consistent with? This book has all the answers!

The Ministry of Motherhood is about understanding your purpose and what you’ve been called to do as a mother. Sally asks:

What purpose do you think God had in mind when he designed the role of mother? Have you ever specifically considered that, in becoming a mother, you have actually been called to a ministry? In what way does that concept change how you think about your role? Read Psalm 127: 3—if possible, in more than one translation. What does this verse imply about the ministry of motherhood?

I read Psalm 127:3 and noticed that my kids are a reward from God. How do we act when we receive a reward? We get excited, we share, we express gratitude, we don’t complain about how much time and energy it requires. Right? Oh, I could go on and on about how many eye-openers we’re in here for me. Sometimes even when we do something well we can stand to be better and Sally calls us to do just that.

Please grab these books and your favorite drink because you’re in for a treat! Be sure to let me know which ones you’re especially excited about and once you’ve dived in come back and share your takeaways with other moms like you.

If you haven’t already downloaded my Empower Your Children E-Book, grab your copy today.


My Top Ten Teaching Tools

As a successful educator turned homeschooler the Back to School season is like Christmas! The scent of fresh notebook paper and the sound of my electric pencil sharpener brings a smile to my face. As I’m making purchases for our school year stocking up on materials is critical (especially those crayons which seem to evaporate in our house).

Today I wanted to share my top ten teaching tools so YOU can stock up too.

*This post contains affiliate links which means I get a small percentage of commission from your purchase at no additional cost to you. 

#1 My Laminator

I use the Swingline laminator almost every day. As a mom of preschoolers, I’m constantly making file folder games, reusable worksheets, and learning sets that I need to last. Laminating my sheets just lets stuff last longer around here! Don’t forget to grab laminating sheets as well.

#2 My Binding Kit

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Proclick Binding Kit. This one has two “workbooks” that I can create with 25 pages each. I originally purchased these to use in my business for creating my curriculum workbooks but they serve twofold in our homeschool life as well. If you find something you want longevity for over the course of a unit, use these!

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What is a Cultivator and How do I know if I am One?

Recently you may have heard about my podcast The Called to Cultivate™ Podcast with Regina Coley or heard my invitation to join the Called to Cultivate™ Community and thought to yourself what is a Cultivator™? A Cultivator is a person who educates, empowers, and enriches the lives of others. A Cultivator can teach, speak, or write but it’s through this that s/he challenges others to dig deeper so they can grow.

I wanted to coin a term that accurately explained my heart’s work and the hard work of so many others. So the Cultivator was created!

Who Do Cultivators Cultivate?

Anyone you feel called to serve! It can be your own children, your co-worker, or you can organize and lead a group. Cultivators have a heart for service and helping others to reach and achieve their goals through teaching, writing, and speaking. As it relates to me I cultivate parents and educators on this blog but I serve young women and girls in the community. I find opportunities to teach in everything I do.

Teach

A great Cultivator loves to educate people. You can do this through speaking or writing. You can engage, inspire and motivate your students to learn. I truly believe everyone has something to teach but there are select few that are gifted to teach. In our community, we discuss both types of teaching and support you on the path to discovery for both styles.

Inspire

A great Cultivator loves to inspire people. You wake up every day with a desire in your heart for people! You want to encourage people to strive for their very best. You want to serve as a role model for younger people and an aspiration for your peers.

Create Change

A great Cultivator works to create change. I mean your ultimate goal is to make a difference. You don’t feel at peace knowing that there is something that can be done when you see a need. You are typically the initiator and are full of vision.

Am I Describing You?

If while you read this your felt a leap in your belly you may be a Cultivator! If you are wanting to step into this work then you’re definitely in the right space.  You can hear more about the Cultivator movement in these places:

Called to Cultivate™ Podcast

Called to Cultivate™ Community

Schedule a Clarity Call with me

Sign up for my list to get access to more resources

Are You Providing Your Kids these Five Learning Opportunities in Your Home?

Good students usually come from good homes where one or both parents have spend a substantial amount of time, energy, and resources providing a rich learning environment. None of this means that you have to spend a lot of money on making your home look like a school and you don’t have to have a PhD in Education.

Educational success comes from putting time in what you want your children to know.  If they spend time in front of the TV they will become a verbal TV guide. If they spend time on the arts or Math then that’s what they’ll know.

  1. Do they know the value of hard work? Do you do everything for your kids or do they have to do work beyond what they think is comfortable or enjoyable?
  2. Do they have a strong sense of responsibility? What is it your kids have to do each day no excuses? Do you follow through with them and make sure they actually complete them?
  3. Do they have a willingness to keep going even when the going gets tough? How do you encourage and push them to not quit?
  4. Do they know what they do well outside of a classroom setting? Success needs to exceed the classroom especially if your child doesn’t have a teacher that always encourages his or her personal best. Are your kids excelling in sports? the arts? music? a foreign language? Be sure to provide opportunities for well rounded success.
  5. Do they have an understanding about people of other cultures? Creating kids who are ready for the world requires them to know that people of other cultures exist and speak a variety of languages. How are you strengthening their cultural IQ? Board games? Diversity in books? Diversity in music played or movies watched?

Homeschool Courses Now Available!

Homeschool classes are now available for families looking to supplement their educational learning programs.

Check out the current course descriptions and register below:

Adventures in Black History helps elementary school age children learn about black historians whose stories are often unheard. Students will meet in a virtual classroom setting to learn about black historical figures. This course incorporates writing and art for a unique and  creative supplemental homeschool offering!

LEARN MORE

Life Skills  offers developmental assistance and support with basic life skills for young children. We cover topics that integrate personal responsibility, accountability and life long social skills.

 

LEARN MORE

“The Benefits and the Blessings of Homeschool”
by Regina Coley

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The Benefits and the Blessings of Homeschool
March 13, 2018

7 Positive Parenting Principles

Please take the following principles to heart. If you’re a parent I already know that you want what is best for your child but being that you are a parent I know it’s not as easy as it seems. Parenting has it’s highs and lows and some days you may find yourself wondering if you’re doing your best job. Here are seven principles for powerful and purposeful parenting.

  1. Value discipleship over discipline. Yes children need to be corrected when they are being disrespectful or unruly and that is where effective discipline is required. However, too many children have not been intentionally taught the values and virtues needed to succeed. Discipleship provides an opportunity to model and guide your children to righteous living.
  2. Parents are children’s first teacher. You have the opportunity to lay the foundation and set the standard. What are you doing with that responsibility? I hear many parents complain that the schools aren’t doing enough for their children but it’s mom and dad who make the difference.
  3. What you do in the early years determines the outcomes for later years. Kids are sponges in the first few years, give them good things to soak up! A solid well rounded experiences in education, social experiences, and life skills are critical. Don’t omit the filling up of these years or you’re going to have a problem come middle school and high school years.
  4. Aim for the moon and you’ll reach the stars. No matter what always aim high in your expectations, standards, goals, and vision for your family. Constantly praise your children for what is going right because it will continue to propel them higher and higher.
  5. Content creates character. What they are exposed to will show up in their lives. Diversify the books, magazines, music, TV shows, video games and activities that you’re children are seeing. Watch and get involved with the programs. Just because it says it’s for kids doesn’t mean it’s in alignment with your vision for your family.
  6. Children spell T-I-M-E with L-O-V-E. The best course of parenting just comes from spending time, being involved, showing up, being present, and listening. Sometimes our kids are “talking” to us just by the things they aren’t saying. Seize every opportunity to show your love.
  7. Every child is different even in the same household, with the same exposure and resources. Value their individuality. In our family mission it states that each child is a part of the same body. Each person is essential for one function. Help your children see that they are needed, valued, and appreciated for being just who they are and who they are becoming.