30 DAYS of AWESOME PARENTING
(read about the adventure here)
Tip 16: The necessary art of health and wellbeing:
Five creative ideas to help care for sick kids
When it comes to health and wellbeing, prevention is the key, isn’t it. Good health is a finely tuned art, the right combination of good quality food, fresh air, a little sunshine, a little bit of dirt, regular bedtimes, rest, plenty of water, lots of play opportunities, and exercise too- they are things we all need. No-one likes to be sick but the challenge is that when children aren’t well, everyone knows about it. We have to juggle work commitments, school, and kindergarten, and try to hold it all together while probably being sleep-deprived and health-depleted too. So, of course, we want our children to get better as quickly as possible, for their sake but also so life can get back to normal.
We also want them to rest, and feel taken care of. I can still remember those (thankfully, rare) days of being sick- lying on the couch watching daytime soaps, and having my mum bring me vegemite toast and milky cups of tea. Oh, and flat lemonade. So, when my kids are sick I want to create a similar positive memory for them of being cared for, love, tended to, and given attention and understanding. Imagine that we all grow up with this kind of childhood. When we’ve had the experience of being cared for (in both sickness, and in health), then we know how giving and self-nourishing it is to care for others- for people, animals, things, the planet…
Here are five caring ideas you might try:
1. Special Delivery! Why not whiz up a get-well-soon smoothie? Pop five strawberries, a handful of blueberries, 1/2 cup spinach leaves, a cup of milk or coconut water, a banana, a scoop of protein powder, a tablespoon of chia seeds, a tablespoon of raw cacao powder, ice and a dollop of honey into a blender for a whole body boost of immunity.
2. I once gave Henrietta a healthy kid shebang! “party bag” filled with two fruit skewers, an organic lolly pop, a few soft marshmallows, a mini colouring-in book, a glow stick, and one of those OJ drinks in a box. The magic and mystery of an unexpected gift seemed to be as powerful a healing tool as any antibiotic. Wrap things individually in small squares of nondescript brown paper for an extra element of intrigue. Beauty is another gift, so why not fill the house with colourful, joyful flowers too?
3. Make your own ‘Healing basket’. Keep it ready-stocked in the cupboard. Include hair ties (to hold back hair in the event of vomit), plastic bags to collect rubbish or for wet clothes, wipes, chest rub, your homeopathic kit, a just-in-case bowl, peppermint essential oil (to mask smells, and prevent nausea), and one or two soft cotton baby face cloths. Add a change of clothes (underwear to outers) in a zip-lock bag for quick-change moments. Can you think of anything that is missing?
4. Do a craft together. One simple one is to glue a favourite photograph on top of a row of large popsicle sticks (tongue depressors) laid flat. Use a sharp blade to cut the photo between the pop sticks to make puzzle pieces. Share some quiet time putting it back together. Or fill an A4 zip lock bag with two-three cups of rice and pop 10 – 15 sweet or cute items (marble, plastic game piece, felt doll, rainbow block, playing card, etc…) inside too. It’s time for eye-spy bags. List all the things the child can find in three minutes. Can they get them all?
5. Host a pyjama party and invite all the family members to join in. Jump into yours too. Why is it that staying in pyjamas seems to help recovery so much? It does, doesn’t it. Cook a super booster dinner for everyone too (chicken or pumpkin soup with fresh herbs springs to mind). Finish it off with a sweet treat. Why not try this delicious recipe? Sweet Lemon Fingers. I love all things lemon, don’t you?
Come up with ONE caring gesture you can do when your child is unwell. Even better, write a list. Pop it on the fridge for safe keeping.
Try out one of these caring behaviors today, even if your child is super healthy. Notice how you both feel. Cared for, loved, respected, heard? And give all the members of your family a big HUG too!
Commit to the task by writing it down here in the comments below or in your 30 days of AWESOME journal.
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