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As you wrap yourself in the spirit of giving this season don’t forget to include yourself as a recipient of your own generosity.  While you’re at it, include your kids and teach them the art of prioritizing oneself.  Too often we unwittingly give our children the message that everyone else should come first.  We over-commit, over-dedicate and generally over-do.  Our children see this and follow our lead of rushing and putting other first even if at the expense of our own mental or emotional well-being.

This holiday season help your kids learn to make time for themselves.  Try one of our suggestions for giving back to yourself or let us know what you do with your children to teach them this important skill.

1.  Have a mandatory quiet time.  Turn off the house phones, the cell phones, the computers and have everyone pick their favorite place to hang out in the house.  Every person does something they enjoy for at least 30 minutes; read, color, journal, listen to music on an mp3 player, bird watch or anything else that feels self-serving.

2.  Have a “Pamper Me Party” with the kids.  Help the kids pick out lotions, nail polish, bubble bath ect.  Turn on some soothing music and join the kids in a little at home spa indulgence..  Help younger children learn the art of self-care by helping them with the pampering or just let them soak in a bath while you sit close by relaxing to the scent of a lavender scented candle.

3.  Do some yoga with your child.  It strengthens and relaxes.  There is an excellent child friendly version of yoga on Self-Esteem the DVD by Little Soul Productions. (www.littlesoulproductions.com)

4.  Make a cut out of your child and provide glue and embellishments.  Encourage them to make the doll in a way that expresses what their own beauty and love looks like.

5.  Snuggle with your child and watch their favorite TV show or movie. Turn off all distractions and hold off on any chores until the show during this “down-time.”

6.  Sit for 10 minutes and just practice breathing.  Deep breaths with closed eyes.  Inhale and exhale evenly.  You can play soothing music or light incense if you wish.  This time can eventually turn into a family meditation time.

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