Small steps that parents can take to help.
Although acupuncturists have lots of tricks up their sleeve, as a parent it is easy to become overwhelmed. I find that just adding one thing at a time really helps. Once I have gotten a handle on that particular change then I can move onto the next step. This helps to reduce what seems like a dauntingly huge task.
How do we nurture a child’s shen?
- Allow time for consolidation and repetition. Children want to hear the same stories, go through the same rituals, hug the same teddy bear.
- Normal physical activities help to maintain health and strengthen the body’s ability to resist disease. Encourage outdoor free play where kids can run, jump, skip, and climb. Outdoor play also helps children to be imaginative, expressing themselves and learn about the world in their own way. This all promotes autonomy, decision-making, and organisational skills.
- Proper rest can relieve the weariness of the body and mind as well as restore physical strength and mental power. Allow children down time.
- Encourage parents to nurture their child. Respect and listen to them. They are only little for such a short time, so be present in the moment with them.
- Give children the opportunity for creative play without the stimulation of the television or computers. Get involved with their pretend magical play. I have found from personal experience that limiting or even removing screen time can make a significant difference. A child’s imagination is limitless and given the opportunity to explore it, is magical to watch.
- Provide a healthy well balanced diet, eating real food including good oils and fats, eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables, organic meat, and full fat dairy. Remove additives, processed foods and especially soft drink or soda.
Beneficial supplements I recommend as an Acupuncturist:
- Cod liver oil
- Natural Vitamin D. At least 15 minutes a day playing out in the sun. No sunscreen or hats. Ideally either before 11am or after 4 pm when the UV index is at a safe level.
- Probiotics. Best sources naturally from food. This including including yoghurt, sauerkraut, kefir or kombucha just to name a few. Another great source of probiotics is letting your child dig in the garden. Another great reason to plant a veggie garden if you can.
Benefits when screen-time is limited?
After several days of the television being removed and it finally stopped being the centre of his world our little boy returned. To our amazement all of the following occurred. He became:
- and better able to concentrate
He was able to settle easier at night following his bedtime stories and his sleep improved.
It’s not easy to eliminate or even reduce screen time in our IT riddled world, but on so many levels the benefits that is has are profound. Each child reacts differently to screen time, but if you are having trouble with it ruling your life and the life of your child it is definitely worth the effort. It is amazing what your children will discover and what you will discover about your child.
Until next time, happy parenting.
If you liked this article and would like to know more about the benefits of Chinese Medicine in helping to nurture your children naturally you can access more information at barefootparenting.com.au