Can you feel it? Spring time is in the air, and with that, many of us get the desire for a fresh start. Bloggers start posting about spring cleaning, gyms start to push cleanses, and kids … well, kids start to get restless. Everyone is ready for a change; a jump-start as our winter energy gives way to the upbeat freshness of spring.
Last year, we shared about our brain health cleanse challenge. Really, anytime is a good time to clean out our brain, but with spring motivation here, start setting goals and looking at ways to get the ball rolling.
Minimalism is becoming trendy with Marie Kondo taking the Netflix spotlight, but there is a magic to having only the things in your home that spark joy. I am not suggesting you need to do a huge purge, but our brain does focus better when the energy around us is calmer and cleaner. With too much frenetic energy around us, it can be difficult to focus. This has a significant impact on sensory-sensitive children and children who struggle with focus issues. Our favorite books on minimalistic parenting are:
Simplicity Parenting the Strong Willed Child
Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids
Where Do I Begin?
Start small. Maybe create a quiet corner or peaceful space for your children to do their homework or color. Making some time in the afternoons to shut off from the chaos of the world around us can be very powerful, especially when you are a parent struggling with behavior issues.
We talk a lot about diet, detoxing from sugar, and how processed foods have a significant impact on brain health and children’s behavior. In the spring, try to focus on vegetables. There are a number of cookbooks that suggest ways to sneak them in:
The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods
Adventures In Veggieland: Help Your Kids Learn to Love Vegetables
For more, check out our article on “Seasonal Eating” for more tips on getting the most out of the spring harvest!
Another great way to get kids into vegetables is to start planting a backyard garden. When kids are involved in the process, they are WAY more likely to want to participate. Most kids love control, and when they are involved they have control, are also willing to eat and learn. Plus, you get to be outside and bond with your kids! For more on this, check out our “Gardening With Kids” article!
Also, spring is a great time to put limits on screen time. Doctor after doctor has made the connection between video games and impulsivity. 85% of the kids we see have tantrums or difficulty getting off from screens, as well as difficulty enjoying life around them. Screen time obsession is a huge epidemic, but unless parents set limits and shut off the video games, kids are not going to know any better. However, with the warm weather, you can compromise with moderation. As long as the kids go outside and play for an hour, they can have some screen time while you make dinner. Make a contest in your family to see who can use screens the least amount. When you start paying attention to how much you are on a screen, you may want to shut off, too!
Whether you work towards a clean and organized home, modify your diet, implement movement changes, or adopt a tech break, any change is going to be a good one for your kids. Try to make a goal that applies to your entire family. If you engage your children in the healthy choices you want to make for your family, you may be surprised with their positive response.