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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Why We Need to Encourage Our Kids to do Chores

My son learned sewing in his class when he was 9. I bought him a small sewing kit he could bring to class. He would proudly show me his stitches and I would teach him how to sew and mend.

One Saturday afternoon, I decided to mend some clothes and suddenly my son told me he would sew them for me. This was unexpected. After all classes have already ended, so why would he still want to sew? I really thought, sewing was just for the grades and all.

I watched him as he sew, lips pursed and he was taking it all seriously. He was actually into it. After that whenever there would be something to mend, I would ask him and it became one of his chores.

My son is now 13 and is learning how to play the guitar, spends most of his time playing  video games or watching NBA games. But whenever there is something to mend, he still volunteers to sew the torn pajamas. 

He also does other household chores. He cleans his room, wash dishes, help with the laundry and takes out the trash. Sometimes, he also cooks rice and help me with baking. His younger brother, 8, is his assistant most of the time. I let them help out with the chores. Simply because they need to learn this.

So why do we need to teach our kids to do chores?

Enhance basic skills.

Sewing is a basic skill. It is not a gender role. Gone are the days, when only girls are taught how to sew. Sewing is for girls. Carpentry is for boys. Gone are the days, when boys are mocked when they sew clothes. It is a basic skill. Useful and practical. Both boys and girls need to learn this.

We don’t have to force girls to “love and practice” sewing. If our daughters are more interested in carpentry or electronics, why not? We don’t have to stop our sons from choosing sewing over carpentry. Let them be!

Reinforce good values.

Through chores, good values are reinforced. They learn more on how to do things on their own or independence which they will use later in life. Tasks and chores at homes remind kids that life is all about responsibilities. Before a chore gets done, it requires kids to devote some time and attention and sometimes they need to sacrifice something for them to finish their chore. Tasks make kids more patient and to prioritize as well. In doing chores, kids also learn to value hard work.

Improve self-worth.

When kids are given a chance to contribute to housework, they feel accomplished and this improves their self-worth. Having a "role" at home makes them feel more important and a sense of belonging, too. After finishing a task like taking out trash or putting away toys, giving them a high-five, "thank you" or a praise like "good job" is more than rewarding for them. 


Self-discipline is a very important trait. Through chores, kids practice self-discipline. They will also learn how to prioritize chores and allot time for other personal activities. When doing chores, let your kids be involved in making the chore list and chore schedule, In that way, they have a personal involvement.

Promote team-work.

Doing chores as a family will foster cooperation, unity and team-work. This will also remind your kids that they belong to a team where they should also function as a team-player who is willing to do his or her own part for the team to be successful.


So you see, teaching household chores to our kids is 

more beneficial to them than to us!

Probably today, they would complain a lot, 

but as they grow older, they will realize the importance of these chores.

There are ways on how to to make chores easier to do, 

fun to do and more rewarding. All you have to do is to be creative!

Sunday, May 30, 2021

6 Simple Relaxation Techniques for Kids

Kids have a lot of activities each day. From morning til night, they spend their time  watch television, do some school activity or household chore, read books, interact with others,  follow instructions or play with toys or video games. 

Even though their activities may seem simple or easy, kids also get tired, feel upset or feel stressed or get overwhelmed. So yes, they also need to learn how to pause and let their young minds and bodies relax.

What is relaxation?

According to the psychologydictionary, relaxation is defined as the "state of being relaxed. Refreshment of mind and body; reduction in intensity of tension or  vigor; musculature returning to an inactive state after contraction." 

Kids, with all their agility, enthusiasm, and energy, still needs to pause and relax. They also need to refresh their young minds and bodies.  They need to relax in order to regain their strength.

Here are 6 simple relaxation techniques for kids!

1. Breathing Exercise  

Have you ever seen your kids when they feel stressed or scared? When faced with something stressful, some kids freeze or some cry. Other kids turn pale and some turn bright red. You can even hear their hearts beat faster and their breathing becomes more and more shallow. These are the natural reactions of their young body.  

Basically, deep breathing helps the body to get more oxygen into the bloodstream and also helps the heart to slow down. It also lowers the blood pressure and helps the body to calm down.

It is very important for our kids to learn and practice breathing exercises. It will help them adapt a good relaxation technique. It will also help them cope up with problems in a positive way.

So how can we teach our kids deep breathing?

If it is your first time to teach your kids deep breathing, you can use a feather or a pinwheel. 

First, let your kid stand straight and hold the feather near the mouth. Then, let your kid inhale then hold it and count 1 - 2 - 3. Then slowly, let your kid exhale, blowing the the feather gently. Let your kid repeat this again at least 5 times.

For more breathing tricks for kids, you may also read this! 

2. Happy Walk 

According to a recent research study, a 10-minute bout of brisk walking can improve mood state. 

When kids walk, their muscles, such as the hamstrings, the erector muscles of the spine and the hip muscles move and stretch. Walking also helps loosens their young muscles and joints and relaxes their entire body. 

Walking also gives kids a sense of independence while satisfying their curiosity. And with every step they take, kids feel more connected with their surrounding and feel more calmness.

Walk. Walk. Walk.

Let your kids take a walk. A walk to the park or around the front yard. A walk across the street and just find bugs. A walk around the garden and let your kids smell the roses or look for butterflies. 

Walking, as they, is good for the soul. It simply lifts the spirits up. 

3. Music and Movement

You put your right foot in
You take your right foot out
You put your right foot in
And you shake it all about
You do the hokey pokey
And you turn yourself around
That's what it's all about!

Who would ever forget this song? I remember when I used to teach grade-schoolers in the language academy, young students get really stressed in learning English. I heard a 6-year old student say, "Teacher I am too tired to speak" or another who would just hide his face on his book and pretend to sleep. So one time, I used this song and I told them that we are just going to sing and dance for that day since it was Friday. We sang this song and I noticed they were having fun moving their bodies with the song and laughed in following the movements. Soon everybody was having fun and we ended the song in giggles. After that song, they seemed more relaxed and comfortable in class.

According to Maria Rodriguez-Ayllon, "Young people who exercise more have lower levels of depression, stress and psychological distress, and higher levels of positive self-image, life satisfaction and psychological well-being."

When the pandemic started, our kids spend most of their time at home. Unlike before, they cannot just go out to play. Their lives became more and more sedentary. With this, they are glued in their seats and watch television or play video games. How can we ever encourage them to move their bodies?   

One of the ways to encourage our kids to exercise is to use music videos. Seeing other kids move and dance with popular music can draw them to exercise.

Kids just love to move it, move it!


For some zumba videos for kids, check this out!

4. Visualization 

Hospitals can be really frightening for kids. The sight of people in white, medical equipment and syringe can be stressful for a 7-year-old kid. That is how my son felt at that time. I held his hand and I can feel his small hand trembling and his hear was really beating so fast in spite of my calm voice and warm hug. He was only 7 and he needed to undergo surgery in a few hours. 

With a happy voice, I asked him what his favorite movie and he said "Toy Story." We talked about Woody and  Buzz Lightyear. So I told him to imagine that he was watching his favorite TV program and hold on to that thought. He looked a little more relaxed after that.

A child's imagination is very important. It helps them cope up with stressful activities. When we let them visualize a favorite cartoon character, a favorite vacation place, a favorite friend, or favorite food, it helps them think of happy and positive thoughts.

Through visualization, we let them focus their mind and energy into one particular thing, person or event that gives them a positive feeling. And when kids get that positive feeling, the body then relaxes. 

5. Yoga for Kids

A thousand of years ago, a relaxation technique which involves movement, meditation and breathing technique surfaced in India. This was known as Yoga which was derived from the Sanskrit root "Yuj" which meant "to join" or "to unite."

Yoga is believed to unite the mind, body and spirit of a person and generally promotes mental and physical well-being.

Nowadays, more and more people practice Yoga and reap its benefits. Kids can also get a lot of benefits from yoga!

To start with, Yoga helps kids about self-awareness and mindfulness. It also improves kids how to focus and improve concentration skills. Through Yoga, kids utilize the various part of the body in a smooth and well-controlled manner. These movements also further enhance kids' flexibility and strength. Yoga also improves mood and affect.

Here are some easy yoga poses for kids: 

Image source: 

 For more ideas or information about Yoga for kids, just click these sites:

 6. Playing an Instrument

Primarily, playing musical instrument cultivates love for music and enhance musical abilities. But do you know, playing an instrument is also a good relaxation technique?
Playing instruments help kids calm their nerves. This also let them focus on making music rather than focus on their problem. In addition, as kids play their instruments, it lowers their stress hormone and make them feel relaxed.
Some instruments like woodwind instruments let kids practice deep breathing which I have mentioned earlier is a good relaxation technique. In playing drums, kids use their hands, feet and a lot of muscles which also becomes some kind of good exercise as well.
As kids run their fingers on the guitar strings or piano keys, they tend to forget about their stressor or problem which helps their heartbeat and blood pressure to a healthier level.
Creating their music with instruments also pave way for self-expression. Whether they want to create soft or loud music, slow or fast rhythm, they can express how they feel.

If you are thinking of using this technique but you don't have an idea how to help your kid get the instrument for them, read this!  


As parents, we need to remind our kids about the 

importance of relaxation and how it affects their 

physical and mental health. 

We also need to show them that 

it is AS IMPORTANT as being active and playing 

and should be part of their self-care. 

Lastly, we need to guide them always and 

let them choose to adapt relaxation techniques

that are HEALTHY and POSITIVE .