If you’re a parent of a little one with allergies, it can be really hard to know what to do. What I’m about to suggest is not a cure-all, but it may help minimize symptoms and/or decrease the amount of allergy medicine needed.
Here are 3 “simplifying” ways to help kiddos with allergies:
- Simplify the home environment
- Simplify scheduling
- Simplify mealtime
1. Simplifying the home, and more specifically, simplifying the amount of things (i.e. toys) in the home.
As a parent to young kiddos, I thought I had to get lots of toys to help keep things fresh and creativity flowing. But I soon realized that there was a threshold, and too many toys actually inhibited creative and imaginative play as the space they played in became cluttered and disorganized. Simplifying the home can help create physical space, emotional space and imaginative/creative space for kids.
This may seem obvious, but overwhelm in the outside environment can translate into overwhelm on the inside (and possibly show up as allergies/congestion).
So how do you embrace the power of less when it comes to a toy box? Here are some things to consider when simplifying and get rid of toys:
- Is the toy broken?
- Is it developmentally and age-appropriate?
- Does it break easily?
- Is it overstimulating?
- Is it annoying or offensive?
- Are there multiples of the same toy?
If you hold a toy and answer yes to any of these questions, get rid of it! You could help simplify your child’s life (and health) just by getting rid of that “too-much-stuff” feeling.
2. Simplify schedules and increase rhythms
This suggestion also has to do with overwhelm. Too many things to do, too many things on your plate can create a literal feeling of congestion, heaviness, foggy-thinking, confusion, etc. Simplifying schedules to include one after-school activity each week (depending on age it can increase to 2-3, but keep an eye on the stress levels and fatigue). Give your child some time to just be at home, relaxing, playing, reading, cooking, helping with chores. You might get some initial resistance, but all of this is very grounding and helps the nervous system calm down and feel more balanced.
3. Simplify mealtime
You’ve probably heard of Taco-Tuesday. Lots of restaurants run a special on tacos on Tuesdays! yum! Well what about making taco-Tuesday a part of your family dinner routine? And macaroni-Monday or tuna-casserole Thursday. You get the idea. Something easy and simple and a routine that gets kids and parents into a dinnertime routine. You don’t have to stick to the same menu indefinitely – feel free to add some variety when you feel like you can add something new without feeling overwhelmed!
Don’t forget that what you make is also important! Simplify here by using fresh ingredients (minimize processed foods!) and ask your kiddos to help. Cucumbers, zucchini, and cauliflower are easy and fun for kids to chop!
When I was younger I had a bumper sticker that quoted Gandhi, “Live simply, that others may simply live”. I wasn’t the type of person that had a bunch of bumper stickers, infact, I think that’s the only bumper sticker I’ve ever put on any of my cars. I guess it goes to show how I appreciate the idea of living simply!
Hopefully you too, can see the value in simplifying, both for yourself and your kiddos. Just try one or all of these (but don’t overwhelm yourself- that’s counterproductive!) slowly and see how it fits into your family’s life. Keep going with what works and let go of what doesn’t work. It’s simple!