Whether it’s the fear of the dark, the pressure at school, peers, or the exams – every child at least occasionally experiences some fear, anxiety, or stress. Help your children by teaching them some of the most effective relaxation techniques and helping them reduce their stressful everyday life. This will give them useful tools that will help them throughout their lives.
Changes, School, Everyday Life
Big changes happening in the family such as going to kindergarten or school, having a new baby, divorcing parents, etc. – represent stress for the whole family. Also, some events affect children only. Sometimes these are little things that parents don’t even notice, and they confuse or upset the kids. School-age children are also stressed by school obligations.
Sometimes regular learning, grading, intermittent or continuous difficulty in keeping track of materials, resistance to particular subjects or teachers – can cause serious problems. There are also parental expectations and proof – to themselves, to you, peers, and teachers. Peer pressure also mustn’t be ignored. All this causes stress in your child. Stress can be the cause of many health and psychological issues such as abdominal pain, headaches, tics, stuttering, night fears, nail-biting, etc.
Indicators That The Child Is Under Stress
Indicators that a child is stressed are different types of unrealistic fears, depression, denial or “freezing” of emotions, passivity and a feeling of helplessness, as well as aggressive behaviour, constant feeling of tiredness or boredom. In contrast, an unencumbered kid is inherently relaxed. It shows interest in the environment, easy to concentrate, does not lose creativity and curiosity. A relaxed kid thinks with his head, struggles for his views and stays creative into adulthood. Depending on his age – you can teach your kid to do some of the mental exercises on his own. These exercises can relieve your child of the burden of stress, while some of them you can practice together.
These are some of the techniques that can help relax your child.
Have the child lie down beside you while you suggest in a soothing, slow voice that he or she imagines being in a beautiful place. Help your child imagine to be somewhere in the woods, on the beach and that you two are walking together. Don’t forget details like colours, smells, and sounds. The goal of this exercise is to divert thoughts from a stressful event to some other, relaxing content. Children over the age of 7 will already be able to understand when you explain to them that they can go to these places and practice this exercise whenever they want to rest or relax.
Listening To Music
Speaking of fantasies, this is where music can help you. Some light soothing music will help your child relax his muscles and go to some wonderful place of his imagination. Research has proven that listening to music improves physical and mental health. Relaxing daily with music leads to improved concentration, better sleep and relieve chronic stress. Listening to soothing music can help your kid focus. Even the youngest kids can enjoy listening to soothing music or musicians like Enya, Robert Miles or Josh Groban. So now find a radio station like this one – and enjoy relaxing music together.
Tell your kid to breathe deeply and, while breathing, count to three. While holding the air in the lungs, also let it count to 3, and while breathing out, also let it count to 3. Adults can also do this exercise, but counting to 4 or 4-5-4. However, for children, the right measure is 3-3-3. One of the breathing exercises is the repetition of inhalation and exhalation, for example: “I inhale joy and exhale anger”. Choose what is desirable at some point.
Have the kid lie down on the floor with arms outstretched next to the body. Tell him to lift his right leg and tighten it as much as he can, as if it were made of iron. Keep it in that position until you count to 10. Then let it relax the leg and repeat the same exercise with the left foot. In a few minutes, your kid will feel more comfortable and secure. In the same way, let the kid tighten the muscles of the arm, that is – to reach out and tighten it strongly, staying in that position until you count to ten. After that let your kid relax and repeat the exercise with his left hand.
Laughing As A Cure
Try to motivate your kid to laugh as much as possible. Even pointless tickling can be very effective. Laugh forcefully or laugh until you get caught by a burst of genuine laughter. You know already – the one that comes from your belly. Thanks to the muscles that move in this way, the whole body is filled with energy by laughing.
Ask your kid to make the craziest possible facial expression. Tightening his forehead, cheek, face and neck muscles will allow him to relax all these muscles as soon as he stops grimacing. It is important to keep the face expression until the counts of 5 and then alternate the spasm and relaxation of the face several times.
Tell the child to stand in front of the mirror and tell himself all the nice things he wants to hear from someone else. If it is easier for the child to say something nice about himself without your presence – you must enable him.
Every time after a hard day, treat your child and yourself with a shower or a rest in a tub filled with warm water. The water relaxes and provides a feeling of regeneration. You can enhance the effect of water on children by suggesting that they imagine golden drops coming out of the shower, which further has the magical power to wash away all unnecessary things that have happened during the day.
Like with adults, the quiet environment has healing effects on children. Eliminate all those common noises that make everyday life like TVs, phones, etc. – and choose silence or some light, relaxing music that will barely be heard in the background.
Your child is stressed no matter how hard you try to be different. Stress is an integral part of growing up, as it is an integral part of adult life. However, exercise promotes internal hygiene and achieves relaxation of mind, body and spirit. So, teach your child exercises that will improve his health and give him a sense of inner peace and harmony.