Today’s Mantra: I am calm, safe and relaxed
As previously mentioned I am having a little trouble with my three year old’s sleeping habits.
I tried a few helpful hints from friends and my blog readers but nothing really has worked. So I caved in and called the baby helpline…speed dial 1.
They trotted out the “camp bed in his room” advice and I will probably do it soon. When I am fed up of the night waking.
The thing is even his bedtime routine has changed. The minute we go to leave (after we have got him drowsy, cosy and peaceful) he sits bolt upright and screams, “I don’t want to stay by myself!”.
He is scared of something and I don’t want to trivialise it but last night I’d had enough and threatened to close his door if he kept yelling. That did the trick but only after I tried Ngala’s one other piece of advice which I am gob-smacked I have never thought to try before.
Meditation for children.
I spent last week researching books and ipad apps for this and even borrowed a gorgeous book called Buddah at Bedtime by Dharmachari Nagaraja (I’m going to buy it). He didn’t really want to hear any of it. I think he was too stressed to be relaxed.
Last night however it was just me and him, snuggled up trying to allay his fears when I started telling him to relax his toes, knees, thighs, hips, stomach, chest, shoulders, neck, head, tongue, mouth, jaw, cheeks, eyes, hair. In a very calm, steady voice.
Under the covers I felt him move and relax his muscles.
I then did a little visualisation with him where we went into a forest covered with trees, trees that had beautiful golden leaves that shimmered in the patches of sunlight. Here he was safe, protected and loved. I asked him to wade into the refreshing water of the lake, first his feet, ankles, knees and so on until he was floating on his back, under the shade of the shimmering gold leaves. He then took a few calming breaths here and I felt him relax.
Although this is not the solution to my problems (I don’t think), it does raise an interesting question about meditation and its uses with children.
Will we be able to raise less anxious more self-assured kids if we teach them this valuable tool? Is it worth trying to calm their fears and worries?
We tend to trivialise their worries but monsters, separation and bullying are just as scary to them in their world as unemployment, divorce and poverty are in ours.
If you want to read further on the subject Goldie Hawn’s 10 Mindful Minutes is a gorgeous book about teaching your children the secrets to their emotional health through the power of their mind. There are some gorgeous little exercises in there too aimed at slightly older children than mine but I am looking forward to trying them out.