Children are overstimulated through daily external inputs like a hectic activity schedule, screen time, long school days, and the internet. This can lead to information overload as a child’s life can be busy that can result in manifesting overexerting energy, anxiety, stress, or depression as a child’s life can be quite busy and overwhelming for them without realizing it.
One of the biggest signs of a child experiencing stress is displaying a hard time falling asleep that can be a result of stress. Children can also display other symptoms of stress associated with hyperactivity, headaches, nervous tics (or repeated behavior), and stomach aches. There are a couple of activities parents can engage with their child to prevent or reduce stress that is beneficial for the whole family.
The practice of meditation can greatly help children experiencing stress and a great way to start this practice with your child is with bedtime meditation. This is a simple meditation routine that is helpful in decreasing stress hormones and calming down the nervous system to promote a good night’s rest.
The general guidelines for a child’s bedtime meditation starts with meditating for a number of minutes that is equivalent to their age. If bedtime meditation proves to be helpful, you can try going on for a longtime that will naturally help ease the transition to sleep. An easy way to start this bedtime practice is following an audio-guided meditation in a calm, peaceful environment that can incorporate relaxing elements like soft lighting, aromatherapy, and gentle music.
Another form of meditation can be through deep breathing exercises that can help your child regulate their emotions in a healthy manner. Deep breathing can be implemented in moments when your child seems to feel overwhelmed, nervous, or anxious that will help them return to a balanced state.
You can start by teaching your child these breathing exercises at home and extend into teaching them how to implement this practice in their daily life that can help them throughout the day. You can start teaching your child to talk about where they feel their breath like the stomach, nose, chest, or throat then have them count while breathing.
Start with a simple technique of breathing in for three seconds, hold your breath for three seconds, breathe out for three seconds, pause for three seconds, and repeat the cycle until they feel more balanced. After practicing this technique to establish the process, you can start making the sequences longer with deeper breathing. This simple technique is great for adults and children that can help before going to sleep.
Practicing meditation and deep breathing exercises can help your child learn about mindfulness that can be a valuable resource for learning manners that can be incorporated into daycare or school. Practicing mindful meditation can teach a child to regain focus on their tasks by practicing breathwork that helps them concentrate better in school and other care settings.
You can talk to their child’s teacher about practicing mindfulness and if the school doesn’t offer a program, you can start a discussion with the school staff. You can inform them about the benefits of having a mindfulness program for students and potential methods of including it in the school curriculum or schedule.