“How do you get your children to nap and go to sleep on time?” (mother of 2 children, ages 2 &6)
Parents ask me about napping and sleep, wondering how to get their children to rest. To me this is an area we can learn about in the early months (how does your child soothe) and then watch as changes occur during development (add other options). Let me explain…
Victoria was 2 years old and Robbie 6, when I observed their daily routine which included home, school, sports, play, eating and even homework. Where to fit in time was the tricky question. But first, I needed to learn about their preferences. With an observation of play and sibling engagement, I noticed that Victoria would primarily soothe with touch and Robbie seemed most calm when listening to directives or music. I knew I would start by helping develop a plan that each could use for soothing.
Their mother was encouraged to allow Victoria time in a space filled with comfy blankets and tactile objects she enjoyed. She even explored providing her body with a massage. Robbie was given an auditory listening activity – Mom could massage her daughters back while saying out loud to the children to focus on their head, nose, ears, shoulders…etc. Listing the parts of the body and what and where to focus allowed for soothing. We started with only 3 minutes and then they quickly were asking for more time. Soon their mother communicated that the entire family was taking 30-45 minute breaks to regroup and soothe.
We expanded further to soothing on the go…in the car, waiting in line or at a busy dinner. The moment to check in with their senses, be aware and present in their body allowed for them all to feel rejuvenated and connected.
Their mother communicated a new appreciation for long awaited summer days – knowing she could have moments to recover and have her children withstand a full engaging day with ease.
Do your children know how to rest and support the body on a busy day? Everyday I work with children of all ages and their families to help them improve their lives. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (310) 966-0700 to schedule your time.
Please Note: These stories are based on real moments but all names, ages, and identifying information has been changed to ensure confidentiality and safety for all individuals involved. The events are a composite of related scenarios used to illustrate the work; bringing understanding to the benefits of supporting children through a mind/body connection.
Special Thanks to The Andrea Rizzo Foundation. Dreasdream.org