Updated: Sep 14, 2018
One of the most important things we can do for our kids, is empower them.
There is a big wide world out there, and if you really think about it, children and pre-teens have a lack of control in most things in their life. What they wear, what they eat, what they learn at school, social activities… the list is endless!
This, along with encountering new experiences on a daily basis, can cause feelings of fear, anxiety, self-consciousness, hopelessness.
So what can we do?
We can’t change the world around our children, we can’t protect them from every outside force, and indeed, why would we want to? The joy of being a parent, carer, aunty, uncle, and grandparent is seeing our kids grow and develop, take tentative new steps into the world and flourish into confident, happy, independent and fulfilled adults.
And here we arrive back to that same key word, empowerment.
We can empower our children to manage their emotions, triggered by interactions with the world. We can allow them to discover that that negative self-talk, are only words, and in fact, they are in control of what words are said within their own minds.
We can show them that emotions have a use, they are there to keep us safe, and that they themselves have the power to change how they are feeling whenever they need to.
Mindfulness & Meditation Exercises
Once a child has learned to recognize where and how they feel those familiar feelings of fear, self-doubt and anxiety or any other strong emotion, we can show them age appropriate ways of dealing with these through mindfulness and meditation exercises and fun, memorable games. These can enable the child to change the feelings they experience as and when they need to.
Children are fantastically receptive to hypnosis. Due to their wonderfully vivid imagination, kids are able to visualize and experience sights, sounds and emotions as if they are actually there.
Anyone who has witnessed children play with dolls or action figures are aware how vivid and “real” that world is at that moment in time.
This is the most important aspect when accessing the subconscious mind, in order to make powerful positive changes to how they think, feel and act, through the use of empowering visualisation and positive suggestions.
You may even wish to include some roleplay, incorporating their favourite TV or movie characters, to ensure the child is positive and engaged throughout. Even as a fully grown “adult”, I still want to be as strong and fearless as Wonder Woman sometimes!
What can hypnosis, meditation and mindfulness help with?
Most, non-medical emotional (and sometimes physical) issues that a young person experiences can be helped through hypnosis, meditation or mindfulness.
This includes, but is not restricted to: anxiety, self-esteem & confidence issues, anger management, bed wetting, nail biting, fear of the dark, thumb sucking, sleeping issues, food & drink issues.
You can also deal with issues occurring in their world that may be affecting them negatively.
This could be starting school, taking exams, feelings from to losing a family member, friend or pet, bullying, anxiety from an illness or operation, or even something happening in the news that may be on their mind.
Sounds good, where do I go from here?
If you run a basic online search, you will find a huge number of websites containing exercises that you can practice with your child right now. You can also find the Headspace for Kids feature within the new Headspace meditation app for adults which includes daily exercises at an age appropriate level.
To get started immediately however, why not try to introduce some breathing exercises to help your child self-regulate their emotions?
Pick a relaxing time and place to practice this exercise such as after a bath or before bed. Tell them to close their eyes and imagine a peaceful place in nature, maybe a beautiful meadow or garden. Ask them stop and smell the flowers, breathing in the gorgeous scent through their nose, and breathing out through their mouth, releasing any tension along the way.
This is only one of many breathing exercises that can help regulate emotions, creating an inner sense of calm. Techniques such as these provide kids with a “toolbox” of skills they can dip into whenever they need to.
If you feel your child may benefit from a face-to-face session, or you would just like to benefit from seeing some of the exercises first hand, before you practice them at home, then we can offer session especially tailored to your child and what is worrying them specifically.
Just send a message to us to arrange an informal, completely confidential chat.