Help Your Child Unwind
Have you ever had a great day with your family only to find your child isn’t quite ready for the fun to be over when bedtime comes around? And you are! In fact, you are more prepared than they are! Simply put, sometimes the world is just too fun to let go, meaning that now that the younger family members are so wound up, you, as a parent, know it will be a long night.
What if you could help your child unwind after even the best or most exciting day so they could quickly fall asleep at a reasonable hour? Don’t you believe it? Then, try these techniques and see what happens. These practices with your child may be great for both of you.
Physical activity: Take a walk. A little exercise can go a long way toward unwinding. It will help them burn off a little energy in a controlled manner. The best part of walking, though, is that you get to unwind right along with them. You might be surprised to find out you need this downtime every bit as much as they do.
Relaxation Techniques: Practice deep breathing. Encourage your child to take deep breaths, inhaling slowly and exhaling through the mouth. This can help reduce stress and anxiety and promote relaxation. Take a warm bath. A warm bath can help your child relax their muscles and ease tension. Add calming essential oils, such as lavender, to the water for an extra soothing effect. Soft music or ambient sounds designed for bedtime or relaxation might help them to unwind further.
Screen-free time: Limit your child’s screen time and encourage them to engage in activities such as reading or drawing. Your child might enjoy drawing or writing about their day as part of remembering it. Or if they’re not old enough to be this articulate or want to be creative, you can give them some clay or other art materials and let them create whatever they feel like.
Stretching or yoga: Gentle stretching or yoga poses can help your child release tension and calm their mind. Try simple poses like the downward-facing dog, child’s, or butterfly poses.
Mindful meditation: Encourage your child to focus on the present moment and let go of any worries or distractions. You can use guided meditation apps or have them focus on their breath for a few minutes.
Snuggle time: Spending some quiet time snuggling with your child can be comforting and relaxing for both of you. It can be a time to talk about the day, share stories, and connect emotionally.
Bedtime routine: Even if you’re going to bed later than usual, following your typical bedtime routine will help them wind down and slip into the idea that it’s time to go to bed. It’s vital to follow portions of this routine even if you’re late, as your child already has a strong connection with it, and you want to disturb this process of unwinding as little as possible.
Overall, finding what works best for your child and their individual needs is essential. Every child is unique, and what works for one child may not work for another. Experiment with different techniques and find what helps your child unwind and relax the most. Choose what they’re naturally inclined to do. Some kids process better through talk, others through physical activity. Learn what works best for your child and go from there.
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