Mindfulness training in children helps them sleep

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Philippe Gloaguen
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Awareness of one's potential and limitations helps to feel good about oneself, to live more peacefully, to make the right decisions by better facing fears and defeats. It is also true, indeed above all, for the little ones, who in the delicate phase between about 12 months and 3-4 years, live new and stimulating experiences on a daily basis, which can however translate into fears and insecurities. These feelings are not to be ignored or underestimated. Indeed, it is important to provide your child with the tools to become aware of them, manage them and ultimately overcome them. To achieve this, awareness training in children is an important tool for growth and maturation.

In this article

  • Mindfulness training in children against fears
  • Mindfulness training in children through play
  • Mindfulness training in children is a time of sharing
  • Mindfulness training in children, at home or outdoors
  • Mindfulness training and bedtime
Read also: The discovery of one's body through play

Mindfulness training in children against fears

Le fears while growing up they are completely normal and part of the evolution process. Around 18-24 months, your baby may be afraid of being removed from his parents and home because he does not yet have the knowledge that he will see them again soon. Later, from 2-3 years onwards, the child experiences more animated fears: for example, he fears monsters, ghosts, the black man. Frightening and imaginary figures, completely real for him, deriving from a fervent imagination capable of translating new everyday experiences into something concrete. At this stage, your baby may have trouble sleeping, struggling to doze off and waking up in the middle of the night. Pretending nothing, reproaching him is useless and can be counterproductive. On the other hand, awareness training in children or mindfulness is very useful in this phase, which helps them to become aware of sensations, to master them and to fully experience them if they are positive, to dominate them without being overwhelmed by them if they are negative.

Mindfulness training in children through play

Mindfulness training in children helps to cope in a balanced way, relying on their own strength, the anger, frustration and even the loneliness that your little one may experience in the moment of going. to rest, alone in his room. In fact, he will be calmer and more serene, he will get used to concentrating on the reassuring noises in the background such as cars passing by in the street, the voices of the parents in the other room, the sound of the TV in a nearby apartment, ignoring instead the silence that can frighten him. . In addition, he will see in the shadows on the ceiling, cast by the reassuring lamp on the bedside table, friendly and cheerful figures and as something scary. Difficult to get to all this? Far from it, because awareness training in children is within everyone's reach and passes through the modality that children know best: play.

Mindfulness training in children is a time of sharing

The play mode is able to amplify the perception of sensations in your child through calm and well-being, in a simple and fun path that the little one will learn to implement independently. Before bed, when he can feel a moment of loss, or at kindergarten in the occasion of a bit of homesickness, or whenever he feels the need, your child will be able to draw on his own inner resources to reach a state of calm, a source of serenity and well-being. Mindfulness training in children is therefore taught through games and routes that can be done together with the whole family, siblings, grandparents and even friends, also turning into an important moment of sharing.

Mindfulness training in children, at home or outdoors

And here are some ideas for playing with your child, while at the same time implementing an important path of awareness. Let's start with what you can do at home, in the child's bedroom or even in front of the window, looking at the outside world. Invite the child to close his eyes and do so too. The perception of the dark, usually frightening, takes on a different value together with the mother, if you invite the child to focus on the auditory sensations that come from nearby houses, or from the street. They can be as pleasant as the cheerful voices of other people or the rustling of the branches and in this case you can comment on them together to increase their positive and reassuring perception: "hear how the lady upstairs laughs", "the wind in the trees," listen ... it sounds like music "," today the birds are only happy, it will be because it is a beautiful day ". The same can be done with odorous or tactile sensations, inviting the child, especially if you are outdoors, to smell the flowers and herbs, the smell of the sea, to touch the bark of the trees, the sand, the stones. .

Mindfulness training and bedtime

Once your child has learned to experience positive feelings, you can teach him to manage the less pleasant ones, which generate fears. Annoying noises, dark shadows must be reinterpreted on a level tailored to his age, to bring them out of the dimension of the unknown so that the little one can understand and interpret them. The noise of a motorcycle that makes him jump will be less annoying, when the child hears it alone in the room, if mom and dad learn to laugh about it with him, explaining that "maybe that bike is old and broken" and conveying the thought about something funny. The clouds in the sky, which resemble flowers, little lambs, can be compared to the shadows that the lamp casts on the ceiling of the room. With them, the child will learn to create reassuring stories, bringing the sensations back to a concrete dimension that he himself knows how to manage. And slipping into sleep will be more peaceful and pleasant.

Sources for this article

  • Section dedicated to the fears of children of the AIAMC - Associazione Del Paesena for analysis and modification of behavior and behavioral and cognitive therapy
  • Practical guide for parents of the Fimp - Federation of Paesena pediatricians
  • Text on mindfulness in children by AIDAI - Del Paesena Association for Attention and Hyperactivity Disorders

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