CARERS LOFT

Stress Relief and Self Care Tools And Resources For Carers and Caregivers Of Loved Ones

How To Relax Kids

how to relax kidsHow to relax kids in today’s world is becoming more and more elusive and difficult due to children being exposed to higher incidences of stressful situations in everyday life.

 

Relax Kids – The Wishing Star

 

Marneta Viegas wrote a book called The Wishing Star, now part of a series known as ‘Relax Kids’, which I would recommend you look into if you know of any children that need some help to bring about relaxation. It is a book that teaches children how to relax through simple meditation exercises using visualisation and imagination. It is very quick, takes about 5 – 10 minutes only, and can be done as a sleep aid, or for helping calm a child down during the day like a meditation.

 

It’s All About The Tools

 

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Tools For Supporting My Granddaughter While Caring For My Daughter

Because this site is about introducing you to tools and resources to combat stress and to assist you in your self-care, I wanted to give you information about this book. It is one of the tools I grab on a regular basis due to my granddaughter requiring help to relax as she struggles living with a mentally ill mother whom I am a carer for.

 

If It Helps My Granddaughter, It Helps Me!

 

It helps me by helping my granddaughter to cope with anything that is causing her a bit, or a lot of stress. It reduces the amount of time I need to spend on soothing her and allows me to spend time with her doing more fun things instead of always having to tend to her emotional needs.

 

Why Would A Child Need Help To Relax?

You wouldn’t really expect that children might have need of relaxation tools as well as we adults do, but I can assure you there are many out there in society that do. Gone are the days when children were careless and carefree.

 

The Womb Is A Safe Place – Wrong!

 

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The Womb Is Still Not 100% Cushioning

Sadly it can start from a very young age, even being in the womb is not a safe zone nowadays. If a developing infant in the womb is exposed to a mother who experiences high levels of anxiety all day, everyday, like my granddaughter has been, they are already at a disadvantage from birth, first in feeling anxious themselves, and in learning how to cope with stress. They often suffer anxiety to varying degrees similarly to the mother, even though the trauma may have been different.

 

Their Environment  Leads To Physical Or Tangible Symptoms

 

Children are also affected by the people around them and if those people just happen to have a mental illness or are unstable in any way, shape or form, it impacts them enormously. They are not able to tell us when they are feeling stressed, they don’t recognise the indicators the way we might be able to. Therefore it manifests in poor behaviours or in sore tummies or anxiousness for no apparent reason. Well the latter two are how it affects my 7 year old granddaughter.

 

Taking Care Of My Granddaughter Is Also Part Of My Carer Role

 

For 7 years she’s been having to deal with a mum who is not in control of her emotions and is explosive. I do my best to keep her from suffering too much from her mother’s outbursts, which I am sure that I have been the calm ocean at the center of the storm for her, but of course it still has an impact on the poor little tyke, who hasn’t had the best start in life as it is, having been grown in her mother’s womb while suffering long term extreme anxiety. I have been so committed to helping her that I learned Reiki, Raindrop Technique, Vitaflex, to use to bring about a way for her to relax. I also use other tools too, such as essential oils, mindfulness, healing tones, coloring in, subliminal CDs and a few more. For the record, I try to use these with her mother also, but she isn’t so willing to try new things at the moment.

 

She Can’t Help It!

 

Her mother’s volatility, even though it is not something she can easily control, takes it toll on her daughter. My daughter has developmental (or complex) post traumatic stress disorder where emotions that she doesn’t even realise she is feeling can leap out at people when something triggers her toddler brain’s memory for her. By toddler brain, I mean that when my daughter was ill as a child, her developing brain as a toddler was severely affected by the long term treatment she underwent and now it reverts back to that brain when emotionally triggered.

 

“Fire In The Hole”

 

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Just waiting to explode

I wish we had the luxury of the ‘fire in the hole’ warning when explosives are about to be used, because it would save us a lot of heartache and treading on egg shells in terms of triggering my daughter’s episodes. She really does explode on a regular basis which has the ability to put us on edge all of the time, just waiting for the next one. That can’t be good for a young child to be always at risk of being screamed at, or even hit, although I’d like to think that while my daughter has been known to hit me, she wouldn’t do that to her own daughter. So far we haven’t got to that stage and I hope it never gets that bad.

 

Tummy Aches, Vomiting, Not Wanting To Go To School, Wanting Cuddles All The Time, Not Wanting To Be Alone Are All Issues For My Granddaughter.

 

Usually my daughter doesn’t lash out at my granddaughter, it is usually me that cops it, however on occasion, her little one has caught the brunt of an episode. It can affect her in many ways, but mostly she gets quite anxious, suffers from sore tummies from worrying, sometimes waking up because of it, and she has trouble going to sleep at night. There is fear that I am going to leave the house for my own protection, although I would always take her with me. She is then torn between coming with me and staying home with her mum, because at the end of the day, she loves her mother and knows she is loved by both of us, which I think has been a saving grace for her. We may have a topsy turvy home, but it is still a loving home for much of the time.

 

I Wish I Could Read My Daughter Better But Even I Don’t Know When It Will Hit

 

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Keeping It All Locked Up Inside

It breaks my heart when my granddaughter is talking to my daughter and something triggers her, and you can just see in the poor little darling’s face that she really has no idea why Mummy has suddenly stated yelling. It happens so suddenly and unexpectedly that no one can know in advance and prepare themselves for the onslaught. The precious little thing has learned to hold her emotions inside, which is one of the reasons it is so important for me to help her learn relaxation skills, so that when these things happen, she can try to calm herself so that she can understand more quickly that she didn’t do anything wrong.

 

My Daughter Feels It Too

 

It is upsetting for my daughter when she comes down from whatever emotion set her off and realises she misinterpreted something or she erupted from a memory, and then she feels bad for her daughter. My granddaughter is pretty clever and I believe, I have to believe, that she takes it all in her stride most of the time and accepts that is the way Mummy is, and not let it work it’s way into her own self worth. We are big on praise for that reason. Because life can get a bit hairy at times, we try to give her self esteem and confidence so that she will be more balanced.

 

Life Is Tough, But Not So Tough That We Can’t Show Love

 

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“Collect Your Prize Here”. My Granddaughter Loves Her Mummy

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My Granddaughter With Her ‘Hug Shop’ For Her Mummy

I want to make it clear here that even though we live in a volatile situation, and my daughter is a walking time bomb for some of that time, this does not mean that she is a mean person, or angry all the time.

So that does help make up for the bad times and probably helps my granddaughter to see that she is loved.

You can see in these photos, even though they are not the best quality because they were snapped quickly, that she is a wonderful and caring little girl. I’m so proud that she has the ability to keep her own love alive and available for her mum even through the hard times. We’ve done that together, as a family.

 

I Reach For My Trusty Tools

 

Anytime I feel a need to give my granddaughter a bit of a boost, I reach for anything I can to help her get through her stress. The book, The Wishing Star, is definitely one I highly recommend to have on hand, especially when you are at a loss with how to relax kids. My granddaughter often will ask me to read it to her at bed time, even when not stressed because she enjoys it.

I think she likes that it gives us time together, we can be silly with our imaginations and let them run wild, because I usually go off on my own little tangent with additions to the story and she laughs with me. Or I will continue on with the story to prolong it a little, often telling her what else I can see and asking her if she can see it too. I like to help develop her imagination by showing her anything is possible in your imagination, there are no limits. I hope that by doing this, she will always be able to find hope in a bad situation and laugh even in times of sadness.

 

If you have used The Wishing Star, or any other tools to help children learn about dealing with stress, I would be grateful if you would share them in my comments section below. The more ideas we can throw out there, the more chance we can help children get through.

 

Thank you for reading.

 

Warm Wishes

Ange

 




 

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