Written by Jasmine
Webmistress The Majickal Garden
When my daughter was young she had difficulties settling down to sleep. There was a routine we followed nightly that needed to be followed in order, for her to settle down. After teeth brushing and landing in her pajamas, the right “buddy” stuffed animal needed to be chosen as well as the story book she wanted read. Certain things in her room needed to be in their place. The door needed to be open just so to allow the proper amount of light in her room from the hall light. I know there were a few more items on her comfort list but time has removed them from my memory! If an interruption caused enough time delay or enough time passed where she could not sleep, sometimes we had to start all over again. As a busy mother of 2 sometimes this seemed to take “forever” in light of the chores I still had in front of me before I could sleep myself but I realized how important this routine was to her comfort and peace of mind.
At the time I was learning meditation for myself and the thought occurred to me that perhaps it could help her. I found a guided meditation book for children. She was around 4 or 5 years old at the time and I explained to her how this would help her relax and feel secure on her inside. After the usual routine I had her lie on her back with the covers all tucked in around her with the buddy of her choice. With her eyes closed I talked soothingly to her in explaining to focus on her breathing slowly and to “listen” to it. Then I would read the guided meditation from the book.
At first it was funny to her and we had some giggle time to get thru but after a few times she began to settle into it. We did this nightly for quite a while then the time came where we were able to let it go until it became an option for the occasion when she would feel the need to ask for it. The need for her security list began to lessen to a few basics.
After some months of the meditation time with her I had to be away for a whole week. I knew that she would have a problem with my absence for that length of time so I made a tape of some of the meditations from the book and gave her a cassette player so she could use it at night while I was away. Her dad was there for her while she played it. It was a success and made a difference for her.
There are many meditation age appropriate books for children available with different flavors depending on where your own beliefs lie as well as websites that offer free online streaming of recorded meditations. Choosing to purchase your own tapes is an option as well. Whatever you choose make sure they are intended for young children and that you are accompanying them while they use it.
The world can be a scary place for our precious children who are influenced by the media in its many forms along with their need for feeling loved and safe. Teaching them at an early age that they have control over their own level of comfort and feeling of security in knowing they are loved and supported is a valuable gift to offer them.