Four tips for teaching your child to relax
Even as adults it’s often hard to prioritise downtime, Mother, Baby & Child offers four tips on strategies to encourage your child to relax.
1. Behaviour patterns
A child’s sleep pattern depends much upon their age – and this goes the same for when they need relaxation time. It’s best to get used to your child’s patterns and behaviour – telltale signs that they need some downtime could be appearing tired, overwhelmed, anxious or overworked. Try and work some scheduled relaxation time into their daily routine.
2. Be flexible
Listen to what your child likes to do – downtime could include reading a book alone or with a parent or listening to music. Studies have shown that activities such as yoga and meditation also help children to relax. It’s best to avoid all forms of technology – a recent study shows that time spent on a tablet can have a negative impact on the sleep routine of children as young as 18 months.
3. Together or alone
Your child may initiate quiet time, or wait for you to tell them when it should be. You may want to spend downtime together (for example reading a book with your child) or perhaps the prefer to read alone, have a discussion with your child about the type of relaxing activities they enjoy.
4. Set an example
Children learn by watching adult behaviour. If they see you responding in a stressed or anxious way to particular challenges or situations, they will do the same. Prioritising downtime will not only help you disconnect, but it will also teach the kids that this is a valuable resource they can tap into whenever they need to. It’ll also help them express themselves better whenever they feel like they need to ask for something as they develop autonomy.