Your child can’t take a break sometimes and you would like to find ways to help them find their calm? As formally announced in my previous article, I would like to share some tips and tricks to incorporate into your daily to-do notes to help your children find more peace of mind. Serene children equal serene parents, does it go both ways though?
Here are my 10 tips & tricks that could be treated as on-fridge stickies for some, but are always good to use:
– Our 5 senses are entry doors to external information that must be “digested” by our system. The more accumulative external stimuli we gather throughout the day, the more our bodies and minds will be overreactive. In our children, this inevitably results in agitation. Nowadays, we are all facing more and more external stimulation. This reality naturally coincides with a constant increase in hyper-activity in our children too. As parents, we must limit the stimuli to which we and the society submit our children as much as possible.
– At the very top of the list of stimuli to be limited are, of course, screen times. Firstly, we have to reduce this “experience” to the maximum and in second would come to turn off mobiles, tablets, computers well before bedtime, ideally 2 hours prior, but realistically 1 hour before. The games, videos, social networks or movie content should also be monitored to restrict being exposed to violence. Watching violent and noisy scenes can install aggressive behaviour in our children, or at least shake them up to their core.
– Now comes the food which also has a direct effect on the mood and agitation of our children. The first step to bettering our diet is to have regular meal schedules so that the child’s body becomes accustomed to a routine. Being regular in the times we eat will support its emotional stability and prevent it from falling into hypoglycemia or a lethargic state because of heavy digestion.
– It is also a question of prioritizing foods that directly come from nature and are considered pure and easily digestible for our organisms. When I speak about nature’s food, I mean fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals (rice, wheat, etc.), as well as nuts and seeds. Industrial, fried, fatty foods, as well as meat, especially red one, are difficult to digest by our bodies and tend to agitate them. I am not even talking about the harmful effects that certain foods can have on our health in the long term.
– Avoid refined sugars, as in white sugar. It only creates a rush that influences our mood and physiological state from hour to hour. The less we give it to our children, the better focus and mood stability they will have. There are many recipes nowadays for cakes and sweets made from natural sugar that will treat all your taste buds and protect you from the harmful effects of sugar.
– Ayurveda teaches us to use the flavors of food for regulating our body according to what nature gave us. In order to properly handle agitation, I advise you to avoid cooking too salty and too spicy foods because these can overstimulate our bodies and minds. The sweet taste (not to be confused with the overloaded white sugar one) has a calming effect on our children. It can be found in many foods, including most fruits, as well as rice, wheat, oats, millet, vegetables such as asparagus, beets, carrots, cucumbers, potatoes, squash, tomatoes, legumes as well as most beans, hazelnuts, soy, all nuts and seeds.
– A little Ayurvedic tip for you: If you want to help your children to stay calm, you should give them a spoon of organic honey every day (avoid mass-produced honeys that can be toxic), mixed in a glass of warm water. Honey has calming properties and comforts our minds. No honey should ever be heated because it becomes toxic for your body. A glass of hot milk about twenty minutes before bedtime is also beneficial for a calm and restful sleep.
– As already explained in my previous article, it is important that we, parents, remain calm in front of our children. Let us not forget that we are their role models and if we are constantly agitated ourselves, there is a good chance that our babies will be too. Do yoga, go out in nature, let your mind breathe, take care of yourself!
– Do not be afraid of discipline. When I say that I don’t mean punishing and applying destructive discipline that makes us feel strong on the outside, but rather such as Jane Nelsen’s Positive Discipline. Children need to be disciplined in a gentle way and require it as much as love.
– Let me add a little touch of the “yogi” in there. Teach your children that when they are restless, they should just stop and take a few deep breaths to calm down. Moreover, if you have a conflict with your child, I recommend you to take a few deep breaths before reacting. And if you can introduce them to meditation as well, I promise you, that will be the best gift that you can give them for life.
Here is the itsy-bitsy recipe for calmer children. I myself have two and apply my own day-to-day recommendations to them. Sometimes they are calm and other times they are overexcited, the days when they are the latter, I simply end up accepting it by reminding myself that they are children and that this too will pass.
If you need help, do not hesitate to send your children to my Yoga & Fun for Kids class on Wednesdays at 2pm at Shanti Club or Fridays at 5 pm at the Sivananda center so that I can give you a hand in supporting your children!