Just the other day a fellow mother asked me about my advice about calming her 9-year-old son who is very restless and agitated. This was not easy for me because there are a multitude of factors that may be at play and the solution is not that simple. I thought that I know other restless and agitated children, so I figured why not write an article about the topic!
Even if it’s not your child specifically, I’m sure that you have all already heard stories from other families about restless children. Just maybe, you’re a little hectic yourself and you need help too!?
First of all, I have to state the obvious – children are full of life, often work with no filters, are in most cases noisy, chaotic, spontaneous and talkative and yes, even more so than us.
Sometimes I, too, would like my children to behave just as my friends do – in a peaceful, calm and caring way. I hope though that you will understand where I am coming from as you read on, as the first step is to realize that a certain amount of agitation and excitement is completely natural to see in our little darlings.
Today’s children live in a totally different reality from the one we grew up in for sure. I’m not here to talk about the good old days and to say how much better everything was before. The world is as it is and there is no point in being nostalgic and refusing the realities of our children’s daily lives today.
You surely know what I’m talking about, but let me give you a list of some things that are different nowadays:
– The internet with its social networks specifically made for teenagers that, of course, younger children also use
– YouTube and its new stars that my children strive to make me appreciate but I resist to do so fiercely
– Video games that are sometimes rather violent and very addictive
– The bad food that is a direct result of industrialization and which they sometimes consume because of their lack of time
– Global warming which is no longer a myth and whose alarming messages are part of their daily lives
– Terrorist attacks that can happen on every street corner
– Heads of state elected by the people and who transmit values that are for the very least doubtful or even downright hateful and violent
And then we have us, the parents, who always try to do our best but also very often are overwhelmed by those millennial events. To our own reality we could add i) the daily stress related to this consumer society ii) the lack of employment security and therefore financial stress, iii) the typical inflammatory diseases, chronic ones and cancers that are constantly increasing and affecting the older and younger population.
I think that today more than ever, it is essential that we, as adults and parents, stop and realize that the frenzy that is surrounding us often leads us towards this constant state of agitation and places where we can barely truly breathe.
Therefore, our first step would be to look at ourselves and realize that perhaps the environment we are experiencing also influences the world of our children. This can certainly explain some of their agitation. What can we do to start relaxing and calming ourselves, what can we do to find a little inner peace?
If we can calm down alongside our children, we could lead happier and healthier lives. What we can do is nurture the time spent with our family – appreciate those walks out in nature, sports activities, board games, DIY projects, cultural discoveries. It is thus a question of limiting the noisy and agitating shopping centers on the weekends, decreasing the times where everyone speaks over each other, and obviously lower the time spent in front of screens.
Our 5 senses are constantly stimulated and unfortunately so in a very harmful physical and mental way. They are like external antennas through which the information of the world around us is absorbed, naturally after it is digested by the body and the mind. The more information around us, in the form of noise, smells, images, tastes and sensations, the more our physiological and psychological systems will be stimulated and the more we risk an overdose of it. Our children are even more exposed to the hustle and bustle and can suffer through a risk of exhaustion much more.
I invite you herewith to reflect on your daily life, the external stimuli around you, and simply to first realize how your senses are always stimulated. Be aware that even a party with friends can be a boost to them, so it can become an overload of information for your system. Try to gradually eliminate or replace those moments with quietness and relaxation time for your own prosperity and that of your children.
I speak from experience, because I have made the leap from a life set in overactivity, overstimulation and overconsumption to a much more peaceful one that most often takes place in the sweet quiet corners. I am, of course, also confronted with stress, noise and restlessness but I now know what makes me feel good or not and most of all, I know how to digest those information overloads and refocus, as well as regain my inner calm.
Yoga, meditation, walks in nature, soft music, a book, or just spending quality time with my children give me the strength to relaunch myself in this beautiful, nourishing and quiet energy.
Well, I did not talk a lot about solutions for troubled children, but in the end, I think that our sweethearts are only the results, if not the victims, of our society filled with overconsumption, and that the first step towards finding ourselves and them therein is to slow down our pace, so that they too can also do that.
I promise that I will share some more concrete tips and tricks as to calming our little babies in the future. Follow my page if you haven’t yet and make sure not to miss a single article!