It’s been a huge 2020 for our school kids, and now with the school year returning to ‘normal’ you might find you have some INCREDIBLY TIRED minds coming home. This can sometimes present as grumpiness, lack of resilience or even, strangely enough, MORE ENERGY!!
Excitement and stress (which they will experience in bucketloads) has flooded adrenalin into their bodies and this adrenalin will needs to be offset in order to rebalance.
Our kids will need to deliberately plug into CALM (and in doing so activate their parasympathetic nervous system). They can do this by using some of the following:
Anxiety is transferable and so is calm. Things like reading a book together, hair brushing, playing cards, watching a screen or painting nails all allow for two people to be close enough to transfer calm.
LOTS OF TALKING
Talking can be counterproductive if conversations aren’t “high quality”. Amongst other things, high quality conversations have a best time. Daily reflections should be done as early in the evening as possible as it is likely to active kid’s brains. After debriefing, it can be helpful to allow teens and young people to ’stare into the fire’ by watching TV as part of the family.
Watching television relaxes you. The almost undetectable screen flicker is a perfect mechanism for lowering our brain waves into the alpha state, the condition we’re going for when we meditate. This is why it’s so effective for calming an agitated or over-stimulated kid! (of course – everything in moderation – not too much TV time that eats into sleep time and … see the next point!)
Screen time releases the production of melatonin in the brain, which interferes with sleep. Try to avoid cellphones, bright lights, computers, loud music, and TV at least 2 hours before bedtime.
Sleep is super important to help our bodies heal, recharge, and boost the immune system. Teens and young people need a lot more sleep than adults do. Research shows they need between 9 and 9.5 hours sleep each night! (Wouldn’t that be nice!).
DRINK MORE WATER
Dehydration can also result in number of difficulties with concentration and, of course physical tiredness. Making sure your ‘little-me’s’ drink around 5 glasses (1 litre) for 5 to 8 year olds. 7 glasses (1.5 litres) for 9 to12 year olds. 8 to 10 glasses (2 litres) for 13+ years is recommended.
AAANNND of course – ROUTINE!! It is so important in so many ways and not just for our youngsters, but us as well. Not only does it create a sense of safety and calm through predictability, but it also helps the body associate relaxation with particular activities (ie, a warm bath/shower and a story), and helps our body clocks to set, so falling asleep at the right time is easier.
Consider more of a step down approach to bedtime and allow a few more hours than normal to unwind and de-stress.
If you need more tips or help, feel free to reach out: [email protected]