During these unexpected and difficult times everyone’s anxiety levels are a little or a lot higher than usual – and children are no exception! As a parent, it is vital to check in with your kids regularly, and try to ease any stress they are experiencing.
In this article, Kay Hill offers practical advice for parents who are looking to minimise the stress of their kids.
Offer plenty of physical reassurance like hugs and snuggling on the sofa. A weighted blanket can be very calming, like a constant hug all over, so can help with both daytime anxiety and insomnia.
The scent of lavender has been shown to help with mild anxiety and sleeplessness. You can buy spritzers to put a spray on a pillow at bedtime or use natural oil in a diffuser (well out of reach)
Keeping to a regular routine, especially at bedtime, can be comforting – a warm milky drink, a bath and a story at the same time every night can help with sleep patterns
Don’t underestimate the effect of lighting on sleep. Research suggests that dim lighting that comes up from the floor rather than shining down from above is more conducive to falling asleep. Phone screens, computers and TVs, on the other hand, emit a blue light that tricks the eyes and brain into thinking it is still daytime so should be avoided for an hour before bedtime
Keep an eye on stimulants. If your teens love coffee or tea, switch to decaffeinated varieties, and keep them away from energy drinks containing caffeine or guarana. Chocolate has caffeine in it too, so bedtime chocolate is also not a great idea.
Yoga postures, guided relaxation and breathing exercises can fight the physical responses to anxiety, like a racing heart, and promote calm – Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube can help you to try this at home.