Being stressed, sad or anxious are not exclusive emotions of adults, it happens to children too. The difference lies in the fact that children have not yet developed the psychological strategies that allow them to manage their emotions , so they experience their negative emotional states more intensely, they externalize them more and they also suffer their consequences more. Therefore, if we want to educate emotionally balanced, happy children with adequate self-esteem, it is essential to teach them to relax and practice emotional self-control.
Relaxation techniques to promote emotional development in the child
1. Weather report
The main objective of this technique is to enhance the child’s emotional awareness, encouraging him to learn to identify his emotions. It is also very effective in relaxing tensions, while helping to reduce anxiety and hyperactivity. You can start by explaining that they are going to offer a weather report, taking as a reference what they are feeling inside at that moment.
To help him loosen up, you can describe how “time” is inside you and then ask him, “How is time inside you?” . If he comments that the sun is shining and that it’s a great day, it could be a sign that he feels relaxed and calm, while if he tells you that it’s cloudy or that it’s raining, it could be a sign that he feels tense and worried. The idea is that the little one will be able to detect and understand their emotions, so that later they learn to manage them.
2. The birthday cake
Most children are very excited about blowing out the candles on the birthday cake. You can use that motivation to your advantage to put this technique into practice. The goal is to teach you to regulate your breathing, focus your attention, relax tensions and make your emotions aware. In fact, it is a very useful strategy to reduce the symptoms of anxiety, impulsiveness and hyperactivity in children. The technique consists of the little one imagining that he is in front of a cake with lit candles, the first few times you can use a real cake and put some candles on it to make it more fun.
In the first attempts it is common for your child to try to blow with all his might, but the key to the technique is that he learns to blow out the candles more and more gently. Therefore, you should explain to him that instead of focusing on blowing out the candles, he should focus on his inhalation and exhalation, noticing how his abdomen inflates and deflates each time. This way he will learn to control his breathing, while he relaxes.
3. Imitate a frog
The objective of this technique is to teach the child to breathe deeply, a very useful exercise to stimulate concentration, relax tension and reduce anxiety. Learning to control your breath consciously will also allow you to focus on your own emotions, while helping to strengthen your self-control. To begin with, you should explain to him what the technique consists of, you can tell him: “We are going to imitate a frog, an animal that can make great jumps and move very quickly but is also capable of remaining very calm, observing everything that happens to it. around” .
Then ask him to breathe like a frog, taking in air through his nose, while feeling his abdomen inflate, and then gently releasing it through his mouth. The idea is that you spend at least 10 or 15 minutes practicing this technique until you learn to breathe properly and relax tensions, once you automate the exercise, you can apply it in any circumstance.