By Raising Children Network
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Bedtime worry box

A bedtime routine and dimly lit room are important; keep the bedroom a screen-free zone; use a worry box as a relaxation aid
  • After a busy day at school, a bedtime routine is important to get your child ready for sleep. A quiet, calm and dimly lit place to sleep will help your child settle in for the night.

  • Keep computers and TVs out of the bedroom. Playing games and watching TV eats into sleep time, making it harder for your child to function the next day. Also switch off phones at bedtime.

  • If worries stop your child relaxing, you could use a ‘worry box’. Your child draws or writes about his worries during the day, and thinks or talks about possible solutions. Before bedtime, he puts the drawings in the box.


Deep breathing for relaxation

Relax by deep breathing; breathe in for four counts, then hold breath for four counts; breathe out for four counts
  • Deep breathing can help children relax. You can teach your child to breathe out slowly using bubble-blowing.

  • Get your child to relax his shoulders. Ask him to breathe in for four counts (count, ‘One rabbit, two rabbit, three rabbit, four rabbit’). Now hold the breath for four counts.

  • Ask him to breathe out for four counts. If he has trouble, remind him of breathing out slowly when blowing bubbles. Now hold the breath for four counts. Repeat up to four times. Talk to your child about how this will relax him, and how it’ll get easier with daily practice.


Visual imagery can help

Visualise a picture from a book; create mind pictures to aid relaxation
  • Choose a book with pictures of a place your child can imagine (try to avoid dark or scary pictures). Talk about the picture and ask your child if she can see it in her mind. She can use her imagination to change the picture or add to it.

  • The more your child can learn to create pictures in her mind, the more it can help her relax.

  • Last updated or reviewed 01-06-2016