It’s been quiet here on the blog, I know. If you read my last post you’ll know that I’ve jumped feet first into a new exciting business, Modern Mama. And while it’s been exciting, its been equally exhausting. It’s been a crazy month and it’s starting to show.
My sleep pattern has changed again and I’m not logging in the 8 or 9 hours that I need. When my brain kicks into overdrive and I can’t sleep I listen to a guided meditation to help me relax. I’ve always been a believer in practicing meditation and yoga and taking care of myself in every way I know how. But it’s not always easy when you have a family and a brand new business, and a blog to take care of.
The Relaxing Game | Teaching Toddlers to Meditate
I’ve recently discovered that my son, OLM, has a busy brain problem too. At bedtime the last couple of weeks he has been telling me that he can’t sleep. I’ll read a story or five and leave the room and soon after he runs out exclaiming, ‘Mommy I can’t sleep!’
When my son tells me he can’t sleep I tell him I will help him by playing The Relaxing Game. It’s a guided meditation technique that I’ve learned to help myself relax.
We start with him lying in his bed and me sitting on the floor beside him. I gently stroke his forehead, if he lets me, and start by asking him to think about his body. I speak softly and tell him that we are going to relax his body so he can sleep. I might get him to wiggle his toes or fingers if he’s squirmy and then ask him to feel them relax. I may also gently rub his feet if he’s into it. It’s goes something like this:
‘Think about your toes…wiggle them..then feel them relax…now think about your ankles, feel them relax… now your knees and your legs and your hips and your bum. Wiggle your bum…(this usually gets a laugh), now feel your tummy relax. ‘
I’ll give him a little tummy rub and move on to the upper body until we’re left with the face. The whole meditation, (done with eyes open for now) takes about five minutes. By the end he’s usually quite relaxed and ready to go to sleep. Sometimes I tell him a story to follow up if he’s not ready.
When the game doesn’t work it’s usually because we’ve had a stretch of a few lazy days. We’ve stayed in and watched too much tv or we’ve not been as physically active, or I’m stuck for ways to keep the creative juices flowing. And so this post is not only about teaching my son how to meditate but also about how he can engage his mind and body in other ways.
This summer I’ve made a conscious decision not to enroll OLM in any classes, preferring to have a ton of free play and unscheduled time to do whatever we want. And in some ways, this may be the problem. Or, I’m just tired.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to getting some fresh new ideas by enrolling myself and OLM in classes this fall that encourages fun and creativity and inspires me to play more with him. Ah, summer I love you, but fall….you’re a tired mama’s best friend!
Here’s some great ideas to inspire you to invite more relaxation and play into your routine this fall.
Modern Mama North Burnaby– Mama’s Night Out at 4 Cats Art Studio
Modern Mama North Shore ~ Mama’s Night Out at David’s Tea
For Moms and Kids
As always, the Vancouver Community Centres have a variety of fantastic programs on offer.
At Love of Learning Space…we aim to provide a loving and respectful space that inspires and encourages a diversity of creative ideas for raising children with big hearts and minds. We believe that children are eager to learn, to work, to play and to interact. Through a series of workshops and interest groups held at the Centre, we hope to engage children’s and families’ active participation in discovering children’s manifest talents, and the optimal ways of activating their unlimited potentials. It is our duty, responsibility, and passion to raise the “whole child”.’