Kids have energy. This is a good thing! They’re eating, growing, exploring… Babies are looking everywhere, listening, crawling. Toddlers are becoming more mobile, walking, and climbing. Preschoolers are refining their movement, jumping, skipping, and somersaulting.
Do you ever wish you had the secret to calmness for your kids? How can you help them to zero in, listen, and find a calm and happy space? Well, I can share with you what works for me, and music is my inspiration.
My secret to calming the little ones is helping them relax into engaged gentleness.
One effective way to attain this gentleness is by using rhythm.
Observe the rhythms of your child.
Observe the rhythm of his or her:
- Speech/ Sounds
- Body movement
A child who is on edge will usually have fast and/or irregular rhythms in these three areas. Think of the movement of the tail of a cat. If a cat is agitated, its tail twitches spastically. If a cat is happy, he purrs long sighs, moving its tail in more of a regular, flowing manner. We want your kids to feel like the happy, calm kitty.
Engage with your child. See if you can meet eye to eye. Relax. Smile. Let go of thoughts of worry, of any tension in your body. How often do you really meet your child during the day?
Breathe Gently. If you have an infant, model and meet them with your breath. Breathe in through your nose as if there was a butterfly sitting on top. Breathe out warm air through the bottoms of your nostrils. Find a gentle rhythm. Rock your baby in that same gentle rhythm. They will sympathize with your steady beat. Moms of toddlers and preschoolers can begin to instruct their little ones in addition to modeling. If you have trouble finding a rhythm, think of a song that calms you. Breathe to that rhythm. Kids love imagining the butterfly!
Express a Gentle Voice and Gentle Body
The Singing Owl
- Sing with or for your child on an “oo” sound, like the sound an owl makes. Sing gently for as long as your breath can support you, and then begin again. You can stay on one note, or sing sweet melodies.
Nursery Rhymes are great for expressing a slow rhythm, especially for moms who don’t feel comfortable singing. Saying a rhyme or poem gently and slowly will help calm those who listen.
Here’s a rhyme I made up for you to say slowly:
Babies breathing like sun
Flowers blooming one by one
Fairies sleeping in the trees
Glowing in the warm night’s breeze
Add some swaying back and forth, rosy smiles, and a warm heart, and you’re on your way to gentleness.
Happy Thanksgiving! And remember the Butterflies!