Teaching children to relax is a pleasant way to instill them healthy lifestyle habits and learn to develop your emotional intelligence.
The technique that we will explain here is used with children since they can follow orders until 10-11 years, since from these ages the demands can be very childish and demotivated, so we may not reach our goal. Likewise, like the rest of the techniques, in addition to teaching the child how to relax, it also encourages him to learn to recognize and discriminate the tension he has when he becomes nervous or aggressive.
Just as any other type of skill is learned, teaching the child to relax implies that he should practice it in the same way as he would with the rest of the skills.
- 1 Benefits of relaxation in children
- 2 Tips for the child to relax
- 3 Train diaphragmatic breathing in children
- 4 Koeppen muscle relaxation technique
Benefits of relaxation in children
Among the benefits of the continuous use of relaxation techniques with children, it can be emphasized that relaxation:
- Increase self confidence.
- It improves memory and concentration.
- It improves the quality of learning.
- It allows to distend the organism and reduce muscular and mental stress.
- Channel the child's energies.
- Help overcome shyness.
- Contributes to the reduction of tics.
- After physical activity, it allows to reach a state of well-being and tranquility.
- Reduce anxiety.
- It enhances sleep quality.
- Improves blood circulation.
- Decrease panic attacks and distress.
- Children who suffer from asthma can prevent crises or reduce them.
- Produces global well-being ...
Tips for the child to relax
To be effective, we must pay attention and follow the following guidelines with special care:
- It is important that, at the beginning and until the child can do it alone, there is an adult regulating the process.
- Depending on the degree of needs of the child, it can be carried out as many times as necessary, although at the beginning as once a day is fine, especially before bedtime. It is essential that you be consistent when you do it so that you learn to do it only whenever you need it.
- When we start training with the child, we must associate tension with discomfort and well-being, so must be lying in a comfortable place (bed, sofa, ...), with comfortable clothes, adequate temperature, etc.
- When the program starts, the muscle groups to be relaxed will progressively be tested, working three muscle groups at most. In no case should the child get tired or be a boring or aversive task.
Train diaphragmatic breathing in children
But first we will train in diaphragmatic breathing, this is very difficult for many adults so it is even more difficult for children. The child should lie comfortably on the bed or sofa without pressing any garment or disturbing any nearby objects.
We can start without completely retaining the air, since when it is not accustomed it generates a bit of anguish, and progressively retaining a little more. To get him to know where they have to take the air, we can leave one of our hands on top of the diaphragm, which is between the ribcage and the abdomen. Another trick is to swell the gut as much as possible because we ensure that the air reaches this area.
- Close your eyes.
- Very well, take the air through your nose very slowly, hold it for a moment ..., perfect now release it by the mouth very slowly until you run out of air.
- Again, take the air by the nose very slowly, hold it for a moment ..., release it by the mouth very slowly ...
- Once again, take the air through your nose very slowly, hold it for a moment ..., release it through your mouth very slowly ...
- Rest well…
Koeppen muscle relaxation technique
The technique Koeppen muscle relaxation is based on tension and strain exercises of different muscle groups from suggestion, which is indicated for children.
Below we explain step by step how to guide children in this type of relaxation:
Right hands and arms
Imagine you have a lemon in your right hand. Try to squeeze it, try to squeeze out all the juice. Feel the tension in your hand and in your arm while you are squeezing it. Now drop it. See how your muscles are now, they are relaxed ... Take another lemon now and try to squeeze it. Squeeze it harder than you did with the first one, very well. Now throw the lemon and relax. See how good your hand and arm feel when they are relaxed. Once again, take the lemon in your right hand and squeeze out all the juice, don't leave a single drop, squeeze it hard. Now relax and drop the lemon.
Left hands and arms
Imagine now that you have a lemon in your right hand. Try to squeeze it, try to squeeze out all the juice. Feel the tension in your hand and in your arm while you are squeezing it. Now drop it. See how your muscles are now, they are relaxed ... Take another lemon now and try to squeeze it. Squeeze it harder than you did with the first one, very well. Now throw the lemon and relax. See how good your hand and arm feel when they are relaxed. Again, take the lemon in your left hand and squeeze all the juice, do not leave a single drop, squeeze it hard. Now relax and drop the lemon.
Arms and shoulders
Now let's imagine that you are a very lazy cat and want to stretch. Stretch your strokes in front of you, now lift them over your head and bring them back. Look at the pull you feel on your shoulders. Now drop your arms to the sides. Very good. We will stretch again. Stretch your arms in front of you, lift them over your head and pull them back, hard. Now let them fall. Very good. See how your shoulders feel more relaxed now. Once again, let's try to stretch our arms, try to touch the ceiling this watch. In agreement. Stretch your arms in front of you, lift them over your head and pull them back, look at the tension you feel in your arms and shoulders. A last stretch now very strong. Drop your arms, see how well you feel when you're relaxed.
Shoulders and neck
Now imagine that you are a turtle. Imagine you are sitting on a rock in a quiet pond, relaxing in the heat of the sun. You feel calm and safe. Oh! Suddenly you feel a sense of danger. Come on! put your head in your shell: Try to bring your shoulders to your ears, trying to put your head tucked between your shoulders, stay that way, it is not easy to be a turtle tucked into a shell. Now the danger is over, you can leave your shell and relax again in the sunlight, relax and feel the heat of the sun. Watch out! more danger, quickly put your head in your house, you have to have your head fully tucked in to be able to protect yourself, O. K. Now you can relax, take out your head and let your shoulders relax. See that you feel much better when you are relaxed than when you are tense. Once again. Danger! hide your head, carry your shoulders towards your ears, do not let a single hair of your head be out of your shell. Stay inside, feel the tension in your neck and shoulders. Okay, you can get out of your shell, there is no danger. Relax ... There will be no more danger, you have nothing to worry about, you feel safe, you feel good.
Imagine you have a huge bubble gum in your mouth, it is very difficult to chew, it is very hard. Try to bite it, let the muscles in your neck help you. Now relax, leave your jaw loose, relaxed, see how well you feel when you let your jaw drop. Alright, let's chew another gum now, chew it hard, try to squeeze it, get it between your teeth. All right, you are getting it. Now relax, drop your jaw, it's much better to be like this, than to be fighting with that gum. O.K., once again we will try to bite it. Bite it as hard as you can, stronger, very good, you are working very well. Well, now relax. Try to relax your entire body, try to be lazy, as lazy as you can.
Face and nose
Well, now one of those annoying flies is flying, and it has landed on your nose, try to scare it but without using your hands. Try to do it by wrinkling your nose. Try to make as many wrinkles with your nose as you can. Leave your nose wrinkled, strong. All right! You've managed to get her away, now you can relax your nose, oh! out there that heavy fly returns, wrinkles your strong nose, as hard as you can. OKAY. He is gone again. Now you can relax your face. Notice that when you wrinkle your nose so hard, your cheeks, your mouth, your forehead and even your eyes help you and get tense as well. Oh! that old fly returns again, but this time it has landed on your forehead. Make wrinkles with your forehead, try to hunt the fly with your wrinkles, strong. Alright, it's gone forever, you can relax, leave your face calm, without wrinkles. Feel how your face is now calmer and more relaxed.
Imagine you are lying on the grass, oh! look, there comes an elephant, but he is not looking where he steps, he has not seen you, he is going to set foot on your stomach, do not get new! You don't have time to escape. Try to tighten your stomach by making it hard, really hard, hold on like this, wait, it seems as if the elephant is going to go in another direction. Relax, leave your stomach soft and relaxed as much as you can. That's how you feel much better. Oh! back there again. You are ready? Tighten your strong stomach, if he steps on you and you have a hard stomach it won't hurt you. Put your stomach hard like a rock. OKAY. It seems he is leaving again. You can relax. Feel the difference that exists when you tighten your stomach and when you leave it relaxed. This is how I want you to feel calm and relaxed. You will not be able to believe it but there the elephant returns and this time it seems that it will not change the way, it comes straight towards you. Tense stomach. Hold it tight, you have it almost on top of you, put your stomach hard, it is putting a leg on top of you, tightly tense ... Now it seems that it is going away, finally it moves away. You can relax completely, be sure, everything is fine, you feel safe, calm and relaxed.
Legs and feet
Now imagine that you are standing barefoot and your feet are in a swamp full of thick mud. Try to put the toes into the mud. You will probably need your legs to help you push. Push in, feel the mud get between your feet. Now jump outside and relax your feet. Let your feet stay as lazy and see how well you are like that. You feel good when you are relaxed. We return inside the thick swamp. Put your feet inside, as much as you can. Let your leg muscles help you push your feet. Push hard, the mud is getting harder. OKAY. Get out again and relax your legs and feet. You feel better when you are relaxed. Do not tense anything. You feel totally relaxed ...