When my boys were little, I craved a bedtime routine that I knew would serve their overall development. I read the positive parenting books. I listened to all of the “Build a Confident Kid” podcasts. I had dreams of sweet tuck ins, whispering wise pages from happy little board books, giving loving forehead kisses, and then poof….sleepytime.
Reality looked a little different. Bedtime was a bit of a struggle, even though I was trying to do the productive, mindful parenting thing…I never quite felt like what I was doing was really making the most of this precious time. Bedtime offers tired kids. Bedtime offers cuddling, which is positive all within itself but maybe, just maybe I could be snuggling our way to a more settled nights sleep and even ease into the morning.
Enter the body scan as demonstrated above by Angie and her 10 year old student.
The body scan is a common mindfulness practice in where the practitioner takes an awareness tour of their body starting at the toes, and moving up toward the head. Body scans are the go to mindfulness practice for students suffering from sleepless nights or restless sleep.
I had done the body scan with my own boys when they were infants after the tub. As I applied lotion to their little bodies, I would say “toes”, “ankles”, “knees”….making sure to be on the area I was mentioned as I petted my way to their little heads. I noticed the cooing increase as I gave the boys a mini massage. As they grew, the long, flowing strokes turned into taps, then instructions on how to apply the taps to themselves as i tapped my own toes next to them.
As a mindfulness teacher in classrooms all over the state of NJ, I have an advantage to see what works and what doesn’t in real time, with immediate feedback. I applied this “Tapping Body Tour” to my students in mindfulness class…noticing that the students attention was held longer and more acute with the subtle movements than when we attempted the body scan without the tapping. Teachers reported using the body scan after recess to bridge the transition time between active recess and indoor calm bodies.
The Tapping Body Tour, aka the Body Scan, is an excellent way to teach your child body awareness while supporting a restful nights sleep. For best results, practice along with your children each time. Make the body scan as short or as long as you like. the goal is to practice frequently for short periods of time instead of once a week for 30 minutes.
For more support and for awesome freebies, visit Angie and friends at www.TheIntegratedMind.com