Learning and practicing self-hypnosis techniques at home, can be beneficial to both parents and children, and easy to learn.
Parenting is the most demanding, challenging, and rewarding experience… all at once, isn’t it? Today, often both parents work outside the home. Many households have limited support as the “village duties” needed to raise children are simply not there anymore. Families are scattered across the country, leaving parents and caregivers hungry for help.
Simple Techniques: All Moms Should Learn
In an earlier blog post titled, “5 Ways Hypnosis helps in Every Stage of Motherhood,”, I introduced some simple hypnotic principles to support you in finding relaxation, lower anxiety, and connection. In that post, I also included resourceful approaches to handling everyday challenges.
These techniques make navigating the parenting job easier.
Why Children Respond to Positive Self-Hypnosis
A child’s mind is ripe for positive self-hypnosis because it is naturally imaginative and active. Hypnosis can serve as a useful way to improve behaviors, gain more cooperation, and suggest strategies in both children and ourselves.
Many parents have found that the techniques used in positive self-hypnosis for children have also helped improve their parenting effectiveness. By reviewing your own child-rearing procedures, you can better implement how you react emotionally to situations.
Natural and Unconscious Hypnosis That Happens Daily
Hypnosis is something we experience often in our daily lives. Particularly, children of school age to the adolescent. When the conscious mind relaxes and becomes absorbed in an activity, unconscious hypnosis occurs. Children are continually absorbed in common daily activities such as eating, playing, watching a show on television, and even -daydreaming.
While in this natural mental state of absorption, the unconscious mind becomes more agreeable to accepting suggestions. The parent can create a meaningful positive suggestion at this point that will easily be placed in the child’s mind for future reference. I would like to offer a simple, more concrete example of suggestion here.
An example: A child eating habits. Current state: The child resists eating the healthy option. Desired state: The child eats the healthy option without resisting and creates a habit of enjoying healthy foods.
Less suppose it is eggs, in this example. Current state: Eggs are a great source of protein and a common breakfast staple, but children may resist and desire toast instead.
First set the stage, present the eggs in a creative, fun way to the child…the sunny side up eggs are the “eyes” on the plate or scrambled eggs are the curly hair atop the clown face. Use fruit or other foods for the remaining “face parts.” Remember your child has a great imagination. Allow them to start eating.
When the child relaxes and begins to eat the eggs, introduce suggestion inside a story. Make the story specific to something the child likes and can easily associate with. If the child likes flowers, suggest that the protein in the eggs is like the sunlight the flowers use to grow tall and strong.
Craft the story with the higher purpose of associating their positive food choice with the outcome you want in the desired state. Again the desired state: The child eats the healthy option without resisting and creates a habit of enjoying healthy foods.
It can be so natural to experience “hypnosis” with these simple techniques. The suggestion can come from you in the moment or you can help the child to create and use their own suggestions. Sounds like a win-win, right?
Well, let’s consider this, shall we?
How Does Hypnosis Work in Children?
As a parent, I’m sure you have read many books to eager listeners. A well-constructed, well-told story is powerful for your child. Children are receptive to this imagination, as visualizations and imagery come easily to them. This ability allows for easy access to the powers of hypnosis suggestion.
As a story unfolds, the child listening becomes so absorbed with the storyline that his conscious mind (the thinking mind) is quiet. The story then guides the unconscious mind (the feeling mind) where it can mold (positive) emotions, feelings, and thoughts. These thoughts will then inspire (positive) associated behavior.
The practice of hypnosis offers a world of self-control and imagination for parents and children. Studies have shown that children who learn these life skills often carry them into adolescence and adulthood. Many kinder- and school-age classrooms that use mindfulness, breathing, and similar techniques to help the children regulate emotions.
The hypnotic phenomenon is not magic. This normal state of mind allows you to use, instruct and direct the unconscious mind and body. With this state of mind, we all carry the abilities to reduce stress, control pain, conquer fears, and later unwanted habits or undesirable behaviors.
Childhood Problems and Helpful Hypnosis
Many childhood problems pass with time. Hypnosis is often a gentle and natural approach when you need a guiding hand. Keep in mind, that positive self-hypnosis is not a treatment for clinical problems that require formal therapist-led hypnosis.
An example of this would include bed-wetting after your child has established and mastered toileting. Hyperactivity, violence, or over-aggressive behaviors are some others. It’s important to remember that children experiencing clinical problems need to receive proper diagnosis and psychological evaluation.
Parents can provide informal suggestion strategies regardless of if they call it hypnosis. Easier we discussed how you can use suggestion to help foster healthy food choices. Parents can also employ these techniques to gain cooperation, improve child skills or habits, reduce anxiety, and such. The purpose is to develop more success patterns and strategies to resolve problems and enhance positive child development.
Areas with The Greatest Impact of Hypnosis in Children
Other Areas Where Positive Self-Hypnosis Is Helpful
Would your household be happier and more enjoyable if you could change some of these common childhood behaviors?
Where to Begin? Start with You.
Before you attempt to teach techniques to your child, review the techniques discussed in , and be familiar with using these on yourself.
Remember, as a parent when you experience tension, it communicates this feeling to the child, often in a non-verbal way. Children observe all the surrounding behaviors, even if you are unaware of their keen sense. If you become stressed/tense because of a project, a situation at work, or have money concerns, your child will take notice. The result can be the child displays stress as well. Once started, the cycle of stress can be difficult to break free from.
When there is peace and relaxation, children will relax and be peaceful around you. A positive attitude communicates hope to your child. Hope creates a strong feeling of being capable in your child.
Practical Ways to Incorporate Hypnosis
Breathing, relaxation, and guided imagery have specific benefits on the body. It helps shift from a sympathetic response (fight or flight) to a parasympathetic (rest and digest) state. This allows our bodies to enjoy healthy breathing (deep and nourishing) and this time allows our conscious state to rest. I have included simple, guided techniques below as examples of each.
Positive Self-Hypnosis Techniques at Home
Here is a fun and simple breathing exercise you can do together with your child.
“The Balloon belly game.”
Imagine their belly is a balloon getting larger (inhale.) Then getting smaller as you (exhale). What color is the balloon? Can they breathe sitting on a chair? How about lying on the floor? Have some fun with it! Explain the two breathing types to your child as you practice together (normal-faster from the chest; relaxing-slower in the belly.) Try these techniques a few times a day or whenever stress or tension wants to arise. The breath helps you stay or arrive at the more desired, resourceful state.
Relaxation with Storytelling and Imagery can happen independently or together. I have found that if you can create one game for your child, they will most likely jump at the chance to create another one in the future.
“Imagine That” is a game described in a self-hypnosis guide. Have your child select a character of their choice from a storybook, cartoon, or anywhere and you do the same.
Then create a problem or obstacle that the character must solve or overcome. Example: saving a person or animal they love. Then you both close your eyes, breathe with the belly three magical times, and imagine how their character would act. Sit quietly for a few minutes. Then through “talk and tell,” share the stories you imagined.
This exercise is useful in creating a relaxing environment before bedtime or whenever you need to bring energy levels down.
The beauty comes when you realize through this technique that feelings and thoughts flow comfortably and naturally. While your child’s mind is now opened to receiving information from his/her relaxed state, you can now share positive suggestions as they are more receptive.
Relaxation with Imagery and Art
Perhaps your child enjoys drawing or forms of art. You can create the same imaginative process above but through art and drawing.
You and your child will discover creative solutions and possibilities by using hypnosis. This is helpful to solve your problems as a parent; then, you can implement the same process to help the child solve their problems as well.
Modification for Children’s Hypnosis
There are many creative strategies you can design if your child is resistant to some techniques above. For example, young children are prone to a parent’s suggestions. This example below could be a helpful resource if your child will not take a deep breath.
Try some of these informal hypnosis techniques…
The “humming game” begins by humming a song yourself and invites them to join you. Hum high and low-pitched interchanging. Model a slow breathing pattern, even holding for a few seconds ... and then exhaling. Start adding imagination. Pretend to be a hummingbird or a musical note.
This modification is beneficial to those exhausting bedtime routines. Children ages 2 to 7 years of age respond well to this. The strategy is to read the routine bedtime story and periodically substitute the words, “sleep”, “tired”, “heavy” or other such words that relate to sleeping. Use this technique subtly when you notice the child absorbed in the story or picture.
Massage can also help to soothe the child and you can then model a slow deep breath and ask them to bring that relaxation into different areas of their body.
Examples Using Bed-Time Story Model
When you invite participation, the child can learn slow deep breaths, relax, and then your tender guidance will help them associate this pattern with positivity and resourcefulness.
I frame hypnosis visualizations for children as bedtime stories. This makes listening to an everyday experience for the child. You can create your own.
There is a wide variety of resources available to parents and adults on how to become more confident, but what about children? What is the best way to help children feel ready to engage in their world with enthusiasm? A parent can craft a story and tell it to the child. Download a children's bedtime story here.
In today’s world, there is a vast appreciation for helping children find their individuality and uniqueness. As parents, we need to understand that children respond to suggestions from adults they love, trust, and respect. Even young children aged 4-5 will surprise you, as they develop self-hypnosis skills once you teach them some basics. Be creative with this process while having fun.
A key element to success is being patient. Both with yourself and with your child. Teaching new tools is a lifelong gift. These activities boost self-esteem. And we know that the best chances for happiness in life come from positive self-esteem. These skills for you and your child, lead to years of happiness together.
Don't forget: Snag a Full-Length BedTime story for your Child for Improving Confidence *suited for children aged 4-8.
I would love to hear from you once you try to creatively impact a desired change your child’s behavior through hypnosis. Share your experience here. Have you started to teach your child self-hypnosis techniques? How did you child respond?
Hypnosis can help in many ways. Curious Minds should Stay Curious.
Boost Self-confidence • Lessen Anxiety • Grief• Cancer • Create Positive Mindset • Eliminate Limiting Beliefs • Improve Sleep • Manage Pain Better • Prepare for Childbirth • Enhance Performance • Heal & Resolve Grief • Change Habits • Weight Loss without Dieting • Smoking Cessation • Stress Reduction • Stop Teeth Grinding • & more
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