Bedtime Meditations for Children Aged 4 – 8 Years
Suzie St George & Fiona McDougall
Copyright © 2015 Siramarti Publishing Pty Ltd
Revision and reprint: Siramarti Publishing Pty Ltd 2016
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Thank you for choosing this book. We hope you will enjoy these offerings as much as your children will benefit by them.
We thought that you might like to know a little more about them – and us – before you use them. So this preface is by way of introducing ourselves.
We are personal growth educators whose main work is helping adults to live naturally in a state of peace and love of life. Our work together started 2000 when we found that our professional backgrounds in counselling, young people’s education and inner healing complemented each other’s approach. We are also parents of adult children who, we are happy to say, have benefited by our own development. It is a great pleasure for us when a whole family is made happier through the work we do.
From time to time parents ask us to supply visualizations suited to their young children who are showing signs of stress or anxiety. The inner journeys that appear in this little booklet are designed to answer this need.
The three soothing and enjoyable visualizations here relieve the normal worries and fears of childhood, even those that cannot be identified by them. They also encourage a child to feel more trusting about life. They lay down pathways in the brain that give children the ability to take charge of their own anxiety and also increase a connection to the divine. If this becomes a habit in the early years it serves them throughout life.
Please take time to read the introduction and follow the sequence of preparatory activities carefully to make sure that your child is given the greatest opportunity to benefit by them. The questions will naturally and gently help to develop your child’s ability to be self-aware: a wonderful gift for life.
Not all children will wish to listen to these stories. Many find imagining very delightful but this interest may weaken in older children. Do not force your child to listen to the visualizations or be concerned if they do not wish to participate. Each child has a natural wisdom about what is right for him or her. What suits at one age may be less (or more) useful as they develop and change.
They are very effective in supporting the inner well-being of children aged 4 to 8 years, but they should not be seen as a form of therapy. They are primarily designed to help a child return to the calm inner centre that is their natural spiritual birthright. If you believe your child is exceptionally distressed, we urge you to seek professional assistance.
You may also wish to read our answers to the commonly asked questions before you proceed. You can contact us at www.reachpotential.com.au if you have queries.
These visualizations should not be read to the child by any other person than a parent. Your own voice is an important factor in helping your child absorb the energy held within them. Any other person cannot have the same effect, even if that person does truly love your child a lot.
Fiona McDougall & Suzie St George
Visualizations for children are best done at night when they are ready to sleep.
Feel your way to what is needed on a particular day by asking the questions we have suggested below. Of course, express these queries in ways that will be right for your child.
Always begin with a little talk about the day. This will help your child’s mind prepare itself for the appropriate visualization.
Young children often do not know how it feels or what it means to be worried. Work intuitively from the conversation. If you decide that the child is showing signs of worry but cannot identify these, explain that we tend to hold worries, angers and fears of all sorts in our bodies. These emotions can show up as sore tummies, aches and pains.
By this point, you will be clear what sort of visualization is required. The visualizations that follow are for worry, and anxieties or fears.
The first visualization, Feeling Warm, Strong And Safe, is good for balancing your child’s energy before you start the special visualization for the night. It is relaxing and revitalizing. Although it is a necessary preparation for the two that follow, it can be used alone to encourage sleep after a bedtime story.
The next visualizations, The Worry-Free Tree and The Jell-O Wall, relate specifically to clearing stress related to worries and anxieties, which we describe as two different states. Use them only as necessary. Once your child is familiar with them, they may indicate their own choice of which they would like you to read.
You will need to memorize these visualizations before using them with your children. Read them over several times until you remember the sequence and have imagined each step in your own mind. This instruction is very important!
Read slowly, with pauses as indicated, to let the child imagine the pictures fully in their mind’s eye.
If your child starts to fidget or become uncomfortable, do not continue. This means that they are not ready to benefit by it.
This visualization is a necessary preparation for both The Worry-Free Tree and The Jell-O Wall that follow. However, it is valuable in its own right after a bedtime story, You may sense that this is all that is needed on some occasions. Reading pauses are indicated.
Lie down… Get comfy… Close your eyes. I am going to turn off/down the light now and you can listen to this story…
Imagine there is a beautiful colored light above your head. This light is any colour you want it to be…
Pretend this light is moving down through the top of your head, down throughout your whole body… Feel the warmth of the light, absorbing into your bones… It is going right out to your fingers and down to your toes.
Now imagine this light is going down into the earth below you… and then it goes right back up again. It is filling you up with more colour and warmth…
A beautiful angel comes… An angel with soft, soft feather wings. The angel wraps its wings around you… You feel very safe and comfortable.
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The Worry-Free Tree is an aid for parents who wish to relieve their children of daily worries and stress through the use of simple bedtime visualizations. It is written by two personal development educators with long experience in the use of guided visualization to strengthen mental and emotional resilience. Based on neuroscientific principles, it contains three inner journeys that not only release immediate anxiety but also set up neural pathways that have long term stress reducing functions. The visualizations encourage children to connect to their spiritual centre within so that they can feel safe, loved and supported at all times.