With sensory overload, work pressure and stress of the modern leisure life already makes to create children. Many suffer from nervousness and sleep problems. Child righteous relaxation exercises bring Little Trouble spirits back into balance - if parents can also create a relaxed environment.

Stressful: a life in "Flummi mode"

Child Mother relaxation

Photo: © iStockphoto.com/ pixdeluxe

Children are often restless and impatient, it's called lively at best, at worst hyperactive. Increasingly, however, many small bumblebees are not "only" agile yet real "fidgeters". Your restlessness and concentration problems result in the opinion of many children experts mainly from the modern circumstances: the hustle and efficiency, technology and productivity, work pressure and media sensory overload determine our everyday lives, even the children, already in KiGa and even at school. Even their leisure time is characterized appointments and the standing and looking at the clock. In junior it scurries as messed up as well as around it. The many stimulating impulses ensure that constantly the sympathetic service has that drives part of the human nervous system, blood pressure and heart to bring us up to speed on activity and performance. The kids, polarized in the long term action and variety, switch permanently to the "bouncing ball" mode. Such stressed and energized they realize barely, when they need a break and finally can no longer regulate the inner excitement too. Sitting still, paying attention and falling asleep more difficult.

Why is relaxation important?

For this, the parasympathetic nervous system has the only may take the stage: The "rest nerve" ensures quieter breathing more regular heartbeat and loose muscles - so for relaxation. Which is crucial for our health, because only in this state of "inner peace" body, mind and soul can regenerate really. Relaxation strengthens the ability to focus on individual perceptions and leaves room to investigate feelings and thoughts and to reflect verbatim. This has many positive interactions: Who feels himself good and knows that throwing external stimuli not so easily off track. Who can relax, is more balanced and optimistic. Who can concentrate better, more creative and learn more easily.

What helps children better to relax?

With relaxation techniques - certain physical and mental Exercises and formulas - can be the stimulate nerve peace and effective induce relaxation targeted. Children and adolescents who are learning in this way, to feel their own needs aware and protect themselves from an excess of pulses can deal with stress and challenges better. This is useful for all children, whether preventively - especially for those with a higher risk of hyperactivity, for example, if already occurred in the family history or the child was a cry baby - or offer of help when children are clearly suffering from excessive anxiety and its consequences. However, the child psychologist warns Prof. Ulrike Petermann in their imaginary journeys classic "The Captain Nemo stories," there are also children whose release relaxation exercises by the unusual quietness fears or cause even more unrest. Especially with hyperkinetic disorders whose exact cause has been clarified and procedures should first be tested carefully, advises Petermann. Caution and consult with a doctor are also offered in diseases of gastrointestinal and cardiovascular, asthma, epilepsy and depression.

What are the best relaxation techniques for children?

"For children to join me in relaxation exercises, you have a possible playful approach Find and their Interests "Consider, white Doris Stoehr-Mäschl, relaxation therapist and specialist book author from Regensburg. therefore child-friendly versions were developed by known methods for adults such as yoga, the autogenic training, the Progressive muscle relaxation and the Five Tibetans. Which technique is selected for a child depends on several factors: "It is important that the process is age appropriate, suits the individual possibilities of the child and most will also like their parents. Then the motivation is higher, to practice it regularly, and this is the precondition that it is effective, "says Stöhr-Mäschl. "Classic" relaxation techniques can be introduced approximately at the kindergarten. "Ideally, however, if parents already from babyhood consistently relaxations, for example, baby massage, use, because the children so naturally grow there," recommended the expert. "Ever Cozy times are always nice relaxing moments because mediate proximity and stroking soothing security."


From nursery age: Back perception Games

About gentle touch also build Back perception Games Voltages from. Here, Mom or Dad tell a story with your fingers on the back of their treasures that lie comfortably in front of them or sit. The combination of Touch and Tell sharpens the Hauttastsinn and thus the perception, promotes concentration and attention and stimulates the imagination, explains the teacher Karin Schaffner, the "On your back is doing what" such games in their book for ages 2 to 8 years imagines. As raindrops trickling gently on the skin, call jungle drums to the feast, snaking queues from top to bottom, hopping fleas messed up, rattling sewing machines, caressing Dr. Pillemann the sick doll back to health and scurrying vampires and ghosts back and forth. Parents can try it also with self-devised fables, perhaps with finger games to favorite songs, poems or rhymes of their child or the retelling of their own experience. The games are indeed home to the most beautiful in a pleasant atmosphere, but can be - a big advantage - anywhere, anytime use when children need a rest.

From kindergarten age: yoga, muscle relaxation and fantasy journeys

"True relaxation can only be felt when children have a lot of movement in return," Doris Stoehr-Mäschl called a rationale for a healthy life as well as good practice sessions. Balancing commuting between opposites introduces children again and again to their center back and holding her physical and mental balance upright, also emphasizes the teacher Ursula Salbert in her book "Holistic relaxation techniques for children." Such a change between rest and activity also arises when yoga, proprietors can already taste kindergartners. The paired with pause exercises are the child's natural urge to move very accommodating says Salbert. It makes little fun, Tree, Sun, rabbit or butterfly to play, and the positive effects of attitudes - such as a relaxation of the back muscles, improved coordination and concentration and greater agility - unfold as if in passing. Before parents begin yoga with their children, they should first master all the exercises themselves, then erpoben individually playful with the children and finally the best dress, all for a nice relaxation session in a story. Salbert has for example, "cat cuddly" invented stretch with the children through an exciting day, licking, buck, catch mice and finally nestle satisfied.

In addition to Yoga is in children aged five years and which also form-fitting, simple and very suitable for everyday use Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PME) at a premium: These are muscles aware strongly tense briefly - for example in the shoulders, dragging them to the ears, in the feet by spreading the toes or in the abdomen by pulling. If the tension suddenly released, the muscles are then relaxed than before the exercise. This significant expansion signals the parasympathetic nervous system: You can take over. As well as mind and soul to rest in chain reaction. For children, the principle in sentences as "I tensing my muscles, so I can relax" summarized. "By practicing, best daily, children are more sensitive to their own feelings," explains Doris Stoehr-Mäschl. They recognize their limits better and are able to always and everywhere to do something to combat nervousness and tension. "How Yoga PME is well received by these children who would otherwise have great difficulty keeping quiet," the Enstpannungstherapeutin.

offer a good conclusion for all body exercises Dream or fantasy journeys, a child-friendly version of the autogenous training (AT): While the children are comfortable or sit and have either the eyes or look at a certain point, you slowly told with quiet, soft voice pleasant an imaginative story with a happy ending, in which the child plays a central role. The relaxing formulas (be quiet, be hard to be warm ...) the ATs installed. "If you manage it, take the thoughts and preferences of children by, for example, uses experiences from the last vacation, they like to go to such an inner journey," advises Stöhr-Mäschl. "Following children may like to talk about their experiences or perhaps to paint pictures. Or you can use Traumreisen as a soothing Einschlafritual, accompanied by the parents their child to sleep. "

Relaxation exercises in school: Autogenic training

I am very quiet - hard - warm - relaxed: These are formulas that, like Ursula Salbert calls it, "describe the experience of relaxation reactions in the body." By concentrated repetitions of these requirements of the body is made to be really quiet, heavy, warm and relaxed. From about the second grade children are ready to apply these formulas and to train a body part after another with it. As with PME children can make with autogenous training even for relaxation, to cope example before exams or sleep disorders.

How do children learn to relax?

Sit times back, we now relax: Simple as it is, unfortunately, not for adults, let alone children, white Doris Stoehr-Mäschl: "Children must be slowly and carefully introduced to regular relaxation sessions. That will not happen overnight. "How long is long enough at first and what can be done in a practice phase depends among other things on the age of the children and their anxiety level. To learn a technique, there are next to an infinite number of media with specific instructions and an infinite number of courses. When choosing a reputable and matching offer a call to the insurance company can help: "prevention courses on stress management, including yoga and Co. are, are covered by public funds, but only from the age of 6 to 8 years. For this, the provider must be certified by the cash register. So you can be sure that he has proved his fitness. For intervention rates, adjunct to psychotherapeutic methods that health insurers pay this, "said Doris Stoehr-Mäschl. She offers in her practice next to AT, PME and imaginary journeys, among other things Klangschalenmassage and learning gymnastics on. Especially for beginners it recommends best parent-child classes: "It does not do much when parents let their child for an hour here, do not know what is being done and then at home can not practice properly. In addition, the common-outs welded together, the children find it great that mum or dad are at this time only for her. "The fact that learning to relax while the adults also creates a crucial prerequisite is that the children actually from the techniques benefit: Mom and Dad find it then easier to be a good role model. "Because", are Stöhr-Mäschl to remember "when parents set an example stress and hectic, always rushing and jostling, always operate multitasking and do not stick to one thing, make no breaks, even though they are exhausted or even can not listen carefully, then shapes the child as the norm, and then yoga and autogenous training can not do much. "

The most important tips for relaxed children at a glance

  • As a parent, be a role model to consciously pay attention to more peace in everyday life
  • Basically, reduce stimuli whether media consumption, Toy mountains in the nursery, offers of activities or commitments, with deadlines
  • Daily attention to a balanced exchange of exercise and rest with plenty of real free time
  • get a feel for when kids need a break (restless, tearful, exhausted act ...) and allow them to break rather than to feed them with new impulses
  • as early as possible best to start with relaxation therapy for the child, as a baby
  • Relaxation breaks - whether physical exercises or Kuschel times - fixed in everyday anchor (e.g., as rituals after coming home from the homework or to fall asleep)
  • Exercises slowly and playfully introduce without pressure and coercion
  • Select Age-appropriate methods take into account interests and abilities
  • The relaxation sessions always only after a phase of movement (and never right after eating) initiate gentle, for example, (Watch hourglass, taste or hearing tests with closed eyes ...) about Puzzle or perception Games
  • always be there to support, soothe in doubt if even anxiety reactions occur (for example, by a fantasy trip) - and praise a lot, even and especially in the beginning when it works not so good

Literature and media recommendations

for babies

  • Petra Neisari Tabrizi: Babysitting & Children massage. DVD. ASIN: 3000231358th 17.99 euros.

From 2 years

  • Karin Schaffner: On your back is something going on ...: Back perception games for children aged two to eight years. Pohl. 2009. ISBN-13: 978-3791102375. 8.80 euros.

From 3 - 4 years

  • Ursula Salbert: Holistic relaxation techniques for children: movement and rest exercises, stories and perception games from yoga, the autogenic training and progressive muscle relaxation. Ecotopia. 2010. ISBN-13: 978-3936286908. 16.95 euros.
  • Sabine Seyffert My island of silence. Relaxation stories for Zappelkinder. CD. Jumbo Neue Medien. 2004. ISBN-13: 978-3833710322. 12.99 euros.
  • Ursula Karven: Sina and the yoga cat. Rororo. 2008. ISBN-13: 978-3499214226. 6.95 euros.

Ages 5 and up

  • Doris Stoehr-Mäschl: rest is good! Fantasy travel, exercise and relaxation exercises for children. Publishing at the Ruhr. 2008. ISBN-13: 978-3834604200. 16.80 euros.


In the web

  • www.batev.de (German Association for autogenous training and relaxation therapy)