By Jennifer Allison
Summer has come into full swing with longer days and later nights, and all the extra sunshine has everyone busy with activity. In the natural world, nature is teeming with life, plants are at their peak growth for the year, and animals are busy foraging and feeding their young.
We are all part of this cycle of life, and we can easily get swept into the energy that is available to us at this time. Our children are feeling it, too! They are out of their school rhythms, and there is a freedom that comes with that. In my household, it can be frazzling to have later nights and days full of activities.
How about you? Are you also feeling the fullness of summer in your home? When our kids are whirling with the day’s activities, it is nice to help bring some calm and groundedness back into their beings. That helps restore rest, and it supports the growth they are also experiencing during the summer.
As a follow up to last month’s column, here are some additional ways to support your kids now that summer is here, and the energy is running high.
- Keep a consistent bedtime: What does this mean exactly? Well, if you are taking advantage of the later daylight, then you have probably moved bedtime back a bit. That is just fine, so keep it the same for your children. They still need eight to 10 hours minimum of rest per night, depending on their age, and more if they are younger. No child can do well with fewer than eight hours of sleep. Their bodies are still developing, and they need our help to get the rest they need.
- Use natural remedies: In our house, we love to take Epsom salt baths and use essential oils on our bodies. Warm salt baths help to ground and support their bodies physically and emotionally. Essential oils, like lavender and chamomile, offer gentle therapeutic benefits. Also dilute the oils with carrier oil like almond or coconut oil, or another one you like. Start with just a small amount — one drop — to make sure your child doesn’t have a reaction.
- Take an evening walk: Nature is healing. Children will do much better in the evening spending time outdoors on a walk, at a park or just in your backyard – as opposed to watching television or doing screen time before bed. Media can be a challenge for many children, winding them up and creating mental hyperactivity. It’s a good idea to bring some mindfulness about when you are allowing their interaction with media.
May these suggestions serve as tools to benefit your family on these long summer days, and to help keep healthy rhythms in your home!
Jennifer Allison is an early childhood educator at Gnome’s Home. Visit gnomeshome.org for information on classes for children and adults.