Visualizations for Children
The relaxation scripts come from a wonderful book called The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook for Kids by L.E. Shapiro and R.K. Sprague. If you click on the title it will redirect you to a page where you can find more details about the book. Before any guided imagery or script, make sure you have your child is settled down and do the Whole Body Relaxation beforehand. Unless it is to prepare your child for sleep, ask your child to give you feedback on the exercise. What worked well, what did not, what they liked or did not like and then adjust accordingly. Remember the original scripts are in the book I mentioned above. You can purchase the book and read from the book so that your child hears your voice or you can just improvise your own script as you are guided by the ones I provided. Remember there is no right or wrong way to do this. The important part is that your child benefits from this.
Whole Body Relaxation
Basic Belly Breathing Slow belly breathing is an important part of relaxation as well as relaxing the body. It is best if you, the parent or caregiver, learn how to do it first so that you can better teach it to your child.
Belly Breathing for Children
The Island of the Sleeping Ponies This guided imagery is helpful for children who have trouble falling asleep. Remember to complete the whole body relaxation beforehand.
The Island of the Sleeping Ponies
The Balloon Ride This exercise presents itself like a story. Have your child settle down first. Have him become quiet and do a brief whole body relaxation first. This imagery is to help your child cope with stress.
Balloon Ride Script
The Rescue Dolphins This imagery is good to help children get rid of stomachaches. Have your child settle down first and do a quick whole body relaxation beforehand. Remind your child that he can bring back this pain-free or pain-reduced feeling and take it with him throughout the day. Once the exercise is completed, check with your child how it was and get his feedback. It might help to also draw a picture about this story.
Rescue Dolphin Script
A Special Place Please Listen to the Instructions carefully before listening to the script. For the special place script, it may be best if you slowly go through it yourself as opposed to having your child listen to my voice. It will allow you to take your time and give your child enough time to answer your questions. Make sure to invoke all his or her five senses when describing the special place. This will allow your child to visualize it even better. Make sure that the place is peaceful, not stressful and does not include anything that can agitate or excite your child.