I invite you to look at the different ways your child spends time at home as the basis of setting up a calming environment in your home for your child. 1. Playing/Hobbies/Communicating, 2. Eating, and 3. Sleeping. Let’s start with the first category – you really want to set up a positive atmosphere for your child to play or communicate with you and friends. This can be felt by your child in the actual physical space – so keep it as calming as possible by not having a messy space, have things as tidy and as organized as you’re able to. You’ll have a better flow and energy in the room your child spends the most time in when at home. And in that physical space, you want to consider the energetic component of the space. Because our kids are so sensitive to energies, I invite you to put away all types of crystals and rocks since crystals absorb energy and then amplify that energy (both good and bad energy). I know this from first-hand experience. I used to have crystals all over my home, because I thought they brought such great healing properties, but in fact, they were not good for my daughter to be around, and accentuated her symptoms. You can even clear your home each week by using sage or palo alto to “burn incense” when your child is out of the house-especially if they are sensitive to smells. Another easy way to clear the energy in your home is to open your windows for a time and ask your angels/guides to clear the space in your home – and this is easy enough to do each and every day. Equally important, is to do your best to remove chemicals that are used in cleaning your home and get as naturally-based products as possible, including those you use to wash their bodies, hair and clothes with; and yours as well. Doing all of these simple things will set up a calming physical space for your child to play and communicate in.
When your child wants to play, now is your chance to be the observer – see what they are interested in doing, and create more of that stimulus – whether that is arts and crafts, music, or building for example. As their parent, you can look for what they love to do, what their strengths might be (in the sense that they are happy and absorbed in it),and then provide more of that for them. And you can also try to introduce different things that you think they might like to do. The idea is to give them all kinds of opportunities to be introduced to new tasks/games/hobbies at least a few times, and the be surprised and delighted at what they show you they love.
When they are communicating with you – whether your child is verbal or non-verbal – really take the time to be present with them, and respond accordingly. Remember in all your communications with them, come from a place of being committed to them (their health and well-being) versus focused on an outcome (which might be getting somewhere on time, for example). This will allow every interaction you have with them to be more peaceful, and will limit your frustration you may feel at times when you are set on a particular outcome. The more you can spend time with them feeling peaceful, the better their time with you will be. I talk a lot about this concept in another blog, entitled “3 Ways to Demonstrate Unconditional Love to your Child.”
Another important thing to do in your communication with them, is to speak to your child as the truly beautiful spirit and intelligent child that they are – whether they are verbal or not. Imagine if you’ve been speaking to your 12 year old non-verbal child as though you’d speak to an 8 year old? It is so easy for us to think we know what they can understand, but I can almost guarantee you that we don’t know. What if you tried speaking to your 12 year old child in the manner that you would speak to any 12 year old child? (No baby talk, no small children’s books). What if every interaction with your child, you were able to teach them to their age? We all have a thirst for knowledge, and just because your child may be non-verbal – this doesn’t necessarily equate to how much they can understand. Try it – you may be very surprised at just how much your child understands and can learn and absorb from you. Don’t let your perception of what you think your child can or can’t do actually determine what they can or can’t do! I truly believe that our children with autism and ADHD are at a higher energetic frequency/vibration than we are, and are more deeply and easily connected to the spirit realm than the average person. I’ve seen time again, that my child will often teach me lessons when I am peaceful and calm with her- and they are usually big spiritual lessons. One other way you can gift your child with a beautiful space at your home is by having a pet (dogs especially or even horses if you live somewhere that is available to you) – because they will always feel unconditional love from those pets, which helps create a calming and peaceful environment for them.
Outside your home, if you have beautiful trees or a park, do your best to take them out to be in nature as often as possible – this is another great way you can positively impact their environment.
When you’re in the house, limit screen time especially before bed, so they can interact, play, and have a peaceful sleep. Research shows that children who watch videos/tv/tablets before bed take longer to fall asleep – about 30 minutes longer on average – which over the 7 days amounts to almost 4 hours less sleep each week. It doesn’t sound like very much, but then imagine the cumulative effect of this over time. Use the evening as an opportunity to turn off screens an hour or so before bedtime and set up a beautiful bedtime routine, with things your child enjoys. Since they are so connected to the spirit realm, this can be a good opportunity to remain calm and peaceful, read together, or sing together. I’ll often talk about angels, rainbows and unicorns to allow my children the ability to let their imagination be active and think of beautiful things in the spirit realm. Whatever works for you, it really is an opportunity to create a beautiful bedtime routine.
Our kids also eat at home – so it’s another opportunity to set up a positive meal time routine. I’ve got a number of blogs about foods for kids with autism and ADHD – so please refer to those for specific information about what you will want to look for when you’re feeding your child. I provide all kinds of information about allergies/food intolerances, how to look for them, what to do when you find them, and how to supplement your child’s food intake with the nutrients they may be missing. And in addition to that information, what if we can teach our child a more conscious way of eating- as a family, to be present at the dinner table, to be thankful for our blessings and for our food, and to enjoy the connection we can have together while we nourish our bodies. Yes, sometimes, it’s so much easier to let them eat in front of the television, but if we focus on the connection and the “filling up” so to speak that we can provide our kids during meal times, then perhaps the joy of being together can come back for your child and you, around the dinner table.
And sleeping, of course – just like we set the physical space in the rooms that your child spends most of their time in, please make sure you do the same for their bedroom. Their bedroom should also be a peaceful place, a retreat that is tidy and uncluttered, (without any crystals/rocks) and can provide a positive space for your child. In addition to the bedtime routine you set up, their sleep is so important to rest and rejuvenate.
Now, I can recall a time, when I wasn’t looking forward to sleep for my child because she would often have night terrors. And then (as a shaman), I started to realize that not only was she sensitive to energies around her, but as I’ve said before, our children can be sensitive to the spirit realm – one we can’t necessarily see, but can sometimes feel/sense. I believe that our children with autism and ADHD can be very connected to the spirit world, and their night terrors are their experiences with spirits trying to interact with them. This is really a whole topic on its own, and one that can’t be described in a short time, but just know that if your child experiences night terrors, its likely because they are connected more easily to another realm than the one we see, and spirits can actually sense that our children are sensitive and choose to interact with them. And because, in our realm, this is disturbing to our children and to us, know that it can be fixed with a little support/help. If you’re interested in more information, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’d be happy to set up a free consult with you by phone.
In general, the main ideas on how to set up a calming environment for your child are in creating a physically and energetically peaceful space for your child to play and communicate in. From the parents point of view, to create an emotionally safe space for your child to be who they are without them feeling your anxiety, or stress; and to bring out the beautiful uniqueness that your child has. And, you can set up routines that help you connect with your child at meal times and bed time.