Adults need to demonstrate the modes (1) and practice along with them, for a few sessions. Once introduced, they readily absorb the technique. Whenever they feel the need to comfort themselves, they use it as their own tool, with no prompt from the adults.
Children from nine years can practice all the modes (1).
Five to eight year olds can practice the ‘Tip mode’ (2).
For younger children, try this simpler version of the tip mode: Ask the the child to breathe only once at each finger and move to the next one. Depending on the response of the individual child, gradually increase it to two breaths and then three. As an alternative to using the finger tips, you can ask the child to fold one finger at a time and breathe only once. Introduce to the child as a fun activity.
When should they practice?
The best time to initiate children into this practice is bed time. Sit or lie down by the side of the child and practice together. Watch the finger movements and the up and down movement of the abdomen, to see if their movements match. If the child breathes fast, say calmly and soothingly one or more of these statements “take your time”, “no rush” “breathe slowly” or such calming words. Children may be more receptive as a group. Experiment and develop your own strategies.
Don’t pressurize. Let the child practice with a liking for it when he or she is in a positive mood. Let the child develop the habit at her own pace. Every child is different.
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Parent page: Training children in FOB