Ethan has always been a sensitive soul but lately he has been suffering with anxiety. The cause of his anxiety is mostly about attending school due to a couple of toxic friendships but it is also causing him to have sleep issues, stomach aches and lots of tears.
I thought I would write a post about a few things we have done to help ease this anxiety and help him sleep better. I thought that even if it helps someone else a little it would be worth it.
First off to help the sleeping we got a bedtime reward chart that we got off EBay for £3.49 including postage and free personalisation. Ethan is enjoying the idea of a reward when he reaches 16 stars per week (he doesn’t stay here every night) and it has worked well for the first week we have had it. [Item number – 254215758835]
Secondly we have been using a bedtime spray from ASDA for around £1.30. I really wanted to try the one from Lush and Soul Candles but they were slightly more expensive so I wanted to try this one first. It works a charm with a mixture of Lavender and Chamomile which are both meant to be sleep enticing. I have been using it on Ethan’s stomach under his pyjamas so there is no chance that it will go in his eyes or mouth. It can also be used within bath time routines as it is suitable for both wet and dry skin.
Our third and final sleep method we have been using is the Moshi Twilight app via Ethan’s Alexa in his room. He loves listening to the stories and when we have them on he is asleep before the story even ends. I don’t know if it is the mixture of the sleep spray, reward chart and the stories or if it just one thing more than the other but we aren’t gonna change it up as its working. It is a free app and easy to turn on with Alexa by just asking for “Moshi Twilight” and let Alexa do the rest.
Ethan’s anxiety isn’t just sleep related it is also getting worse overall. We have decided that each day after school we will have a wind down and we have been doing that via colouring and non electronic play. Ethan is allowed his tablet and Switch whenever he wants but we have found that lately that colouring seems to help him.
Maggy found this perfect book for him in The Works which is based at anxiety for Children. It is called Don’t Worry Be Happy by Poppy O’Neill and is aimed at children aged 7-11.
It is full of colouring and drawing related ways to express what he is thinking and feeling. It was a bargain at £3.00 but the RRP is around £10.00 and it is totally worth it. Ethan is loving having somewhere to express himself and that it is private and only for him. I know some children prefer to talk it out but Ethan has seemed to taken to colouring and drawing so I will encourage it as long as he needs me too.
I have spent a lot of time reading about childhood anxiety and how to help him and it appears that most books suggest support, talking and making sure the child feels safe and loved. Ethan feels loved and safe at home but it is his school worries that are concerning him and we are now working with ways for him to feel better at school too. Finding out the route of his worries has helped us massively and is now the key to us being able to help him fully.
If you have any ideas that might help us feel free to comment below or send me an email with any articles, blogs or books too that might be beneficial too. We are hoping we are on the right track but we are taking each day as it comes at the minute. Now his sleep has improved everything seems a little bit easier.