How to teach your child self-hypnosis in 8 steps

When I’m daydreaming, I dream of sleep. It’s that sweet elixir that evades most homes with children between the ages of 0 to around 7. Beyond sleep, parents struggle to offer their children tools for stressful situations at school and other anxiety-producing activities.

The first seven years of life is when the foundation of the subconscious mind is laid. This is the mental landscape where all of our inbuilt beliefs, behaviors, and feelings live.

What if we gave our children one simple tool to help them navigate all the newness and challenges of these early years of life? A tool that would lay a solid and positive foundation in their subconscious mind. A tool they could take with them into adulthood, helping them blossom into a well-adjusted, calm, compassionate, and thriving adult.

That tool is self-hypnosis.

The number one question I receive from parents of the young hypnotherapy clients I work with is, “Can you give my child calming strategies they can continue to use on their own?”

I can. And so can you.

There are simple steps you can teach your child to travel within their own beautiful mind to a safe space I like to call the Healing Room.

In the Healing Room the child is at peace, in a zone of deep rest and safety, and unafraid of the darkness and the imaginary creatures they may believe live within it.

The steps below are a form of self-hypnosis. Practice these steps with your child every night at bedtime until you notice them utilizing them on their own. You can also make a list of the words in bold to help them remember these simple steps.

(If your child is using the self-hypnosis for something besides sleep, only have them go to Step #7, then count themselves back up the stairs from zero to five after they’ve thoroughly explored and enjoyed the Healing Room.)

You can recite the words below verbatim to ensure your child learns this technique quickly and easily.

1. Breathe

Become aware of your breath. Notice how it feels flowing in through your nose, and out through your nose. Every breath makes you feel more and more relaxed, and you begin to sink into the surface below — feeling very heavy.

2. Eyes

I now want you to close your eyes, and notice how comfortable that feels. The longer you pay attention to your eyes, the more deeply they seem to close, and that feels very nice to you.

3. Light

Imagine a warm and fuzzy feeling starting to move down the top of your head and over your eyes. This is a special protective light being sent to you from the Universe above, keeping you safe from anything you are afraid of or nervous about. Let this light move down your entire face, through your arms, across your chest, into your tummy, down your legs, through your feet, and ending at the tips of your toes — your entire body is now surrounded by this warm and protective light.

4. Special Word

It’s now time to choose one special word you will fill your entire mind and body with. The feeling of this word will stay with you all night (or all day). The word can be anything you wish, but I’ll give you a few examples: deep sleep, courage, calm, fun, clarity, kindness, or bravery. (Add any other words you feel are relevant to what your child is in need of. Have your child tell you what their special word is.)

5. Stairs

Now with your eyes closed, feeling very comfortable, I want you to take your one special word, and imagine walking down five steps in your mind. These steps end at your special inner Healing Room. Five, four, three, two, one. You are now looking at the door of your Healing Room.

6. Healing Room

In your mind, open the door to your Healing Room and look at all the colors and furniture in the space. Your favorite colors are on the walls, your favorite textures are on the cozy furniture, your favorite music is playing in the room, and your favorite smells are in the air. (You can elaborate here, talking about the specific features you know your child loves. Help them bring the room alive in their mind.)

7. Safety

When you’re in this room you feel very safe, happy, and comfortable — you love this room. And while you’re in this room (insert special word here) fills your entire mind and body again. You’re safe from any harm when you’re in this space, and the room will continue to protect you, even when you leave it.

(Continue through Step #8 and #9 if it’s bedtime.)

8. Bed

You now see a very soft bed in the room, climb into that bed and let your head sink into the pillow. Wrap the cozy covers around you and notice how sleepy the bed makes you feel.

9. Deep Sleep

As you lay in this bed your eyes become very heavy, your breathing deepens, and you float down, down, down into a very deep sleep, where only happy dreams will play in your mind.

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