Strapped in the car seat?? You POOR BABY!!The toddler life is stressful, y’all. Play date after play date, cheerios to be crushed into the carpet and blamed on your baby brother, and endless piles of blocks to be stacked and knocked over. And nap time? Fuhgeddaboudit.
Now some British children at least have a solution to coping with their mad, crazy lives in relaxation therapy. That’s right -- kids as young as three are learning how to self soothe through techniques like massage and fairytale visualization. The hope of these sessions is that the preschoolers will be able to “rid themselves of ‘negative energy.’”
The hour-long classes are run by sisters Nicola Lamb and Cheryl Williams at the Lev Inspire Centre in the Manchester area of North West England. Nicola, a former mental health worker and mother of one, says:
I had been looking for ways to prevent children getting mental health problems and this is a way of doing that without using medication … kids today are so busy they don’t get time out, rushing around in and out of school and rates of mental health illnesses amongst children are so much higher.
Well ok then. I didn’t realize that normal three-year-olds had problems that couldn’t be solved with setting appropriate boundaries and providing chocolate milk. Of course being three is stressful (although arguably not as stressful as it is for the parents of a three-year-old), and in our house we’ve often referred to it as BBS -- Baby Bipolar Syndrome.
They’re just trying to figure out their world, and that’s an emotional thing. Of course they’re going to have meltdowns. Older children and adults need therapy to learn to cope with the world around them, but for toddlers, that’s just called growing up. That’s what toddlers do -- they grow and mature, and through guidance and interactions with others, learn how to navigate life with as few breakdowns as possible.
Actual lessons in baby-back rubbing and fairytale visualization sound like they’re really just parenting classes. Of course rubbing your kids back and telling them a story relaxes them -- that’s why we do it at bedtime. That’s not therapy; it’s called good parenting.
Will kids benefit from classes like this? Sure. Do they need them? Nope. They just need attentive parents. I do, however, know some moms and dads that could use a course or two in how to handle a tantrum-throwing toddler. Hint: It doesn’t involve buying that ice cream they’re screaming over.
Would you consider enrolling your child in relaxation therapy?