From Sabbat-themed bedtime stories to the mysticism of the moon cycles, the simple act of tucking your child in at night presents a great opportunity to introduce daily spiritual self-care.
It’s never to early to honor your little one’s spirit!
Here are some ideas to get you started.
Look at the moon together. Make a point every night before bed to ask your child to note what the moon phase is. In a few months, watch your child start recognizing the patterns and tuning into the moon’s cycles.
Add calming herbs and oils to the bathwater during tub time. Particularly after a tough or stressful day, think of the bathtub as a large cauldron (you know how we witches love to boil children!) and add oils or sachets of herbs to the bathwater to sooth frayed nerves or heal hurt feelings.
Create an evening altar routine. Start simply for smaller children and work up to something more elaborate, allowing the child to add their personal touches as they grow. My toddler learned to extinguish a candle with a snuffer during his prayer ritual at school and he loves it, so I incorporated this idea into our own practice.
Make a “sweet dreams jar.” Fill a jar with “sleeping” herbs like peppermint, lavender and mugwort. Leave it on your child’s nightstand for peaceful slumbers.
Consider incorporating pagan themes and myths into bedtime stories. Believe it or not, actual books that cater to pagan/Wiccan kids exist. My favorite for my 20-month old recently became Aurora Lightbringer’s series. In particular, I often include her book, Moon Magic, in my toddler’s rotation of bedtime stories.
But remember, most historical pagans relied on oral traditions to pass down their stories, so feel free to tell them from memory, too. Tell the stories from the Wheel of the Year on the eve of every Sabbat, for example, to make your child feel included in and excited about your holidays.
Sew a protection charm into your child’s favorite stuffed toy. If your child struggles with a fear of the dark, open a seam in one of his toys and place a protection stone, charm or talisman inside before you sew it back up. Let him help you choose the stone and participate in the process as much as possible.
Help your child start a dream journal. If you have an older child, take her to a bookstore and let her choose a special blank book to record her dreams. Even children recognize and appreciate symbols in their dreams.
Help your child learn to meditate. Teaching your child the basics of meditation helps your child transition from the bustle of evening activities to the quiet chill-out of bedtime. Start with simple concepts. As him to place his hand on his stomach and feel it move up and down as he breathes. Or consider alternating bedtime stories with child-friendly guided meditation recordings.
Try using acupressure. As you may recall, baby foot massage took Pinterest by storm a few years ago. Research pressure point charts, articles and blogs on massage for kids with your child. As a bonus, if your child shows an interest, you can offer to let him “practice” his technique on your tired feet!