Lavender and Camomile Activity: Kim Wilde’s tips for a relaxing family life

Celebrity gardener Kim Wilde and mum to Harry, 6, and Rose, 4, offers her advice on the following four important issues.

1. Showing them that you care can build a child’s confidence

Naturally, like all Mums, I want my children to grow up being happy and sociable, to make wise choices, mix easily and generally feel really good about themselves! I believe the best way of boosting my kid’s confidence to achieve all this is by being their talent scout and coach. I also try to show how much I care through hugs and cuddles – the bigger the better! After bath time when they’re wrapped up in towels, at bedtime over a bedtime story or while we snuggle in front of the TV. It’s such a simple yet powerful way to demonstrate I care. It helps make them realize just how utterly loveable they are.

2. Smoothing the way for their first big day

As a mum I know that starting school is a big step not only for them but for us too! They worry about fitting in, leaving home and even about being left behind at the school gates. According to the experts ‘Playing’ school with their dolls or teddies before they go to school can help them to ‘act out’ any worries or concerns they may have. It’s easier then to talk about their concerns to help put their minds to rest. Equally washing a child’s new uniform can give that comforting feeling you get from a familiar presence or aroma that will help reassure them throughout the school day.

3. Helping to calm those sleepless nights

Sometimes when it’s warm and light my kids find it hard to go to sleep and this summer has been no different. As an advocate of aromatherapy, I try to relax them before going to bed by popping them into a warm bath with a drop of purified lavender oil as its gentle aroma is well known to lower tension, ease stress and encourage relaxation. In fact I often wish it was my bath time instead! Afterwards we enjoy some cosy, quiet time – chatting together and reading stories in bed as this seems to help them unwind. Soft, fresh pajamas and bed clothes can also make them feel more comfortable and relaxed.

4. Soothing their stresses

All children nowadays are subject to tests and or exams. My role as ‘mum’ is to encourage them to do their very best without increasing their stress levels by pressuring them to get top marks. The experts say that coaching, not criticizing is the best route and keeping them relaxed is vital. I know that tension can be eased through exercise or fresh air as they both unwind the mind and uplift the spirit whatever age you are. Plus a good giggle can be a great release so I’ve compiled a collection of jokes and funny stories for when things get really tough. Equally a drop of lavender oil on their pillow will help them have a soothing sleep.

Advice compiled by Jenny Hooper BACP, BADth, hpc registered therapist