Encouraging Calmness in Children With Anxiety with Luminara Serdar

On today’s episode of the Gentle Parenting Show, Kim is joined by Luminara Serdar. Luminara is an autism recovery expert who helps parents discover and address the root causes of their child’s challenging behaviors so that a child can be calm, happy, develop to peer level, and gain independence. Her mission is for all parents to feel competent, empowered, and happy. She has trained as a scientist in genetics, cell biology, and biochemistry, as a functional nutritionist and holistic healer. Today Kim and Luminara talk specifically about effectively getting anxiety-causing toxins out of kids and calming techniques for children with anxiety. 

A Child’s Body with Anxiety 

When a child is experiencing anxiety, their body is in fight or flight mode. Think about your own body when you’re in fight or flight – you feel tense, anxious, and are quick to anger. It doesn’t feel very good. 

Ways to Stop The Body from Experiencing Anxiety 

Luminara is all about using natural methods to fight and reduce anxiety. One of these ways is diet. She says to focus on whole, organic foods. Focus on fresh fruits, veggies, and organic meat. Of course, eliminating sugar is a huge help in the mental system. Luminara says that “what we put in the body is what becomes the body.” Food additives have an effect on the body that can increase gut levels. This increases anxiety levels. 

There are also other factors besides food that can cause a child’s body to experience anxiety and go into fight or flight mode. Parasites and toxins are both things that can affect a child’s nervous system. 

For example, mercury from a birth mother’s dental fillings can affect a child in utero. Uranium in water is an example of a toxin. Pay attention to what your child is breathing inside the home. Are there fire retardants in furniture and bedding? Are there toxic candles burning? Being aware of what your child is consuming inside the home is a huge step in recognizing how their environment affects their anxiety. 

Overall, anxiety can have a lot of root causes. Some, you can control, and some are too far beyond your roles as a parent. What’s important is to pay attention to what we can, which is the food our child consumes and the environment they live in. 

Things You Should Do For Children with Anxiety 

The most impactful way you can help your child with anxiety is to be in tune with their energy and mood. Really, really listen to your child. Luminar says “to be there for your child, you have to do something with your energy, not just your words.”

Listening and connecting on a deeper level helps a child with anxiety. The world is crazy right now, and our children are feeling it. Their worry about the current world is showing itself as anxiety. Shift the narrative pattern with your children from anxious fear to positivity and gratitude. Know that this too shall pass. 

A great tactic that Luminara shared for both kids and parents is to allow yourself to feel scared feelings. Feel them for 5 minutes and notice in the body where it affects you. It’s ok to feel the ups and downs. Sometimes it’s easy to feel anxious and depressed. We can show our children that it’s ok to feel those things, but we also need to demonstrate how to change thought patterns toward positivity. 

Calming Techniques for Children with Anxiety 

There are a couple of concrete examples that Luminara shares to use when your child is in an anxious downward spiral. Have them take a deep breath and count to four. Hold it for a beat, then release in six counts. This changes our brain and puts us into a parasympathetic state is the most calming state to be in. 

Another calming technique for children with anxiety is to put pressure on their third eye (the spot between their eyebrows). This helps because when a child is anxious or upset about something, they go to the reptilian brain in the back of their head. The pressure point of the third eye slows breathing. 

Luminara also suggests a “head hug”. This is when you place one hand behind their head and one on their forehead. This quickly calms the brain and regulates a child. But, Luminara suggests practicing thighs when your child is in a calm state. 

Of all these techniques, have your child choose what feels best for them. All of these techniques are to help your child feel more connected and loved. You can’t completely rid life of anxiety, it will still happen. But what you can do is provide connection and love during those anxious moments. An easy way to do this is to share appreciation and to teach your child to do the same. Luminara says to “shift out of negative and heavy behavior ask ‘what do I appreciate?” 

Connect with Luminara

The Sleep Lady®

The Sleep Lady is a brand, founded by Kim West, focusing on gentle sleep and parenting solutions. For over 25 years, we have helped hundreds of thousands of families get the rest they need, without leaving their children alone to cry it out. While we focus on sleep-training, we provide resources and tips for parents to help schedule their child’s day, feedings and more.

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The Gentle Parenting Show, created by Kim West - The Sleep Lady

In the Gentle Parenting Show, Kim West will interview parenting experts on everything from mindfulness to developmental milestones and how it relates to gentle parenting. Kim West is a LCSW-C, bestselling author and founder of a world-renowned gentle sleep training method. She and her team of Gentle Sleep Coaches have helped over 1 million families find gentle sleep through her courses, best-selling book and 1:1 coaching. Kim is the only baby sleep expert out there with 25-years of experience, and she’s seen everything when it comes to parenting.