Toolkit For Children
This ritual has developed out of our work in helping children deal with challenging, sad or distressing news. We have found it to be a wonderful blessing for children and a comfort for their parents. You can take as long or as little time with this ritual as seems appropriate for the age of the child. This ritual is wonderful for children from the age of about three.
You can watch Petrea’s Rainbow Ritual on video or find the full text below.
When a child is ready for sleep, ask them to snuggle down into a comfortable position so that you can wrap them up in a rainbow. You can ask the child to close their eyes so that they can imagine better.
Running your hand lightly over the whole of their body, from the top of their head to the tips of their toes, ask the child to imagine that you’re wrapping them up in a cloud of red – the colour of tomatoes and fire engines.
You can ask the child if they can see the colour – children can always visualise colours.
Next, still running your hand lightly over their body, you ask the child to imagine that you’re wrapping them up in a cloud of orange – the colour of oranges, marigolds and nasturtiums.
Next, you wrap them in a cloud of yellow – the colour of wattle, daffodils and golden warm sunshine on a bright sunny day.
Then the colour green – the colour of spring leaves and new mown grass. All the while running your hand lightly over the body of the child.
Next you wrap the child in the colour of blue – the colour of the clear blue sky on a sun filled day or the colour of the ocean.You can ask the child again if they’re able to see the colours.
Then the colour of indigo – the colour of the night sky behind the stars.
Then you wrap the child in the colour violet – the colour of little sweet smelling violets peeping out amongst the flowers in the garden.
Finally, place your hand over the child’s heart and get them to visualise as strongly as they can a rainbow that starts in their heart and that comes out through the air and connects with your heart (placing your hand over your heart). Tell the child that this rainbow keeps the two of you connected all through the night.
You can make up a prayer or a poem to go with the ritual. A popular one is:
I wrap you in a rainbow of light to care for you all through the night. Your guardian angel watches from above and showers you with her great love.
After connecting up by rainbow with you, the child might like to send rainbows to loved ones or friends in need of love or support. They can send them to people they’re separated from by distance, divorce, illness or death. Children can be wrapped in rainbows before they’re separated from you for any reason – beginning pre or primary school, leaving for camp, staying with friends or grandparents.
Rainbows can be used in a myriad of circumstances. When passing a car accident, instead of becoming distressed about it, instead visualise that you’re all under one end of a rainbow breathing in the iridescent colour and peace of the rainbow then extend the other end of the rainbow to those in need.
Imagine your love and blessings flowing over the rainbow, like fairy dust, bringing peace and calmness so that what needs to get done gets done quietly and efficiently.
Rainbows can be sent to those affected by floods, disasters or other distressing situations which often leave children (and ourselves) feeling helpless. They can be sent between family members if someone is feeling sooky, sick or overwhelmed. They can be sent for exams, medical tests or treatments.
By sending rainbows, children feel they’re making a valuable and positive contribution instead of feeling powerless to help. Wrapping children in rainbows usually ends nightmares and separation anxiety. Don’t be surprised to see rainbows appear in a clear blue sky, outside a hospital window or in totally unexpected places.
If you have a rainbow story you’d like to share with us please do.
Please feel free to contact us at the Quest for Life Centre if we can be of any assistance to yourself or a member of your family or if you need a rainbow sent to someone you love or yourself. Copyright Petrea King
Meditation for Children
For teachers, this meditation is ideal to settle children after playing and to have them focus their attention for learning. If children are lethargic or disinterested then get them to do some stretching before the practice.
You can ask one of the children where or who they would like to send a rainbow to from the class today.
Ask the children to sit either cross-legged with hands on knees, on the floor without touching each other or at their desks.
For parents or carers, this is also a lovely practice to do at home.
Here is the script that can be read at a pace according to the age of the children:
Close your eyes tightly, open them wide and let them close over lightly.
Feel your body sitting on the floor/chair. Notice how the floor/chair supports your body. Be aware of the shape of your body. Notice the touch of your clothing. Feel the texture of your clothing and notice the temperature that your clothing helps create. Notice if there are any twitchy, itchy or restless parts of your body.
Become aware of your breathing noticing the inward and outward breath. You’ll notice a little rest at the end of the inward breath before it becomes an outward breath. There’s another rest at the end of the outward breath before it becomes an inward breath. Just be aware of the rest at the end of the inward and outward breath.
Now imagine a bright and beautiful rainbow that comes down through the ceiling, that surrounds and envelops each one of us, passes through us into Mother Earth. Breathe in the iridescent colours of the rainbow. Breathing in sparkling red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. A soft iridescent mist of colour that flows into your body with each inward breath.
Imagine the colours gathering in your heart; bless them with your love and extend the other end of the rainbow out through the ceiling to (the person, place or situation – eg. to Harry’s mother, to the people affected by the cyclone, to all the animals who are frightened by the fires/floods/storms). See them bathed in the light and peace of the rainbow; filled with its healing and magic. Extend your love and blessings like fairy dust across the rainbow to her/them/it and see them filled with peace and love. See them comforted by the rainbow and connected to you via a rainbow of love. (Pause for a few moments)
Now focus on your own heart and breathe in the colours of the rainbow to bring you peace and happiness. And, when you’re ready, open your eyes again. Please feel free to contact us at the Quest for Life Centre if we can be of any assistance to yourself or a member of your family or if you need a rainbow sent to someone you love or yourself. Copyright Petrea King
The greatest gift you can give yourself, your children, your family and your community is the gift of your own good physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. By being a living demonstration of how to care for these various aspects of yourself, you teach your children how to do the same for themselves. Children model themselves on what they see and experience around them. They are far more influenced by what they see and feel than what you might be telling them. In an ideal world, our values underpin our behaviours. It follows then, that our words and actions are congruent with the values we want to instil in our children. None of us are perfect parents! We are all doing our best, given who we are, what happened to us as we grew up, our life experiences, and what we made of that upbringing and those experiences. We can all be a ‘work in progress’ as we grow and mature into greater wisdom, compassion, insight, understanding and creativity. If we are willing to share our own vulnerabilities with our children, we teach them that it is ok not to be perfect but it is always important to live according to our values.
Reality is dictated by our perspective Young children have a wonderful open-minded curiosity about everything. They have a natural ability and inclination to learn and to explore. As teachers and parents we can foster and encourage this open enquiring awareness, by being aware of when we are imposing our own perspective or judgements. Copyright Petrea King