Give Your Anxious Child a (Super!) Creative Dose of Relaxation with Stress Free Kids

loriloitebooksThe Goodnight Caterpillar and Sea Otter Cove are two of the children’s relaxation books created by Stress Free Kids founder and parent stress expert Lori Lite. They are available on in traditional printed format, as ebooks, and as audiobooks on compilation CDs. 

Lori Lite is sneaky, but in a good way. Her sneakiness is super-creative in nature and it helps anxious children relax. That’s because Lite uses colorful stories to teach children relaxation techniques that even some adults have trouble grasping.

It’s not just illustrated children’s books that do the trick. Her Stress Free Kids company produces an entire line of CDs, books, and other relaxation materials to help children and adults unwind, decompress, and otherwise kick anxiety to the curb.

While pumped with creativity, her children’s books were initially created out of necessity. Lite was spending about two hours each night trying to get her young son to wind down and get some sleep. Her daughter began to develop stress-related night terrors. Lite herself was becoming sick from anxiety.

So she wrote a bedtime story that did double duty: it entertained while introducing evidence-based relaxation techniques.

That’s where the sneaky comes in. We checked out two of her books and encourage parents of anxious children to do the same.

About the Two Books

The Goodnight Caterpillar: A Children’s Relaxation Story to Improve Sleep, Manage Stress, Anxiety, and Anger

Progressive muscle relaxation is the relaxation technique used in the caterpillar book, and the caterpillar certainly could use it. When the leggy fellow first appears, the caterpillar is literally tied in knots from all the stress, worry and anxiety crowding his mind.

You’d be stressed-out, too, if you had to find and eat tons of leaves to grow big and strong and then seek out a location to then build a cocoon. His task may even sound tougher that those 10 million errands you have to run and 8 million places you’re supposed to be.

Thankfully the caterpillar encounters a child in the sunshine who walks him through progressive muscle relaxation that ends up unwinding him from his head to his toes, to his toes, to his toes and to his other toes.

Check out The Goodnight Caterpillar (Stress Free Kids, 2011) on (non-affiliate link)

Sea Otter Cove: A Relaxation Story introducing deep breathing to decrease stress and anger while promoting peaceful sleep

When the sea otters breathe, the whole world literally breathes with them in this sweet ditty featuring a sea child and a band of otters. The sea child isn’t wound up like the caterpillar, as she has already discovered she can lie on a rock in the middle of the ocean to relax.

She looks so peaceful and serene the nearby otters can’t help but join her on the rock. Soon there’s a rock chock full of sea otters with a sea child. Enter the deep breathing technique, known as belly breathing, where your body breathes the way it’s supposed to breathe, with fluid, even motion devoid of hindrances and stress.

The ebb and flow of the breath matches the ocean, and lifts and dips of the seagulls in the sky. Before you know it, the whole world is peacefully pulsating on this in-and-out rhythm. Before you know it, your child is probably fast asleep – and you just might be, too.

Check it out Sea Otter Cove (Stress Free Kids, 2008) on (non-affiliate link)

About the Author

Lori Lite’s books are enchanting, her business is booming, and she’s even been featured on ABC’s Shark Tank where she nabbed a business deal with one of the Sharks. We needed to know more about this dynamo so we sent her a slate of questions…

I have to ask about your Shark Tank experience because I love that show and remember watching your episode with my wife!  Can you tell us about how that all came about and what it allowed you to do?

My Facebook savvy friend alerted me to a Facebook post that a new show was looking for mom entrepreneurs. The posting gave an email address and asked for a pitch. I hesitated for 5 days before sending that email. A little voice nudged me to give it a try. “Go ahead Lori, it will only take a minute to drop them a line about your business. You can pitch your company in your sleep.” So I wrote the email and to my surprise I received a response. I was very thrilled to find out that it was a Mark Burnett production.

Appearing on National Television gave me credibility and a platform to reach millions of people that could relate to my story. Parents connected with my message and validated just how important my work is. It allowed me to get my stress management message out to a broader audience. I have received inquiries from around the world and we are very interested in selling our foreign language rights. We have been able to release apps and my best selling CD, Indigo Ocean Dreams is now available in Spanish on my website. My son Austin Lite, mastered, mixed, and engineered this CD. Stress Free Kids is truly a family affair.

What part of being an author do you like the most?

Writing allows me to be an entrepreneur and express myself through storytelling. There is something magical in the moment that a story flows from my heart, brain, and soul onto paper. As an author I can share a part of myself with children everywhere. Through my stories I have a chance to leave an imprint of wellness and I am honored to help children. As an entrepreneur I can make my own hours and create my own destiny.

How do YOU keep stress levels low with all these exciting things going on?

This is definitely a challenge. My backyard is my relaxation oasis and I spend time outside every day with calming music playing in the background. I listen to Native American flute music or my Indigo Dreams: Rainforest Relaxation music and I breathe in the tranquility. I use all of the same techniques I present to children in my stories. I focus on my breathing, create positive statements, and visualize a positive outcome. These are my relaxation staples.

Why did you choose a caterpillar and why sea otters?

The caterpillar reminds me of a busy child who takes life a little bit too seriously. Caterpillars have so much to accomplish and so little time. The physicality of the caterpillar lends itself to being all tied up in knots and easily demonstrates how progressive muscular relaxation can be used to unwind. I couldn’t resist sea otters. Children relate to their playfulness and it isn’t much of a stretch to imagine a sea otter enjoying the sun on a rock while putting his hands on his belly to practice breathing techniques. All of my stories include animals that children can relate to.

What was the biggest challenge in creating these books?

The biggest challenge has been illustrating the stories. The stories are designed to relax and help children fall asleep. There is very little action occurring on each page. I wanted to keep children engaged but calm. I am the only author that can consider it a compliment to have a parent or child say they fell asleep while reading one of my titles.

What’s the biggest reward?

My biggest reward is living my life purpose on a daily basis. I go to sleep every night knowing that Stress Free Kids is helping children on this planet. It makes all of the hurdles worth jumping. I fight the small business fight every day and I would never stop. Children need to be empowered to create their own stress free moments in this very stress filled world. When a child hugs me and tells me “This is the best book ever.” I know I have made a difference and that is my biggest reward.

Did you ever foresee your life taking the turn it has?

I always sensed that I was supposed to do something of value. As a child, I loved creative writing and choreographing my own dance routines. I actually attended the High School of Performing Arts. I never could have predicted this for myself. I created my first story while putting my own son to bed. My husband suggested I write it down so that it could help other children and parents. Thankfully, I listened to him. It was a pivotal moment.  I learned to listen to my intuition and follow my heart. It has led me to this moment.

What’s the one piece of advice you think parents of stressed-out or anxious kids should know to help their children?

I would like them to know that they are not alone and ask them to reach out and share their experiences and hope with other parents. Twitter is a tremendous outlet to meet like-minded parents and support each other. Parents can find and share solutions that work for their child. Persistence and creativity are encouraged. It is worth it when you see your child manage a moment in a calmer manner than the day before.  Celebrate the small accomplishments. Empowerment takes time.

What’s the advice you wish they know to help themselves with the stress and pressure that comes with parenting a child with anxiety?

Try to live life in balance and be patient with yourself. Don’t lose the essence of you. Parents deserve self-care and self-love. Children want their parents to be happy.  Focus on integrating relaxation and stress management into your family’s life.  Honor yourself each day and use the following affirmation when your head hits the pillow. “I have done everything I could do for today.”

loriliteStress Free Kids Founder, Lori Lite has created a line of books, CDs, and curriculum designed to help children, teens, and adults decrease stress, anxiety, and anger. Lori is a certified children’s meditation facilitator and has been nationally recognized on programs such as ABC’s Shark Tank and CBS News. Her sought after practical tips and articles can be found in hundreds of publications such as Family Circle, Real Simple Magazine, Modern Mom, Today’s Parent, and Dr. Sears.