Is Your Child an "Energy Seeker"? Here’s How to Create a Calm Children’s Bedroom
As a parent, have you ever experienced this?
After a pretty typical day, your child is bouncing off the walls come 8pm – and the concept of bedtime is completely lost. You know it’s going to be tears and tantrums until, at last, they crash out long after 9pm.
You’ve done everything right. You stuck to the routine, did all the usual stuff. But somehow… Their energy is just off the charts.
They’re getting out of bed, turning on the lights and getting the toys out... And if you stay in their room with them, it’s endless fussing, chatting, and requests.
Does that sound familiar?
If your child seems to constantly be moving, or chatting, spinning, or humming, there can be a million reasons for it.
Neurodivergent kids, particularly those with ASD, will “stim''; a term used to describe self- stimulating behaviours (like repetitive movements or vocalisations) that scratch a certain neurological itch, and dissipate an internal energy that their minds produce.
In a similar way, kids with ADHD can pick up on external stimuli and run with it, pouring their energy into an activity that utterly captivates their attention (actually, the “attention deficit” bit of ADHD probably needs a bit of a rebrand… maybe we’ll touch on that another day).
But this kind of behaviour isn’t unique to ND children – and it’s not a sign of a neurodivergent child.
Neurotypical kids can do this, too.
When any child lacks the sensory input they crave, they will seek it. And this is what we mean by energy seekers; the children who have an insatiable appetite for making, playing, doing and being. The ones always looking for stimulation, satisfaction, and fun.
These are the most beautiful of traits. But we’ve got to keep our children safe, healthy – and make sure we all get some sleep! How can we do that, without stifling them or robbing them of their confidence?
We need to become their “energy guardians”.
Energy Seekers need Energy Guardians
The “energy guardian” role is about protecting energetic boundaries.
Now, this can be a difficult concept for kids – and for parents.
So, let’s try to frame it within the boundaries of play, and particularly the rules that parents establish.
We believe that all play is appropriate play. If a child wants to pretend that their doll is their baby, or the villain in their game – or to use their doll as building block, or to remix their dolls into Frankenstein dolls… These are all appropriate and valid forms of play and creative expression. Their toys, their choice.
But still, play has boundaries. It becomes obvious to most of us when play has gone over the line. Within this, some parents might express a certain desire for their children to show “respect” for their toys – but this usually just encompasses a wider theme of respectful play.
Be kind and thoughtful when playing with others. If you’re sharing toys, then treat them kindly, too.
The boundaries of physical play are clear; your toys are yours to do with as you will, consequences and all. Other people’s belongings? There’s a boundary – sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken.
But how do you set boundaries for energy?
What is appropriate energy?
Is all energy appropriate? Well… perhaps controversially – yes.
When a child puts their energy out into the world, they aren’t responsible for how they are received – even if they are ultimately responsible for their actions.
Their energy is as valid as anyone else’s output and contribution. But, as parents, we know that overstimulation is a negative for wellbeing. Their experiences with sensory overload can alter their mood for the worse and make it difficult to unwind. When it starts impacting sleep, health, and the family’s overall quality of life – it’s gone too far.
Children, too, need respite from an increasingly noisy world.
And so, their energy – and the things that stimulate their energetic output – should be allowed. Energy in children, just like in physics, chemistry, and biology, must reach equilibrium.
Go with their flow.
An energy guardian should know the boundaries of their child’s stimulation; the peaks and troughs of their energy; the ebb and flow of their mood. When the energy peak is approaching, encourage it.
When a trough is coming, watch for the signals in their mood.
We all know the markers of an oncoming mood change in our children, whether they can express what they’re feeling or not.
And while all energy is valid, we must frame it in time, as well as space. If you know of certain stimuli that can interrupt wind-down time, then seek to remove them – or expect them to be sought.
Here’s an example: it’s not your child’s (or anyone else’s) fault that the sun is still shining brightly at 8pm in the summer months, nor is it their fault that light is a key stimulating factor for them. But the energy they’re seeking and getting from natural light – this can be sought and obtained from artificial light.
TVs, tablets, phones – even a bedside reading light.
Guard their energy by removing as much of these stimulants as possible. As a side note – blackout curtains beat blackout blinds, every time!
Designing a calm space, where energy can be guarded, will encourage their energy to flow into the state it needs to be in. And at Pea, the calm children’s bedrooms and themes we create are inspired by nature; the greatest energy management system in the universe.
How to Create a Calm Space for Energy Seeking Children
We’ve touched on lighting above – but there are many factors that can help guard and manage the energy of children, particularly in their bedrooms.
A key element is creating an immersive space, where calm is the anchor. Its why themed bedrooms work so well – not just from a design standpoint, but as an immersive experience for your child.
Put it this way: chaotic bedrooms have chaotic energy.
A cohesive, planned-out bedroom that has been engineered for calm is so much more than the Instagrammable snapshot.
In short, interior design is important, and it’s no less important for children.
Read more – The true importance of your child’s bedroom
If mood and energy are directly linked to our environment, then we can help our children experience better energy flow and improve their mood simply by managing their environment.
So, where should you start?
If there’s only one thing you can do right now, make it this: simplify.
If your child’s bedroom has a chaotic energy, then seek simplicity.
Reduce stimulating sources – and make calm the primary theme that you immerse yourself in when in your child’s bedroom.
Mess can cause frustration and anxiety. Being spoiled for choice can be overwhelming. Having toys out on display can be an invitation to play, long after bedtime.
Good storage is the key to overcoming most of these hurdles – but so are habit-forming behaviours, like tidy up time.
As well as encouraging a positive structure for their energy, and guiding focus on single tasks, simplicity has a calming effect – and anything after that is really a bonus.
Elaborate on themes: let nature be your guide
At Pea, we focus on nature to develop our bedroom themes. Why? Because the outdoors, set to the clockwork rhythms of the sun and moon, and the interplay between the natural world, is what governs our primaeval functions. Our long-forgotten habitat – the trees, hills, riverbanks – it still governs our energy.
So, let nature be your guide.
Decorate with colours that evoke the calm of nightfall; the muted grey and blue tones of the sky’s natural evening colours, augmented with warm lighting that mimics dusk for winding down time.
Nature, at its most tranquil, is the epitome of calmness. Let it show you what to do.
Immersion is about details…
Light and colour are major factors – but the details are where the game is really won. Just as the smell of coffee and toast is a trigger to wake up, the smell of freshly laundered bedding is enough to entice you in for a lie down. And the bedding itself should be breathable, soft, and super comfy – like our 100% percale cotton kids bedding.
The sound of crickets chirping, or gentle soothing music, can help the brain let go of the thoughts keeping it awake. And lower temperatures can calm us down when it's time to relax.
There are many elements that build into an immersive, calming environment – and how you get there is really down to how you and your child experience calm; but hopefully, these fundamentals will give you a guide to creating a calm children’s bedroom, and some insight into guarding your little energy seeker.
Every child deserves to sleep well
At Pea, we’re committed to helping every child enjoy their energy, their imagination – and their rest. Shop our range of themed children’s bedrooms, and create a space where their energy can flow throughout the day.