Children are very easy to hypnotize because most of them are already in an altered state! Their suggestibility is normally that of a Physical until they are at least 4-5.
Up to the age of 3 children are totally open to all suggestions, sights, sounds, associations, influences, learning, teachings, involving their entire environment.
In other words, they are completely programmable- just like a new computer. Their critical mind has not developed- their brain wave pattern is too slow to filter information. They absorb it all.
At this age, there is no need to create conversion with kids. They are already in that trance state.
The skill you require at this stage is the skill of storytelling: Of using animals, or imaginary characters to tell their story. Reading books to children of this age is creating their belief systems and telling the subconscious mind how to respond.
Their attention span is very short, so make your point in short pieces. 5 minutes, 10 minutes.
From age 4-6 their brain waves are speeding up slightly but not enough to have formed a critical mind filter, so they are still absorbing most of the information that is being presented to them and around them. 15 minutes is likely long enough for them.
After the age of 6 they are more able to depend on the information they have stored in the first 6 years and begin to develop the ability to filter out information that doesn’t agree with their previously formed beliefs or habits or value systems. Their brain waves are still not as fast as an adult. And very often, even between 6-10 years, they will easily drift in and out of altered states when focused on something.
After age 4, use an eye fixation induction – something sparkly and fun, but something that is immobile, so it doesn’t move their attention to other things in the room. You will want to continue to avoid talking directly about their “issue”, but involve them in the hypnosis. At this age your storytelling can involve favourite movie characters or super heroes. Involve them in the story: often they will help you tell the story and that will help you to understand why they have the issue they have.
Have them solve the problem for someone in the story. That will create a newer and more beneficial solution in their subconscious mind.
Their response to hypnosis is not the same as an adult. When you hypnotize an adult you can visibly see that “body sleep” that we talk about. Most children will not sit still during hypnosis any more than they would if they were watching TV or playing a game.
Because the altered state is natural to children, they will not experience the same “body sleep” that we see in an adult. Most of them will move around, and speak as though they would normally. Because your child client behaves this way, it doesn’t mean they aren’t receiving the benefit of your session.
By age 12, their brain waves are similar to an adult. They will have a developed critical mind and you will have to bypass that critical mind in order to make changes at the subconscious level, just as you would an adult.
Techniques and treatments will be the same as with an adult as long as your suggestions are appropriate for their age.
Regardless of the child’s age, they must be willing to talk to you or work with you. If they are old enough to understand they are feeling something or doing something that is not good for them, they must want to change that in order for you to help them do that.
And you will want to be able to talk to them on their age level. Not as an adult, but as a partner in making these changes with them.
Caution: Be sure your eye fixation does not include flashing or strobe lights. They have been known to create migraines or seizures in children.
What types of things can we help children with, using Hypnosis techniques?
Anything you can help an adult with.
Some specific to kids might be:
Confidence in school
Dealing with criticism
Dealing with bullies