The 5 minute suggestion is something I’ve always struggled to get right so I asked Ruiko Henmi for more advice on how to do it properly. What she suggested is pretty similar to the outline given in the Shichida 5 Minutes Suggestion, but there were a few things she added which might facilitate the whole process. The following is based on what I got out of the translated conversation (we were speaking through an interpreter) so I hope it is accurate.
When I wrote about the Shichida 5 Minute Suggestion, some parents said it was hard to catch their child within the first 5 minutes of sleep. If you do it too early, your child is still awake and will respond if you speak to him. If you do it too late, you miss the 5 minute window. Sometimes, you don’t even know the moment your child has fallen asleep so how do you know whether you are in the 5 minute window? And if you have a younger child to settle to sleep, by the time you get to your older child, you will have missed your 5 minute window.
According to Ruiko Henmi, you can do the 5 Minute Suggestion an hour after your child has fallen asleep. The aim of the 5 Minute Suggestion is to impart a message to your child subconsciously. To make sure your child absorbs that message, give no more than two instructions. The first instruction should be about the change you desire to bring about in your child – for example, if you want your child to focus and pay attention in class. The second instruction should be a general one about your child’s life – that things are going smoothly in your child’s life, he is happy and full of energy each day. Do the 5 Minute Suggestion three time a week and then change your message.
There are 4 steps to the 5 Minute Suggestion:
- Tell your child: “Now you are asleep but you can still hear my voice.”
- Stroke your child’s arm and tell him: “Daddy, Mummy and sensei love you very much.” Why sensei? Because you want your child to develop a strong bond with his teacher so he can learn well in class.
- Reinforce your bond: “Mummy and you want the same thing.”
- Give your instruction.
When giving your instruction, always phrase it positively. Avoid negative words like “don’t”. Avoid giving a demand. For example, if you want your child to focus and concentrate in class, reinforce that class is fun and enjoyable and that your child will do well. Don’t say something like: “You will sit down in class and pay attention to sensei.” Because it is like a command and your child will resist it.
Hopefully this will help you get better success with your 5 minute suggestions…