Updated: Sep 4, 2020
Kids and adults often dread the bedtime routine. The days are long and the evenings are rushed. That precious time between the end of the work/school day and bedtime has to hold so much. It can become a grueling and arduous process that takes a toll on everyone in the house. In addition to the seemingly endless to-list each night there are just as many emotions that come into play with bedtime that often impede a peaceful transition.
~ Parents are tired and ready to relax.
~ The kids may be over stimulated and revved up due to rambunctious playtime being too close to sleep time.
~ The kids may have been sitting around in class all day and doing homework all evening and still needing to get wiggles out.
~ Maybe the kids are scared of the dark or sleeping alone.
~ Some kids feel that bedtime is a punishment because they are sent to bed while others are still awake in the house or it could be leftover feelings of fear from being left to cry-it-out as infants and toddlers.
These (and many other things) can all impact the peacefulness, or lack thereof, of bedtime.
Kids need to know that sleeping is healthy, necessary, and that they are safe, so that they can fall into dreamland with security and love.
I believe that by creating a sacred bedtime bubble we can transform a chaotic evening into a peaceful nighttime routine that deepens our relationship with our kids (and partners). Through loving interest and active listening we create a kind of connection that alleviates nighttime struggles, and supports our body's need for rest and reset.
The last hour before bed is perfectly suited for loving interest and active listening. Creating this space is simple; just give them your attention. During this time, they need us to put our phones down, leave our work until later, and turn off the media that is distracting us from them. The best news is that it can all be right alongside other nightly duties (teeth brushing, putting PJs on, picking out the next days outfit...).
Here are some ideas:
* Read a book aloud.
* Wish upon a star.
* Ask your child an open-ended question. Here are some suggestions:
What made you smile/laugh today?
What was your high today and your low today?
What kindness did you offer to someone else today?
If there was a part of your day that you could change, what would it be?
What is your highest hope for tomorrow?
* Let your child tell you a nighttime story that they make up.
Often children will work out any troubles or concerns that they have through storytelling and by personifying characters. Not only is this a great time to let their subconscious mind heal, it is also a magic space that we as parents are given to hear about their inner life, and their time away from us. Sometimes this might be the only way that we hear what’s going on in their souls.
* If you are putting more than one child to bed you can gather the entire family and have each person thank another member of the family for something they helped with or something kind they did.
The Sacred Bedtime Bubble has many life long benefits. Along with supporting our body's need for rest and reset, it holds a special time and space. If done consistently enough children come to know consciously, and experience subconsciously, a trusted emotional pressure valve. They will know they have the loving interest and active listening of their parent’s ear (and heart).
They will know that all their inner life is heard; their hopes and dreams are seen and accepted, thus strengthening their core belief that all their emotions are valid, making this ritual a treasured part of each child's day - and I bet yours too.
For more tips on cueing sleep check out: 7 Simple Tips for Cueing Sleep
Unwind into better sleep ~ Gentle sleep solutions for baby and parents
To a Confident, Sexy, Love filled life! Kimberly Lindsay, BA, CPCC, ORSCC, IBCLC
Mental Fitness Coach for Spiritual & Creative Moms:
Who are ready to ditch their saboteurs so they can show up
as the partner, parent, and person they want to be - getting back to self and back to roots.