Bedtime can be a difficult time of day.
As parents, you are exhausted and ready to crash, but your child continues negotiating and fighting. One more drink of water. One more minute. They have to go to the bathroom. The excuses are endless. But these excuses could be your child’s way of telling you that they are struggling to calm their minds and bodies to relax.
Routine in a child’s life is very important. This doesn’t stop at bedtime, creating a consistent and relaxing routine for bed can be the first key to a smoother transition to sleep. Try to start this about an hour before bedtime (For ideas of appropriate sleep times see my blog post here.) The routine should start with dimmed lights and no screens to help their minds prepare for nighttime. Try to include a warm bath or shower to help trigger relaxation. Reading books or telling stories is another great component to relax your child’s mind.
Research is suggesting over and over again that mindfulness and meditation can help integrate frontal lobe executive functioning and increase mind/body awareness. Bedtime is a great time of day to start to teach your child this technique. Christian Kerr has a great app called “Sleep Meditation for Kids.” The guided imagery and body scanning provided in these meditations are important tools for our kids to have in their day to day life. Try the meditation with them, your mind and body will feel quieter, and your child learns from your behavior!
Let me know how you’re doing. Contact me for a family consultation.
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Healthier Kids – Happier Parents