We all understand the significance of sleep for our children and the multitude of tips for helping your kids get to sleep efficiently. Preschoolers require 11-13 hours of sleep per night. Even with a constant bedtime ritual, bedtime is often a battle and a lengthy experience for parents and children who are not truly taught the best ways to go to sleep. Lot of times my own kid, her eyes large after an hour of getting her prepared to sleep has relied on me and asked, “Mother, how do you go to sleep?” Great concern! For many moms and dads large fatigue is the answer! However kids do not get as tired. Their energy is limitless and they really depend upon their parents to assist them learn the best ways to relax their body and mind.
In these stress filled times, kids select up on the tension of their parents and this paired with their own tensions and fears, frequently it is their racing imagination, and anxiety that keep them up at night.
Here are some concepts that moms and dads can attempt:
– Massage: By massaging around the spine, up and down, arms, hands, legs and feet, the kid is concentrating on how their body can feel good while in a passive state! A particular favorite for my child is around her eyes, (pressing gently on the bone around the eye socket, scalp and forehead). Ensure to only do exactly what feels unwinding to your child; everybody is different so ask concerns! If your kid’s body tenses up, stop and ask if he or she is ok. Encourage breathing, closing their eyes to help them focus on what you are doing rather then having a discussion. This massage need not be longer then 5 minutes.
– Spoken Relaxation: Speaking in a quiet voice have your kid lie in a comfy position without the have to wiggle and listen to you as you gradually tell them to unwind different parts of their body. It is terrific to end with a phrase like: “Know that Mommy and Daddy enjoys you. Now that your body is unwinded it is time for sleep” or some such soothing thought.
– Lullabies: Music is a great method to comfort and sooth your kid’s active brain. Often parents put on a peaceful CD and leave the space but this can leave kids to stay awake paying attention to completion of the CD. If you sing a short tune to your child you are in control of how long the musical entertainment lasts! You are also providing a treasure that they will pass on to their own kids!
– Composing their thoughts: Have a journal for older kids to compose in next to their bed for a couple of minutes before lights out. Composing can often be a method to overcome thoughts and feelings and assist to alleviate their mind. If your kid is young, sometimes a nighttime drawing is an excellent way to obtain their thoughts out so their mind is clear.
What you do at bedtime is teaching your kid that they can help their body and their mind unwind and encouraging the body/mind connection that will eventually provide the kids the ability to do these strategies on their own.
For additional information on other great resources for kids see http://www.leapsmart.org/
Monica Levy, LeapSmart’s creator, is an acclaimed professional choreographer. She won the prized Fulbright Award, several National Endowment for the Arts awards and had her work carried out in the distinguished Spoleto Celebration.