How To Get Your Child To Sleep
How do you put your 4 year old to sleep every night? Does the same method work every time? Do you have to find alternate ways to help your child go to bed each night?
This is Sarah’s story, a mother of 5, whose youngest is 4 years old. His siblings are quite a bit older than him so he’s the ONLY one going to bed at 7pm. Sarah tells how she deals with this nightly challenge. “He has a couple of shows that he watches regularly on the computer before his bedtime BUT before he starts watching I tell him that after his two shows, he’ll be going to bed. He understands exactly what is being told to him, and sometimes, he turns off the computer. But at other times he insists on watching more programs and refuses to turn it off.”
“In this situation, I switch off the computer and tell him that we agreed, he would watch his two shows and then he would put the computer to sleep. I explain that going to bed at this hour is important because he needs to renew his energy for tomorrow, and once he’s in bed we can also go to sleep.”
“I simply pick him up and hug him fully, stomach to stomach, my arms surrounding him around his back, with one hand resting under his armpit. The second hand is resting on his waist, reaching across his lower back.”
“Just this holding position relaxes him. He wraps his legs around my waist. This is a total body hug that he takes part in wholeheartedly. He feels secure and safe.”
Sometimes he rests his head on my shoulder. But most importantly, he’s ready to go to bed willingly and calmly.
This next story is about 3.5 year old Anne, (Ayulush) who also has a nightly process of going to bed. Each evening, her mom tells her what she will be doing to prepare herself for bedtime. She will then be aware of what is happening that evening, and when she will be going to bed.
Her mom starts off by telling her “You must be tired now. Let’s have dinner first, then shower and afterwards you can go to sleep.”
“If she starts crying I wrap both arms around her so she feels secure. Sometimes I just put my hand on her back to give her support. It usually takes a few seconds for her to calm down.”
“This method also works for my 6 year old daughter and 9 year old son.
I find that this type of gentle physical contact brings calm to my children.”
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