You have a lot going on in your life, and your obligations take a large amount of your time and energy each day. Putting your child to bed also takes energy. How do you recharge? The secret to helping your child relax for sleep is modeling what a relaxed person looks like for them.
Setting the tone for sleep
You may be surprised when I tell you that you set the tone for the quality of your child’s sleep each night. In this article, we will explain how to help your child relax for better sleep and the secret is this: don’t start your child’s bedtime routine until you yourself are feeling peaceful and relaxed.
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Think of your child as a pool of water and you are a stone being thrown into that pool. Imagine the real effect that your own energy has on them during this event. This ripple effect starts with you. If you go into the bedtime process not feeling calm and safe in your own thoughts and feelings, it’s like heaving a huge boulder into a pool. That’s not the most calming mental image.
Connection is part of it
You may have a consistent bedtime routine with predictable steps, but that’s not all there is to relaxing your child for sleep at night. Your child needs to feel connected to you. If they are resistant to get ready for sleep, or struggle to separate from you at the end of your bedtime routine, find ways to be even more in the present moment with them at bedtime.
Staying focused on the present moment is also the key to balancing out your own physical, emotional, and mental state. This is known as centering or grounding yourself. By the time you are putting your child to bed, you both have had a whole day of activity, stressors, and stimulation. It is not uncommon or unexpected to feel spread thin at bedtime for either one of you.
Recharge to relax
Let your child know when you are grounding yourself and even do this step in front of them, or with them if possible. Modeling how you recharge when your energy gets drained will teach them not only how important it is, but creating the habit and having the awareness of when you need to do it takes practice. Try adding a few recharging activities into your day. It doesn’t need to cost any money or take too much time. Small escapes of 5 to 25 minutes should be enough to yield significant benefits. Sometimes all we need to recharge is to sit in silence for a few minutes.
We challenge you to start grounding yourself as the first step of your child’s bedtime routine. Recharge your energy and refocus on what’s happening in the present moment: helping your child relax for sleep. Your calming energy will surely extend to the quality of your child’s sleep too.