Getting Teens In Bed With Play

Mom and teen pillow fighting - showing how teans play

When we think of bedtime routines for teens, play might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, it turns out that incorporating a bit of playtime before bed could be the secret ingredient to a smoother, more relaxed bedtime routine. Yes, you heard that right – play!

Teen life is stressful

Teens today face a myriad of challenges, from academic pressures to social dilemmas, all of which can contribute to stress and tension. As a result, bedtime can sometimes feel like a battleground rather than a sanctuary for rest and relaxation. It’s hard to quiet the mind when there are endless to-do’s, fears about upcoming tests, and pressure from friends rolling through the mind at all times. These things can add up to a lot of stored emotions that need somewhere to go. Play offers that healthy and healing release, especially done with a parent.

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Help your teen release tension using play

Playing before bedtime can be incredibly beneficial for teens who actually long for connection with their parents, but have more trouble accessing it. Whether it’s engaging in a game of charades, pillow fighting, or simply goofing around with their parents, playtime offers teens the opportunity to let go of the worries and anxieties of the day. One of the key benefits of play before bedtime is its ability to alleviate stress and tension. When teens engage in playful activities with their parents, the healing power of connection is turned on. Laughter, in particular, has been shown to release tension and bottled up feelings. When a parent is silly, clumsy, forgetful, and not as adept in the play as their teen, that also unlocks their ability to release feelings of powerlessness. Something that so many children and teens feel on a daily basis. They get to feel powerful, laugh, win, challenge, and conquer the day’s stressors when playing in this way. Play is actually one of the core components of building healthy self-esteem.

Additionally, playtime can strengthen the bond between parents and teens. In today’s fast-paced world, finding quality time to connect with our teens can be challenging. However, carving out a few minutes each night for play can create lasting memories and foster a sense of closeness and belonging within the family unit. Play tends to get pushed out of the day to day as a child gets older, but the need for play remains higher than most adults are aware of. Even adults need much more play that they currently receive so try and brainstorm some fun ways to engage (beyond sports) that will get your teen laughing and having some fun with you.

Make a connection

Remember, the goal is not to exhaust your teen with rigorous physical activity, but rather to engage them in activities that promote laughter, relaxation, and connection. By making play a regular part of your teen’s bedtime routine, you’ll not only help them unwind after a long day but also strengthen your relationship and remind them of how good they are at things.

To sum things up, don’t underestimate the power of play when it comes to bedtime routines for teens. By incorporating a bit of fun and laughter into the evening ritual, you can help alleviate stress and tension, strengthen family bonds, and promote better sleep quality for everyone involved. So, go ahead, embrace the unconventional, and let the bedtime play begin!

Sleep Consultant Alison Macklin
Sleep Consultant Alison Macklin
Alison Macklin is a Child Sleep Consultant, based in Toronto, Canada. She is a mom who is very familiar with how it feels to have a child not sleeping properly, and worried about their well-being. Since working through her own infant sleep issues, her passion has become helping as many families as possible, learn how to help their children sleep better and develop those critical life skills.

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