Family Stress Management – 3 Techniques for Getting Your Kids to Sleep
Family stress management can be a big reason why everyone, including the children, is able to get a good night’s sleep.Aï¿½ With a good night sleep children are better equipped to face challenges throughout the day, as well as perform better in school. By adding these simple strategies to your bedtime routine children will fall asleep easier and wake the next day refueled, refocused, and ready for the day creating a less stressful family environment.
Blowing your worries away
Before bed children often need to decompress about the day’s events.Aï¿½ For young children a way to offer this is to blow some bubbles.Aï¿½ Have children imagine putting their worries into each bubble and watch it drift into the evening sky.Aï¿½ For older children journaling, worry dolls, or placing beads or any small object into a box or plastic bottle; one to represent each worry is a way to voice concerns and put it “away” for the night. Once children have rid themselves of the “weight” they can experience a peaceful rest and be ready to face the next day.
Learning to Relax
At the end of a long day, we all may find it hard to let go of the days stress, making it hard to fall asleep, get a good rest, or focus on a task. Aï¿½Learning to relax is a key family stress management skill that can be learned by all members of the family. Teaching children how to “let go” is as easy as pretending to be a wet noodle or a rag doll. Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) walks the body step by step through each muscle, tensing then relaxing. Start by asking your child to make a fist and to straighten their arms out tight, as if they were a tall tree trunk and then release them; imagining letting go like a leaf falling from a tree.Aï¿½ Follow with all parts of the body until the child has completely relaxed.Aï¿½
PMR also offers children the opportunity to learn where in their body they harbor tension allowing them to focus on that area. By taking deep breaths or imagining a soothing color offers kids a way to “wash away” the stress of the day leading to a better night’s sleep.
Picking a dream
Have your children choose what they would like to dream about.Aï¿½ Helping children to create in their mind a sacred place can lead to increased relaxation and a better night sleep. Create with your child a sacred space that they can go to anytime.Aï¿½ Ask them to describe it to you, what would it look? Who would be there with you? What would you eat? The more detail you ask for, the more vivid the image, the easier it is to regain those peaceful feelings associated with the memory.Aï¿½ Some children will combine more than one memory or include things they wished had happened or make up an entirely imaginary dream. Asking children to create in their mind a special place that brings them peace and comfort offers them an opportunity to experience tranquility and safety while falling asleep.
Family stress management is crucial in the times that we live in. Today’s children are more stressed out than ever before academically, socially, and physically due to increased media, school and social pressure.Aï¿½ Providing children with a repertoire of tools to face challenges can lead to increase self-esteem, promote creativity, and build positive relationships with family and friends. By offering children strategies for falling asleep helps them to learn a lifelong skill and manage their own stress, all leading to a decrease in parental stress and a more peaceful home.