SLEEP 301: The Bogeyman and monsters under the bed ~ Empowering children to overcome their bedtime fears
Last time I mentioned the number one mistake that parents make over and over again when it comes to children who are scared about going to bed. You can read it again here.
When we stop and think about it. No one would want a child to be scared in their own home. There are sadly, way too many children who understandably find bedtime incredibly scary for all the wrong reasons – but supporting children who have been through trauma is for our next and final blog in this sleep series.
Right now, I am thinking about all the children who don’t want to go to bed and find it hard to sleep because of their room. By day their room can be their favourite place to be. By night, it can become their worst.
If you have used the communication script (downloaded from the last blog) to really connect with your child through their fear, instead of isolating them and forcing them to deal with it on their own, then you may have found out that the reason they don’t want to go to bed is because they are scared.
For many children, they are scared about things under their bed, things in the cupboard, things behind the curtains, or outside the window. Children can be scared of anything – the dark, sights, sounds or even smells, and we don’t help them if we judge or belittle those fears.
The worst thing to do is to tell your child there is no need to be scared.
You are the grown up. You would just reinforce that grown-ups know everything and you think they are being silly/stupid. Your child will hear a message from you that ‘being scared is wrong’. In fact that can get extrapolated into believing that any of their uncomfortable feelings are wrong. None of the parents I have worked with have wanted their child to feel that way – but still it can be hard to know how to respond for their best.
What if there was one conversation – with just a few simple things that you can say, that could change the whole thing?
The good news is there is. It is a magic conversation. What is really interesting is that it wont be YOU doing the unlocking. Time and time again, I have found children have the answers inside them to overcome these bedroom fears – all they need is someone to help them with some presence, empathy, understanding, belief and good questions.
Get the magic communication for bedroom fears by clicking the box below.
This amazing technique will build a closer bond between you and your child, increase their pride and their sense of empowerment... Oh and likely will help them sleep much better too 😉
This conversation, when done right, has been like magic in many scary bedrooms of children I have supported over the years. Do let me know how it goes in your house.
Did you miss the previous Blogs in the SLEEP SERIES?
Sleep 101 – 3 Essential Foundations for a Better Bedtime
Sleep 401 – about nightmares and sleep trouble after trauma – is coming very soon! People on the mailing list will get notified when it is posted. Want it too? You can sign up here.