Kids just don’t have the same stresses as we do… well, not to us anyway. To them, in their own rapidly evolving, shape shifting worlds, their worries & stresses are just as important as ours, more so in fact, because in their fertile minds their imaginations are wild and rampant and their capacity for rational thought, careful consideration and logic is pretty much non existent. Have you ever wondered why, even with careful screening of television, gory news stories, grown up murmurings of change and upheaval, our kids wake up with nightmares and sometimes refuse to sleep in their rooms?
Here are few Cuckooland tips on tackling this problem:
- Focus more on blocking scary TV and other age inappropriate influences- it could be as seemingly innocuous as a bedtime story. A Roald Dahl book to an 9 year old is fun, thrilling, immersive and just plain brilliant, a Roald Dahl book to a five year old is like being sucked into a scary vortex of grotesque characters with malevolent intentions.
- Read soft non violent bedtime stories with the hero being a bedroom toy that’s close by.
- Just before they doze off, plant kind, friendly, familiar thoughts; like talking about the things your child loves. Lego land, playtime with friends, sleepovers, holidays they loved, favourite places, upcoming Birthday plans, treasured presents or unique gifts for children… the list is endless.
- If there are any big changes looming (like moving house, moving school) chances are they’ve overheard them and are worried or anxious. Reassure them and turn change into adventure, talk about the new magical things the family will be doing together.
- Make sure your child’s bedroom, your children’s bedroom furniture or child’s bed is a fun, happy place to be, is comfortable and the environment is at the correct temperature – too hot or too cold will disturb sleep.
- Have a regular bedtime routine that may include a light, healthy (non sugar!) snack; brushing of teeth; bedtime story; hug and reassuring chat. We used a warm cup of diluted Rooibos/Redbush (non caffeine) tea that seemed to comfort and soothe our little ones (psychosomatic? who knows, it worked!)- this has since been replaced with favourite bottle of water (leak proof cap!). You might consider something like this childrens wall sticker and routine planner that’s both decorative and functional.
- If all this fails, there might be a more serious sleep problem and in this case the answer might be to see a doctor or sleep specialist.
Avoid: Putting your child to sleep too late (children need on average 10-11 hours of sleep a night for the first 9 years). Too many cuddly toys and no space to sleep or room to roll over. Sleeping with pets (they will wake them up). Sweets or Caffeinated beverages (at all times!). Exercise just before or within two-three hours of bedtime. Too much light (although a dim passage light may be comforting and sometimes all that’s needed). Being hot and sweaty or too cold. The temptation to quick fix the problem by letting your child sleep in your bed or another bed.
An idea for a happy, child friendly bedroom environment could look something like this:
For ideas on Bedroom Environments, view our New Range of Childrens Bedroom Furniture and Unique Kids Beds here.