Many children hate the time to go to bed. Even if they are tired and their eyes are closing, such children do everything possible to resist their calls to go to sleep and want to stay awake. Many mums have to face this problem, and many mums already know that the best way to calm down their children and make them go to bed is having a pleasant and relaxing “bedtime ritual”. Before you turn off the light and make your child go to sleep, spend some time with him and be sure that nobody can interrupt you two. Show your sincere love and care to your kid, create a warm and friendly environment, and get involved in some interesting and creative activities. You can use some of the strategies, which can make the bedtime for your child wonderful and relaxing.
• “Our magic carpet”. Select a calm and silent place in your house, which will be good for sitting or laying down together with your child and telling stories. Place a soft carpet or a blanket on the floor, and call it “our flying carpet”. Every evening sit on it together with your child. Let him close his eyes and imagine himself traveling to a wonderland. Start your story by saying: “Today we are going to travel on our magic carpet to…”. Let your child continue your story and choose the places to go to. It can be Disneyland, Africa, Mars or a zoo. Let him fantasize, and help him to continue his story when it is necessary. Go on traveling until your child calmed down and started feeling sleepy.
• “My Bedtime Diary”. You will need a notebook or just some sheets of paper. Every evening before going to bed, sit down together with your child and think about the most interesting events of the day. Ask you child, what he liked the most, and write down what he says. Some children enjoy talking about the brightest events of the day, and some children need to be asked additional questions. Learn, what interesting things your child was doing. Was he upset with something? Did he learn something new? What would he like to be written down to his “Bedtime Diary”.
• “Let’s talk about animals”. Well, children like animals a lot, that is why you can have a conversation related to different animals. Try to ask your child a question: “What do you think, does this day look like any animal?” If your child responded positively on this idea, let him fantasize about animals. This ritual can also be very educative and you can tell your child about various animals and their behavior. For example, you can compare a long summer day with a turtle, and a busy day full of activity can be compared with a monkey, a lizard or a fox. Tell you child: “Today I worked like a tiger, and what animal were you today?”
• “The Adventures of My Favorite Toy”. Every child has favorite toys, and he always feels safer in bed when one of his toys is next to him. Every evening, make up a story about one of his toys. Let him choose an animal-toy or a doll and ask him to create a story about it. Stimulate his creativity and imagination by asking additional questions. Ask him about the friends of his toy, what it likes or what dreams his toy sees at night, and so on.
• “Playing with shadows”. Place a sheet of white paper on the wall and use a torch to create shadows in the dark room. Let your child move his fingers and hands between the torch and the wall, making various shadows on the wall. Together with him, try to take a guess, what do those shadows look like, and make up interesting stories about them.
In addition to traditional bedtime reading or massage, those are some alternative easy tactics to help your child calm down before going to sleep. Remember that every child, who has problems with going to bed and falling asleep, requires individual approach. Make your child go to bed at the same time every day, and use one of those evening rituals to relax him. Certainly, you both will enjoy the minutes spent together fantasizing and sharing your feelings. Let your child’s bedtime turn into wondertime, and let him benefit from calm and restful sleep every single night!